Between preventative care, accidents, emergencies, and prescriptions, you might find that the pet you adopted is emptying your wallet. It might be time to consider pet insurance, especially if you have more than one pet living in your home. Follow these steps to determine when and how to choose a pet insurance carrier.
Begin with your veterinarian. He or she is the best resource to help you determine what type of insurance coverage your pet needs. Analyze your costs of pet care over a lengthy period of time and scrutinize what types of costs you are incurring at the vet. Have you spent money on preventative care, emergencies, prescriptions, etc.?
Once you determine where the majority of your veterinary costs are coming from, ask the veterinarian for a recommendation of a few pet insurance companies that you can begin researching. Your vet should be able to refer you to reputable insurance companies that have stability and proven success.
When you begin your research, let the pet insurance company know your needs so that they can suggest which level of coverage is right for you and your pet. Make note of the differences from one plan to the next. For instance, which reimbursement benefits are you giving up if you choose the more economical plan?
Find out the exact cost of the policy, the exact length of the policy term, and the conditions for renewing the policy at the end of its term. It's important to find out if the premium will increase based on the amount of claims you submit, based on the pet's age, or based on other factors the company has determined.
Ask to see a written benefits schedule that details exactly how much is available for reimbursement for each specific incident. Ask the insurance carrier about coverage exclusions such as pre-existing conditions or conditions that are inherent to certain breeds of animals.
Research the process for submitting claims to the insurance carrier. Find out what type of paperwork needs to be filed, the timeline for filing it, and the timeline for being reimbursed.
Freedom of choice. Find out if the pet insurance carrier requires you to see a veterinarian within their network or if you have the freedom to choose your own veterinarian.
You should research at least 2-3 pet insurance carriers, following the steps above for each company you investigate. Take your time to review the information you’ve been provided, and even ask your veterinarian to consult with you once you’re nearing a decision. Your pet’s health is of the utmost importance and pet insurance might prove to be a wise financial decision for you.
Collin Walker writes for www.pet-super-store.com, a website featuring low prices on dog doors and dog crates.