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.