Google+ PetsVentura® : PET INSURANCE

PET INSURANCE

Pet insurance has been growing in popularity lately, due in large part to the advances of veterinary science. Vets today can offer treatments and procedures that were unheard of just a few years ago, such as radiation therapy, transplants, and MRIs. However, these new treatments are not cheap; veterinary costs have risen over 70% in the past five years.

Pet health policies are comparable to human insurance policies; annual premiums, deductibles, and various coverage based upon what the owner chooses to insure. Most plans also have co-pays and caps that limit how much will be paid out annually.

Items to be aware of:

  • Some policies won't cover older pets
  • Certain breeds are excluded from coverage
  • Pre-existing conditions are normally excluded
  • Most insurers offer a multi-pet discount

Policy costs differ widely, depending on the animal and the different packages that the owner can choose. Some packages are comprehensive, including such things as annual checkups and vaccinations, spaying/neutering, death benefits and even reimbursement for offering a reward for lost pets. Other plans cover only accidents and illness.

Tips to help you find the right insurance policy for you and your pet:

  • If your pet has a pre-existing medical condition, make sure this is not disqualified from your policy. It doesn't make sense to buy a policy that won't pay when you need it.
  • Check to see if your insurer excludes or charges a higher premium for your breed.
  • Review any age limits for coverage. Some insurers start coverage right away, some requires the pet to be 8 weeks old. Some don't cover pets over 8 years old, some have no age limit.
  • If you have more than one pet, ask your insurer if they offer a multiple-pet discount.
  • Make sure you understand what your buying. Some policies cover only accidents, most cover accidents & illness, and a few offer complete coverage, including preventive care (checkups, vaccinations, neutering, etc.) along with accident and illness coverage.
  • Review the deductibles, co-pays and caps on coverage. For example, some insurers will pay 80% of the costs for treating your pet's illness, others will pay 100%. Make sure you select an insurer that provides the coverage you need.

Making a Claim

 Tips to help you through the process:

  • Check your policy to see if the incident is covered. Some pet polices cover accidents, but not illnesses. Some cover only certain illnesses.
  • Save any invoices from your veterinarian.
  • Contact your insurer as soon as possible.
  • Your insurer should provide you with a claim form.
  • Follow the instructions on the claim form.
  • If you need to send in vet invoices with the claim form, be sure to make copies for your own records.

Ways to keep overall pet costs down:

  • Don't withhold on the preventive care. Waiting until you have a pet emergency to visit the vet will only cost you more in the long run.
  • Buy discount pet medication. There are several websites that sell discounted pet medication for less.
  • Join a pet discount program.
  • Call your local Humane Society. Many will host discount days a few times a year where you can get vaccinations and shots for a sharp discount.