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Thursday, February 17, 2011

What is pet health insurance?

Pet health insurance providers have become more well-known over the past decade, making many dog owners, cat owners and owners of other animals to reflect on getting coverage for their animal. But with much policy options and several insurance companies offering coverage, the assortment procedure can turn out to be a bit overwhelming.

Pet Insurance companies like Veterinary Pet Insurance, Inc. (also known as VPI) or the ASPCA’s Insurance Company, offer reasonably priced insurance policy premiums for cats, dogs, birds, exotics and other pets. VPI puts forward a selection of coverage options, allowing pet owners to manage to pay for care and measures that they may otherwise have to miss out on. Pet owners can decide on from an assortment of insurance coverage options, counting the subsequent:

1. Routine care coverage: This variety of coverage will cover a major part of routine pet care, such as immunization and yearly examinations. This form of policy is normally the slightest pricey, despite the fact that owners ought to make certain that the price tag of the veterinary insurance policy premium does not go beyond the usual routine pet care expenses.

2. Basic coverage for specialized care and procedures: Basic care policy will cover the overheads of examinations and procedure that drop outside the extent of routine care. So an arrangement of this variety will not cover vaccines or yearly examinations, nevertheless it will cover portion of the costs connected with diagnostic testing, visits to veterinary specialists, operations and other procedures.

3. Premium coverage for specialized care and procedures: These higher care plans on average offer coverage for the similar procedures and testing as the basic care plans, despite the fact that the recompense level is higher. The premium is also faintly higher to pay compensation for the greater proportion of reparation.

4. All -inclusive coverage: An all-inclusive coverage pet insurance policy normally covers routine care and specific care like diagnostic testing, visits to veterinarian specialists and remedial procedures. All-inclusive veterinary pet insurance policies are naturally the priciest. Regrettably, the immense preponderance of veterinary insurance companies does not disburse for procedures and additional care up-front. The pet owner characteristically has to pay the vet bill up-front, and the cash is then reimbursed in a week or two of the claim form submission. But in cases where it’s a matter of life or death, a lot of vets will agree to the pet owner to pay just a fraction of the bill, allowing the pet parent to make preparations for the insurance settlement check to be sent straightforwardly to the clinic, in that way clearing what's left of the balance. There is also typically a two-week wait before pet coverage becomes effective, so when purchasing a veterinary pet insurance, pet owners should be sure to in quire about the wait period before the policy goes into effect.

There is no question about the need of the pet health insurance. More than its disadvantages, it offers more benefits not only for the pet but also for its owner. However, no matter how important pet health insurance are, owners should not jump into getting one without conducting enough research.

Researching about pet health insurance will not only ensure that you will get the best healthcare for your pet but can also help you save up some money to attend to other needs of the pet.

What You Must Know about Pet Health Insurance

Pet health insurance is an old concept that has been gaining popularity through the years. Insurance companies may have seen the potential as pets are becoming part of the family in many households these days. But with the tough economic conditions, are people still willing to spend extra amount in order to insure their beloved pets?

The trend is still in the process of development. But the idea can be compared with the insurance policies of humans. There are deductibles, annual premiums and the owner can choose from various coverage plans. If you have just learned about this, here are some important notes that might fill in your curiosity.

1. The average amount that can be deducted annually to the insurance is around $100. But the costs of policies vary depending on the kind of plan that the owner will get for their pets. There are even packages that you can choose to acquire.

If you are willing to spend more, the following can be covered with your pet’s insurance: routine care, preventive medications, annual checkups, periodic vaccinations and surgeries like spay or neuter. Simpler plans will only cover the basic, like illnesses and accidents.

There are plans, especially on new policies that will cover accident claims and will allot 30 days for claims with regards to illnesses. There are companies that will insure additional pets at reduced rates when you’ve already availed one for another pet.

2. The coverage of the plans will be based on the species of your pets. It will also look into pre-existing conditions and may also consider the lifestyle of your pet whether they are indoor or outdoor and the likes.

3. Most insurance companies begin the policies for pets when they are about 6 to 8 weeks old. But other companies have no requirements regarding the age. And the length of the policy also varies depending on the company. Others have a limit of over 20 years, while some offers an age limit of 10 or 8 years.

4. The most common pre-existing condition among these insurance companies is that the animal has to be in stable and great condition and is not suffering from any terminal illnesses by the time the insurance is availed. There are companies that choose the breeds of the animals. They won’t accept those that are prone to certain kinds of diseases.

