As more pet insurance companies have begun offering reasonably-priced plans, and as innovation in veterinary medicine has provided advanced treatment options, insurance has become a popular way for pet parents to make cutting-edge medical care affordable. But how do you know if pet insurance is right for you, and how do you decide which company is the best choice? Here are some tips:
What company should you choose?
There are many companies that offer pet insurance, and Frontier is not affiliated with any insurance company. However, we do recommend Trupanion Pet Insurance. In our experience, Trupanion offers fairly-priced, easy-to-understand coverage, with consistent claim payment and a high level of customer satisfaction. To learn more about their plans, visit trupanion.com. We do not receive any compensation or benefit for recommending Trupanion; we simply believe that it is the best fit for our hospital.
However, because pet insurance companies work directly with the pet owner, the choice is truly yours- we will work with whatever company you choose. The website petinsurancereview.com offers coverage comparison charts as well as pet owner reviews of the major pet insurance companies. Also, the website pet-insurance-university.com has good overall information on pet insurance.
How does pet health insurance compare to human insurance?
Pet health policies are similar to human insurance policies; annual premiums, deductibles, and coverage based upon what the owner chooses. Most plans also have co-pays and caps that limit how much will be paid out anually. The major difference between pet and human insurance is how claims are paid. With humans, the insurance company pays the medical provider directly. However, with pet insurance the pet owner pays the veterinarian at the time of service. The pet owner then files a claim with their insurance company and are reimbursed for the allowed amount, which varies according to their plan.
What should you consider when choosing an Insurance Company?
- What kind of coverage do you want? Make sure you understand what you’re buying. Some policies cover only accidents, most cover accidents & illness, and a few offer comprehensive coverage, including preventive care (wellness exams, vaccinations, neutering, dental cleanings, etc.) along with accident and illness coverage.
- How much do you want to pay in premiums, and how much coverage do you want? Review the premiums, deductibles, co-pays and coverage maximums. Look at your past veterinary expenses and weigh those against the cost of insurance to determine if basic, intermediate, or comprehensive coverage is right for you.
- Are there any exclusions? If your pet has a pre-existing medical condition, make sure this is not excluded from your policy. Also, review breed restrictions. Some companies exclude certain breeds from coverage, while others exclude specific medical conditions from coverage in breeds who have a genetic predisposition. Check carefully, as it doesn’t make sense to buy a policy that won’t pay for the treatment your pet needs.
- How old is your pet? Review any age limits for coverage. Some insurers start coverage right away, some require the pet to be 8 weeks old. Some don’t cover pets over a certain age, typically 8-10 years, while some have no age limit.