What do you know about dog insurance? When our furbabies are sick or injured, we’re forced to make incredibly difficult decisions all while enduring great emotional distress. One of the added stresses during a difficult situation like this unfortunately is often a financial one. Managing our finances during sometimes life-saving care for our pets can make a difficult situation even harder. One of the steps we can take to mitigate the financial stress that can accompany caring for our sick dogs is to get dog insurance.
Why Purchase Dog Insurance?
Many choose not to get insurance because they prefer to skip the extra costs. However, even for the healthiest dogs, sometimes it only takes one accident for a veterinary bill to cost more than you would ever pay in insurance premiums. This fact is especially true if you start your dog on pet insurance beginning at a young age when premiums are lower. By purchasing a dog insurance plan, dog parents can rest easy knowing unexpected veterinary bills will be covered.
What Does Dog Insurance Cover?
Dog insurance providers offer a variety of plans with different levels of coverage. Some plans offer every kind of wellness veterinary visit, like vaccination visits, while others only cover emergency plans. Many insurance plans have a deductible, which is the amount you have to pay before you’re eligible for reimbursement, and a copay, which is the percent or amount you pay out-of-pocket after the deductible is met.
For example, if you have a plan with a $200 deductible, and you receive a $1200 veterinary bill that is eligible for reimbursement according to the terms and conditions of your insurance plan, in many instances you will be liable for $200 and the insurance company will pay the remaining $1000. If you have a 10% co-pay, you would also be responsible for $100 of the remaining $1000, so $300 total. Many insurance companies do have a “per accident maximum,” meaning the maximum amount you can be reimbursed for one injury or illness. Others have an annual maximum, which is the most you can be reimbursed for in one year.
Do Dog Insurance Companies Offer Discounts?
When considering a company, think about whether they offer insurance discounts that might apply to you. Ask companies if they offer discounts for things such as:
- Multiple pets
- Spayed or neutered dogs
- Microchipped dogs
- Dogs from specific breeders, especially those known to produce healthy puppies
A Few Things To Remember
There are many companies offering dog insurance and they offer a wide variety of plan options. It’s essential that you read the fine print before committing to a dog insurance plan. Here are a few things to consider:
- Your plan might only cover a portion of certain services, such as a specialist or emergency care.
- Pay attention to how renewals are completed so you can avoid a gap in coverage.
- Note how possible disqualification due to ongoing medical issues might occur.
- Most plans don’t cover preexisting conditions and some don’t cover certain genetic conditions.
- See if your plan offers pre-approvals for owners who want to see if a non-emergency care procedure is covered.
How Financially Stable is the Dog Insurance Company?
One of the most important questions you should consider is how stable is the dog insurance company? The worst thing would be to pay into a plan for your pooch for years only for the company to go out of business. Worse, if your dog developed a condition while on that plan, it would be considered a preexisting condition on whatever new plan you select. Think about your premium payments as an investment in the future health of your pup.
How Do You Research a Dog Insurance Company?
While researching the various plans, ask yourself:
- How long has the company been in business?
- How many customers have dog insurance with the company?
- Who underwrites the plan and look up their rating; companies with an A, A+, or A++ rating are preferable.
- Is the company licensed in your province or state?
- Does the company have any complaints filed against it with the Better Business Bureau? Even if there are no complaints, check any number of reliable online review websites that rate dog insurance companies.
Finding Dog Insurance: Time-Consuming but Beneficial
Finding the right dog insurance can be a time-cos=nsuming experience. The number of companies that offer dog insurance is not small and most companies have multiple plans to choose from. Taking your time and being patient when it comes to finding the dog insurance that fits your family will greatly benefit you in the long run.