What is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is a policy a pet owner buys. This policy lessens the overall costs of expensive veterinary bills. Think of health insurance policies for humans. This time, it’s for your pet. Pet insurance will cover either entirely or in part, the often costly veterinary procedures.
Pets are essential family members and — like humans — deserve the best medical care. No matter what type of pet you have, it’s vital to be prepared to pay for medical costs such as wellness visits, immunizations, spaying/neutering, and emergency care. One way to reduce the expensive vet visits is by buying a pet insurance policy.
Pet insurance policies offer varying degrees of coverage. The common options include common illnesses, and accidental injury, routine immunizations and preventative care, regular check-ups and surgical discounts.
Categories of Pet Insurance
- Non-lifetime Category: This covers most conditions that pets suffer during a policy year. But, on renewal, a condition claimed before will be excluded.
- Lifetime Category: This category covers a pet for ongoing circumstances throughout the pet’s lifetime so that, if a condition is claimed for in the first year, it will not be excluded in subsequent years.
However, lifetime policies also have limits. Some have limited “per condition”, whiles others have “per condition, per year”. And others have limited “per year”, all of which have different cost implications for the pet owner.
Hence, it is wise to be clear which type of life policy you are considering.
Your pet is like a family member, but the insurance industry sees the animal as property. That’s why pet insurance is similar to property insurance than health insurance.
But before you remind someone that your pet isn’t a piece of property, this designation works in your favor. Understanding the policy is easier than the health insurance policies written for humans.
Consider these advantages:
1. You can choose your vet. So far the vet has a license, pet insurers won’t tell you whom you can and can’t see. There are no in- or out-of-network doctors like those your health insurance policy probably dictate.
2. Simple policies. Simple policies. Most companies have a small number of tiers to choose from. One may cover only accidents, another may cover accidents and illnesses, and a third provides more coverage for more conditions.
If your pet has some pre-existing conditions, the insurance policy won’t cover them. If your animal has abdominal pain, for example, some companies may try to limit coverage on any condition that lists abdominal pain as one of its symptoms.
Before saying yes to a pet insurance policy, talk to the insurance company and have it clarify how it decides what constitutes a pre-existing condition. Something in your pet’s medical records that is harmless may become a big deal if you later file a claim.
Besides, let your vet check your pet before getting coverage. Do this if the last visit was more than a year.