Most people are familiar with healthcare insurance for themselves and their family but what about their pets? Pet insurance is a new idea in insurance to help cover the four-legged members of the family. Granted, your workplace may not cover the insurance but it is very valuable to have in case your pet becomes sick. Routine veterinary care may not be expensive but if your pet was to become sick or injured, costs could quickly mount up and be beyond your ability to repay. The old adage of “better to be safe than sorry” is very true when it comes to insurance. It is better to have it and not need it than to find yourself with a sick pet and no way of paying the vet bills. Most people are unaware or inexperienced when it comes to pet insurance but this article will cover some of the basics when it comes to what to expect in pet insurance.
Where do I find pet insurance?
Most veterinary clinics carry brochures on pet insurance but if your vet does not, there are resources online that can help you. One website that is very popular with pet owners is www.petinsurance.com. VPI Pet Insurance offers insurance for dogs, cats, birds and other exotic pets. If you are not comfortable going with just one quote for pet insurance there are other avenues to explore. Many pet stores can give you information on what type of insurance they suggest. The same applies for any fellow pet owners on internet chat forums or from pet retail stores such as Petco or Petsmart.
What is covered?
There are usually several different insurance plans to choose from and each varies on what is allowed along with the amounts the insurance will pay per each procedure. Some routine visits may not be covered under the basic plans. In some cases it may be cheaper for you to pay for the entire vet visit rather than submit the claim and be reimbursed. You will have to review each insurance plan to determine which one is right for your particular needs. Unfortunately accidents will happen and you can never know the exact foreseeable health care needs that your pet will need during his or her lifetime.
How much out of pocket will I be expected to pay if my pet needs surgery?
Unfortunately the downside to pet insurance is that you will have to pay for the entire amount out of your pocket before the insurance company pays you a portion back. When you take your pet in for surgery you will need to take along a claim form that the veterinarian will complete. After completing the form and filling out the claim information, along with attaching copies of the receipts and invoices, you will mail or fax the information to the insurance. After reviewing the information the insurance company will mail out a check for the amount of the procedure they cover.
Some veterinary clinics will make payment arrangements with you in case of an emergency. If you have a long history of good payments to your vet, you can discuss this at a visit. Chances are high that he or she can work with you. The ultimate goal of both you and the vet is a healthy and safe pet.
Is there a limit on what my pet insurance will pay out?
Yes, there is a limit on how much of the procedure is covered by the insurance company. This amount varies depending on which insurance plan you select, what your deductible is and how much the actual procedure runs. When you sign up for pet insurance the company will provide you with a list of procedures they cover along with how much per procedure is covered.
Can my pet be turned down for insurance?
The great thing about pet insurance is that your pet cannot be turned down. It does not matter if it is elderly or young. Most insurance policies have a fourteen day waiting period before the insurance is effective. They also may include a stipulation regarding pre-existing conditions. One common condition that is included in the insurance policy is for an ACL tear. These require a twelve month waiting period before any reimbursement.
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