You've done your homework and received multiple pet insurance quotes from different reputable companies. Now what? How are you supposed to make an educated and informed decision based on the lengthy documents and sales jargon they sent to you? Here are some tips to help make your comparison.
1) Covered Conditions
What will the pet insurance company cover? Some policies will reimburse you for covered medical expenses like accidents, illnesses, surgeries, X-rays, prescriptions, hospitalizations, emergencies or cancer treatments. Other pet insurance policies may only cover accident and illness after a waiting period, which can be lengthy and also varies per company.
2) Pre-existing Conditions
Will the company cover a pre-existing condition? Only certain insurers will cover pre-existing conditions so it is important to read the policy closely and ask questions. The insurance company may enforce a waiting period before coverage begins for curable pre-existing conditions.
3) Renewable Benefits
If your pet is treated for a covered condition during the policy term, some companies will then consider it a pre-existing condition when the policy renews. They'll exclude coverage for that condition in the renewal policy.
What won't they cover? Treatments not covered by pet insurance can vary by species and breed. Not all plans cover preventive care, dental care, behavioral problems, hereditary conditions, or elective procedures.
5) Reimbursement: When & How Much
How much is the insurance company going to reimburse you and when will they send you the money. Both are variable per company. Each insurance company will outline how much it will pay per treatment and when the reimbursement is made. You may also be responsible for co-payments or deductibles. Some companies will pay the vet for services, but often you’ll be responsible for the full amount at the time of treatment.
6) Veterinarian Networks
Some pet insurance companies will require you to use a specific network of vets in order to be reimbursed. This can be crucial if you have a vet that you love and trust.