If your pet is refused by the insurance companies, you can ask your trusted veterinarian for advice. They will refer you to the wellness packages that are being offered by some hospitals. Such packages can give you discounts on certain programs like vaccinations, spay or neuter and a lot more. Other hospitals offer checkup packages intended for geriatric health.

You may also want to look into a national program called Pet Assure. This offers discount programs such as 25% on veterinary services and 50% on pet supplies and related services. This is not an insurance policy. You can ask the owners of pet stores and veterinarians on how can you avail of such program.

If you cannot afford a good pet health insurance for your beloved pets, there are some non-profit organizations that can help you financially when your pet encounters some sickness or accidents. There are also veterinary offices that can support you at such instances through an emergency fund that they allocate for such situation.

Ways to Find the Right Pet Health Insurance Company

Shopping may be a breeze for most people. But it really depends on what you are buying. For pet owners who want to find the suitable pet health insurance company, there are a lot of factors to consider. You will be surprised at how the policies for pets are similar to what humans have. Such policies have annual premiums. The deductibles depend on age and condition of the animals. And there are coverage plans that you can choose for the benefit of your pet.

With so many factors that you must zero into, this kind of shopping will prove harder as it seems to be. Your goal is to give your pet the best plan. Here are some suggestions on how you must go about your policy hunting venture.

1.  Ask the vets. You can solicit advices and recommendations from your trusted veterinarians. They can explain to you complicated things better so that you may feel enlightened. And you will also feel more secure when you know that your choice is being used by many people and that there is someone who is professional who can guarantee for the policy’s effectiveness.

2. Choose a stable company. The business of pet insurance has been around in the United States for over 25 years. The strength of the company will also depend on their length of stay in the industry they belong to. As you ask about the available policies, you can also do a simple background check about the company’s stability. You need to make sure that your money will be handed onto the right hands.

3. Look deep into the coverage of the plan. The broader it is, the better. Choose the one that offers coverage for some chronic conditions like diabetes and other forms of allergies, dental situations and prescription drugs.

4. The company must know what they are talking about. If they are to insure your pets, they must have veterinary professionals on board their staff. This way, they will understand your concerns and needs regarding your pet. You wouldn’t want to entrust them to people who don’t know what they’ll be going through as they grow old.

5. The insurance provider must give you leeway in terms of your choice for veterinary professionals. The policy must not limit your choices of hospitals or veterinarians where you can turn your pets into when certain situation happens.

6. You must be sure that the insurance will be ready for use upon the effective date from its approval and issuance. Do not choose insurance providers that will make you wait a certain time before you can start using the policy that you have already paid for.

7. All transactions must be transparent. Make sure that the company provides you with the important information about every transaction that you have to deal with them. Ask them about everything that you want to know, the coverage, the benefits, the payment schedules and other things that you want to be clear about.

8. Choose the company that will reimburse your payments in cases when you have to cancel the policy. All your unearned premium must be given back to you in any instances wherein you have to cancel the insurance.

And these are only some of the concerns that you must take into consideration when you are in search for the pet health insurance company. Do not be shy to raise other issues as you go about the process.

Using Posters to Advertise Your Pet Health Insurance Business

In any business, one thing that you must not forget about is the importance of advertising. This holds true even if you are running a pet health insurance business. The idea here is to let as many people know about you.

You must take extra care to come up with marketing tools periodically. Once you started to advertise, you should not stop all of a sudden. If the financial aspect is your biggest dilemma, you must know that you have a lot of options when it comes to marketing and not all those have a price tag of gold.

In fact, as the business of pet health insurance is booming, so does the industry of printing. The print medium has become the popular choice for business people in order to come up with marketing tools that can help them carry out their goals while staying within a specified budget. You actually have a lot of options when it comes to this. You can settle for direct mailing pieces like postcards, catalogs and brochures. You can also have flyers or company newsletters.

But if you want to try the large format route in terms of print ads, one of the most popular choice among the materials available are posters. The vast space of posters can be filled with everything that you want to tell your audience in a manner that they will be interested with what you are saying.

If you think that this can help you carry out your marketing goals, you must remember the following steps in order to come up with effective posters.

