With North America alone having more than 179 million pets, it is estimated that pet owners spend more than $50 billion for pet health insurance. This expenditure makes it the third largest among consumers.
Having a big commitment to the health of your pet just proves that pet health care has become increasingly expensive. Due in part because of the medical technology for animals has been advancing a lot more as well as the overall cost for good veterinarian health care.
With the increasing cost of veterinary services, Americans have now taken notice of the increased need for pet insurance. This has lead pet insurance to become very popular. However, it can seem very difficult to find out who you can obtain coverage from since only a few companies are known to offer it. But, if you are one of the many who has located a carrier that offers pet health insurance, there are a few things to know about it.
It Is Specifically Designed For Pets
We all love our pets so it is no surprise that we would treat them like family unfortunately though, the health insurance companies only see them as something that you own. This makes the experience of buying pet health insurance more like buying homeowners insurance. Although you see it differently, having your pet labeled that can be a good thing for you. Why? Do you ask? Because you don’t have to spend an hour just to understand the policy. Here are some more great advantages to consider:
1. You can choose any vet office but they must be licensed to practice. This is great to know since there are no “networks” to worry about.
2. The policies are simple and are made up of tier levels that cover different health conditions. These allow you to purchase coverages separately. So you have choices in the amount of coverage you want your pet to have.
3. With the price for coverage relatively lower than you think, the lowest you would probably pay per month is $14 for a basic plan. For a monthly plan that covers everything, you will probably only pay around $98. But make sure to take into account that the age, breed, insurance options and location of your pet are all part of the price of the premium. If you plan to cover your cat you can expect to pay an even lower amount monthly.
If you completely understand how your human health insurance works, then chances are that you will have a firm grasp on your pet’s policy. This includes paying a premium, a co-pay, and a deductible that is fairly low.
A difference that you may have to get used to (when compared to human health insurance) is the fact that you will most likely have to pay your vet for services personally and then submit a claim to your pet insurance.
Because this is common practice, you may be able to talk to your vet about allowing your pet insurance to pay their share first and then come back to pay your part. So remember, make sure you choose the right payment method prior to having a high priced procedure done on your pet.
Insurance For Other Types of Pets
If your pet consists of an animal other than a dog or cat, then your choices for pet health insurance may be even slimmer. This may be due to the fact that a division of Nationwide known as Veterinarian Pet Insurance, is the most well-known and respected insurance providers for all types of pets.
What You Should Know
Just like a lot of health insurance plans for humans, your pet insurance will probably not cover pre-existing conditions. Make sure to call your pet insurance provider and have them clarify how they determine a condition to be pre-existing. The last thing you want to find out is that some procedure won’t be paid.
If you want to avoid any trouble, it is advised to have a vet conduct a thorough checkup prior to purchasing any pet coverage.
Ok, you got your pet checked out by your vet, now what? The dreaded waiting period. Yep, that’s right. The reason why is because the insurance company knows that many people run out to purchase coverage as soon as they find out a costly procedure is needed. So make sure to enquire about their waiting period and the amount of time you need to wait.
Make sure to check what their maximum payout is. They normally involve maximums that last for the entire duration of your pet’s police, per incident, or per year. Regardless, the maximum payouts are usually seen more with higher coverage amounts.
In the end, your pet’s health insurance coverage is really not that different from a human health insurance policy. You have to have a checkup, wait for a period of time, pay a premium for coverages you select, have a procedure conducted, pay a co-pay or deductible and then find out that your premium has or will be increased due to your pet’s age or increased vet costs.