When it comes to providing the very best for your furry friends, you want to make an informed decision as you consider the purchase of pet insurance.
Pet Insurance: What Is It?
Pet insurance is a type of insurance that may help pay veterinary bills if your pet is hurt, sick or just needs routine preventive care. Most plans cover dogs and cats. Some plans will cover other types of animals.
Several insurers write pet insurance coverage which is intended to cover many of the costs associated with obtaining any medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment provided by a veterinarian, including, but not limited to, the cost of drugs prescribed by the veterinarian.
Questions to Consider When Purchasing Pet Insurance
When deciding whether to purchase coverage, there are several things to consider in addition to the cost of the coverage.
The following are some questions you should consider when purchasing pet insurance:
Does the coverage offered have exclusion for preexisting conditions? If so, the insurer will likely not pay for treatment for any condition for which the pet owner has received medical advice or the pet has received treatment prior to enrollment in a new pet insurance policy.
Is there a waiting or affiliation period, which means the period specified in a pet insurance policy which must pass before some or all of the coverage in the policy can begin? If so, any costs for treatment provided before the end of the waiting period will not be covered by the policy.
Does the coverage exclude costs for treatment of a hereditary disorder, which means an abnormality that is genetically transmitted from parent to offspring that may cause illness or disease? If your pet has a hereditary disorder, such as hip dysplasia, the insurer will not pay for treatment related to that disorder.
Does the coverage exclude costs for a congenital anomaly or disorder, which means a condition that is present from birth, whether inherited or caused by the environment, and which may cause or otherwise contribute to illness or disease? If your pet has a health issue identified as a congenital anomaly or disorder the insurer will not pay for treatment related to that disorder.
Is there a deductible or coinsurance clause that causes any claim reimbursement to be reduced by a set amount? Your veterinarian will expect you to pay the amount of any deductible or coinsurance percentage.
Is there an annual or lifetime policy limit that will cap the amount that will be paid for veterinary services? If so, you need to consider whether the coverage is a reasonable investment in terms of premium paid versus total benefit available.
Will the renewal premium be increased if a claim is made? If so, you might want to know what is the amount of increase that takes place.
Is there a basis for reimbursement or formula for payment for veterinary services other than the actual amount of the billed services? Examples include claims payments based upon a standardized schedule of costs or a schedule of “usual and customary” charges in the industry for the services provided. Your veterinarian will expect you to pay the balance of any billed amount not paid by the insurer.
Since pet insurance can vary from State to State, you will need to learn about the options specific to your State of residency. Policy Smart can help you with this.
To Learn More
Policy Smart provides independent insurance advice by reviewing your current plans to improve coverage and reduce cost. Through our proprietary database – The CMR Database® (comprised of some 13,000 brokers and specialists globally) – we maximize access to the insurance industry for greater options that will translate to better coverage and lower cost. Since 1999, we have saved clients over $120 million.
Please email CMR Associates or call 877-447-4301 or 212-447-4300 for more information about pet insurance.