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Pet Insurance

Should Your Pet Have It?

Pet Insurance Comparison (click here)

Pet Insurance Lady With Dog





10 Things You Should Know Before Purchasing a Policy

Each insurance company offers a slightly different plan in order to give them a competitive advantage. You should carefully compare and evaluate all the options in order to make an educated decision that is best for you and your pet.

To help you wade through the information, following are some of the more critical questions you'll need to consider.


1. Which Deductible Makes Most Sense for You?

Choosing a higher deductible will lower your monthly premium, but your out-of-pocket expenses will be higher each time your pet requires medical treatment. Choosing a lower deductible will increase your monthly premium, but your out-of-pocket costs will be lower. You may want to investigate whether there is a penalty for changing your plan and deductible down the road. You should be able to make those changes to maintain your pet's coverage in times of financial hardship.


2. What Are the Policy Limits?

Modern veterinary medicine can be sophisticated and extensive, which can make low per-incident limits (or low lifetime limits) unrealistic. Choose a plan that covers the true costs of unexpected illnesses and accidents.


3. What Does the Policy Cover? What Are the Available Options?

Look for plans that cover illness, accidents and optional routine care.

· Illnesses.Any illness and accident plan should automatically cover common ailments. Are chronic diseases like cancer or diabetes covered as well? For how much?

· Accidents.Cuts and broken legs are common and should be covered. In an accident-only plan, look for surgical coverages that include removal of swallowed objects and treatment of hernias.

· Routine Care.These optional coverages may include such preventive measures as annual exams, vaccinations, teeth cleaning and diagnostics such as blood panels and urine testing.


4. How Is Your Reimbursement Calculated When You File a Claim?

This may be the most misunderstood and most important part of your pet insurance coverage.


Reimbursement is calculated in one of two basic ways:
a)As a fair and straightforward percentage of your veterinarian's bill.

b)As a percentage of a benefit schedule that limits the amount the insurance company is willing to pay. The actual reimbursement as a percentage of a benefit schedule can be as little as 30 percent of your total bill. Avoid surprises by understanding what you're buying.



5. Can You Choose Any Vet or Are You Restricted to a Network?

Look for plans that allow you to visit:

· The Veterinarian You Choose.Don't buy a policy that requires you to select a doctor you don't know from a list. Be sure you're allowed to visit any licensed veterinarian.

· After-Hours Emergency Care.Illnesses and accidents sometimes happen after normal business hours. Does your policy cover emergency care at 2 a.m.? You'll also want to be sure your use of an emergency clinic doesn't reduce the amount of coverage allowed for follow-up care.

· Specialists.When your furry loved one needs treatment by a veterinary ophthalmologist (eye care) or a veterinary oncologist (cancer), you'll want to be sure your policy covers specialist care.


6. Who Determines Your Pet's Treatment?

You and your veterinarian should determine the best course of treatment for your furry friend. Choose a plan that doesn't limit your choices with a complicated fee or benefit schedule.

7. What Is Excluded?

Amazingly, there are pet insurance companies who will not list the treatments and conditions not covered by their policies. Be sure you ask for specifics about what is, and what is not, covered by your policy so that you know which treatments are available for your pet.


8. Does Your Veterinarian Recommend the Pet Insurance Company?

Your vet's staff members have heard all the news, good and bad, from other policyholders. Ask which one they recommend.


9. Is the Pet Insurance Company Licensed in Your State?

You'll have the coverage you need when you choose a insurance company that's regulated by your state government. Choose a company that's licensed in your state.


10. What Customer Service Can You Expect?

When you have a question, or you need help with a claim, a pet insurance company that employs pet lovers, people who care for and understand pets, can make all the difference.

We hope that these ten suggestions leave you better prepared to make an educated choice in your pet insurance company and type of policy. We encourage you to shop around and find the pet insurance company that's right for you and your pet. Here are some of the major American companies:

Pets Best Insurance
Pet Insurance Programs
Petshealth Plans by The Hartford Group
PetFirst HealthCare
Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI)
Embrace Pet Insurance




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