1. Your poster must be focused. What does this mean? Given the fact that you have a lot to say, you must choose what's the most important for you at the moment. Highlight that factor on your poster's design and the delivery of your message. You can have this done after a time and choose another message. But do not commit the mistake of saying everything all at once. People may not understand what you are trying to tell them. As a result, instead of capturing their attention, they might get easily turned off.

2. Use graphics on your materials. Take advantage of the poster's size to come up with the kind of design that will appeal to your target market. You can hire a professional to accomplish this for you. But you must tell them what it is that you want to impart to your audience. What do you want them to feel upon seeing your poster? From such ideas, your graphic designer can create variations of designs that you can choose from.

Do not get lost with the process though. You must not forget to include the vital elements about you on your posters. These are your contact details, your company name and your company logo. These three must be uniform with all the other tools that you have used before or that you are planning to use in the future.

3. Use colors. This will add more life to your posters. You must aim for the eyes of your target market. And once you've got them, those eyes must linger on your materials until they have understood what you are trying to say.

After doing the abovementioned for your posters printing venture, you must seek out the services of the right printing company to process your materials. With all the right elements well taken cared of, your posters will surely help boost your pet health insurance business.

Understanding pet health insurance

Pet health insurance, like any form of insurance, is a risk. You are dead sure that your pet will need it. But, nowadays, because of the limitations and caps on the policy that a company is selling you, you're actually wishing that your pet wouldn't.

Many people say it's really hard to understand in a moment's notice what goes into your pet's insurance policy. So, before you finally decide if you are getting a pet health insurance, it is beast to scrutinize all its details, contents, benefits and other "charge" that are initially hidden from you. Being knowledgeable and meticulous in getting a pet health insurance will not only help you save up some money but can also ensure that you have something that will take care of your beloved pet companion.

To help you understand what are the underlying principles contained in most pet health insurance offers, here are some points that you should look into:

- A network or provider list. Asking if the pet health insurance is one of the best ways in knowing if the insurance will work. If you're looking to remain with your vet, tough luck, most of the insurance companies have their own list of providers that they approve. This is provider's list is given to you so you have a clear-cut idea of who you can go to for pet care. But if your vet is already accredited then it's much better.

- Exclusions. The next question that would probably come to mind is, "Are there exclusions?". Asking if there are is a wise move because all kinds of health insurance policies have exclusions—which are part of the pre-enrollment conditions—or as insurers describe it, "injuries, medical conditions, hereditary diseases and other symptoms prior to enrollment." These conditions are usually part of the exclusions and should be covered. This is why it is a must that owners of a pet with a pre-existing medical condition should be aware that their cat, dog, bird or other pet may not be eligible for coverage. In addition, pets who have previously suffered a medical problem or been involved in an accident may not be eligible for reimbursement on future costs if the future problem is found to be directly related to the original incident—providing that original incident occurred before the insurance policy became effective.

- Deductibles and the co-pay. Some companies have deductibles that are on a flat rate. These deductibles are usually for claims that are caused by excessive visits to the vet or other incidentals.

- A "one size fits all" policy. You can't really say that there is a one size fits all policy. Most of the time the terms and conditions of policies are greatly dependent on the need of the pet owner and the pet, there are plans that include services that are exclusive for dogs or cats or vice versa. Some policies cover some situations that other policies don't. Some companies have higher premium prices than others. That is one of the reason why the pet owner should be aware of the different needs to their pet so they could get the most out of their policies.

- The coverage of the said policy. When choosing pet insurance coverage, first consider what kind of insurance customer you are. This decision will lay the groundwork for your final choice. Make sure to check for coverage of pre-existing conditions as well as breed-specific genetic ailments, such as hip dysplasia for large dogs. Some plans refuse to cover these conditions while other place limits on annual, per-incident, per-illness or lifetime costs.

Top queries before getting a pet health insurance

Pet health insurance is gaining popularity because of the drastic changes it has gone through in the past years. One of those changes is the cost of the policies. Right now pet policies are very affordable and very competitive plus the fact that the coverage of the policies is becoming more and more comprehensive. More pet owners are opting to insure their pets.

Because of the popularity it has been gaining in the last few years some people are asking questions that need to be answered by the industry to quell all doubts of its policyholders. If you are one of those who are planning to get a pet health insurance, ask is there is:

- a discounted plan that still offers a comprehensive coverage? This may vary a lot especially on the company that you are getting it from. Some companies offer policies that allow multiple pets to have basic accident coverage while some companies offer a high rate for a premium plan. To know more about plan coverage shops around for different providers.

