What is pet insurance?
For many, a pet is a full-fledged member of the family. And just as health-care costs for human family members have risen over the years, so has the cost of veterinary care. It”s probably not surprising, then, that pet insurance has gone in a fairly short period of time from relative obscurity to something that more and more people are considering.
With pet insurance, you pay premiums to a pet insurance provider; in return, the provider agrees to pay for some of your pet”s medical costs, according to the specific terms and limits detailed in the policy agreement. How much you pay in premiums and the coverage you receive vary widely by provider, and depend on factors that include breed and age.
If you are considering pet insurance, it”s important to request quotes from several providers (a list of 12 pet insurance providers, along with some helpful information, is available at www.avma.org, the website of the American Veterinary Medical Association). After obtaining quotes from multiple providers, look carefully at the coverage details offered online casino by each company.
With pet insurance, costs associated with “wellness” care (e.g., regular office visits and vaccinations) generally aren”t covered. Pre-existing conditions are also generally excluded. Some providers also exclude certain hereditary or common conditions–for example, many pet insurance providers exclude coverage for hip dysplasia, a disease often associated with larger dog breeds.
In addition to comparing coverages, make sure that you understand your out-of-pocket responsibilities. You may be responsible for a co-payment. You”re probably also responsible for a specified deductible amount before a policy will make any payment. And once you”ve satisfied any deductible, a policy is likely to pay only a certain percentage of covered costs. So, for example, you might have a policy that pays 80% of covered costs after you satisfy the policy deductible. Some providers also cap benefits on a per-illness, annual, or lifetime basis.
One final note–with your health insurance, your provider probably bills your insurance directly. That”s generally not the case with pet insurance. Typically, you pay all costs up front, and then you submit claims to the pet insurance provider for reimbursement.