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Tips to Choosing the Right Pet Insurance

Thanks to major advances in veterinary care, previously life-threatening illnesses and injuries are curable and treatable. Cancer is no longer a death sentence for your beloved pet; MRIs are used as commonplace on animals as they are on humans; echocardiograms are even used to investigate cardiac and blood vessel problems. However, it’s not without a cost to you—some surgeries or tests can run you thousands of dollars.

This is why pet insurance can be a valuable option for both you and your pet. It’s impossible to predict whether your pet will remain healthy his entire life, and pet insurance can offer financial protection and peace of mind that you’ll be able to care for your animal. And since it’s crucial you go with the right company and plan, here are a few tips to assist in your selection process.

  • Shop around: Pet health policies vary widely coverage, cost, and reimbursement benefits. Check with your vet to see what plans they accept (or even offer in-house), and always consider your pet’s age, breed, and pre-existing conditions.
  • Compare stability: Pet insurance has been around for at least 25 years, but few have longevity. Make sure you choose a stable company that is financially secure.
  • Immediate coverage: All policy coverage should be available on the effective date of the policy. Some companies delay coverage of illnesses and wellness procedures for an additional amount of time beyond the effective date.
  • Broad coverage: Choose a policy that includes coverage for a wide range of things, such as prescription drugs, dental illness, chronic conditions like diabetes, emergency visits, and unexpected illnesses like bladder stones.
  • Clear coverage: Make sure it’s absolutely clear what is covered and what is not. For example, if the company claims to cover congenital conditions, are the benefit limits enough to cover treatment? What are the deductibles? Is the cap per incident, annually, or lifetime? What are the co-pays?
  • Cancellation policy: There should be no penalty for canceling your policy, either due to choice or loss of the pet. Companies should reimburse you for all unearned premiums.
  • Wellness coverage: Preventive care is key to the long-term health of your pet. Go with a plan that offers coverage for common preventive treatments and procedures like wellness exams, vaccinations, heartworm protection, spay/neuter, teeth cleaning, prescription flea control, etc.
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