- a number of accredited veterinarians? Since these plans and policies are pretty much patterned after the ones humans use, the accreditation of vets is highly dependent on the plan and the company.

- a set waiting periods? Just like a regular insurance policy there is a waiting period before your policy takes effect, you would have to bear in mind the start and end dates of your coverage.

- a set of exclusions in the policies? Commonly, the exclusions of pet insurance policies are prevailing health disorders, hereditary diseases and long term trauma but there are still those who do not include these conditions. It is better to choose the latter because you will never know what the pet will experience later on.

- coverage on routine wellness? There are policies that include routine checkups, vaccination and testing for heart worm which can be the case for some animals.

- neutering and spaying? Many companies offer policies that include reproductive health and population control for your pets, however, these are the most utilized service of pet owners.

- prescription coverage? This is just as important as all the other pet services that can be covered by a policy since the technology for caring for your pet is also increasing in demand. Of course, like all prescription coverage it can be very costly to the owner.

- deductible to be paid? Since pet health insurance policies are pretty much like a human's there are deductibles that you would have to pay eventually. Just look into the details of the policy to know exactly how much the deductible is and remember that the smaller the deductible the higher the premium.

- kinds of caps in pet insurance? Usually there are certain "caps" or limits to the kind of illness or incident that your pet may get into that a company will pay for. For example a broken bone may have a slightly higher cap that a non-fatal poisoning or vice versa, it all depends on your policy. Check the details from your company to know the different caps.

- a number of reliable pet health insurance companies? The best thing to do is to research about it and to ask around from different pet owners for recommendations. There is no straightforward answer to the question because no company provides a definitive solution to your pets needs. They all vary in the coverage. The best thing to do is to research on different companies that provide pet health insurance and look into the reputation that they've built with their policyholders.

To get or not to get a pet health insurance

Nowadays, you can insure almost everything and anything. People can insure their lives, their body parts, their equipment, their homes and yes, even their pets. Pet health insurance has really been making a statement over the past few years. Celebrities, politicians, tycoons and regular citizens have been self insuring their pets to avoid financial turmoil in the future but do you really need to get one?

Well, in a nutshell yes. Because of al the benefits and you are getting it's ridding yourself of futures worries that you may encounter about your pet in the future. But don't just jump in and get the first one you'll see. Know the facts and get help from people who know. Here are some tips on choosing what is right for your pet.

Tips for choosing pet insurance

To ensure that you will be getting the right kind of insurance for your pet without putting so much toll in your budget, here are some useful tips to get by:

1. Comparing the different prices. The very first thing that you would have to consider when planning to enroll your pet in a pet insurance policy is the price. Some companies may offer the same price as the other but the coverage may vary greatly. There are some low cost comprehensive policies that are wiser to get.

2. Excesses cost you more than you may know. Some people who are newbies to pet policies often fall prey to the excess. The excess is the amount that you have to pay when making a certain claim. Some companies lessen their expenses on claims by having high excesses. Now if you go for a cheap policy that has high excess pay you may end up paying more than what you intend to in the first place.

3. Lifelong coverage. Lifelong coverage is a term in insurance that is a little difficult to understand, but one thing is for sure "lifelong cover" does not mean Covered for life. To understand this concept better here are a few general ideas of it.

- Time capped. These are often the low cost plans, time capped means you are only covered for a certain condition for the first year and the rest is on your shoulders. Let's say that your pet developed a heart condition, you can claim the amount of money stated in your policy for your pet's first year of treatment, but after a year no more. The treatment for your pet's condition will be on your shoulders for the remainder of its life.

- Financially capped. Some companies call financially capped as lifelong cover but the truth is it really not. It's not even close to it. Financially capped is when the company agrees to pay your claim for X number of years but for a fixed amount. Let's say your dog has developed diabetes and you made your claim from the company. They will pay out a fixed amount, let's say 5,000 dollars. They paid 2,000 dollars on the first year, another 2,000 on the second year and 1,000 dollars on the third year but after that no more. After that, all of the succeeding expenses for your pet's treatment will be on you.

- Lifelong cover. In pet health insurance, this happens when the insurer pays you for your pet's treatment with a fixed amount, every year, for as long as the disease that it has plagues your pet.