With the increased diagnostic capabilities available today, also come increased veterinary costs. Pet insurance has been available for years, but it is very difficult to compare one policy to another. Pet Insurance is worth considering when your pet is young and if you would not have the $5000 or more needed for a medical emergency. Listed below are some points we feel you should consider when comparing policies:
- A high deductible policy for costly surgeries, cancer treatment, and trauma is likely more cost effective than a wellness policy. You have to do the math, but in general, the premiums for wellness policies may cost more than annual routine health care.
- Does the policy cover hereditary or pre-existing conditions? Most policies will not cover a pre-existing condition, but you need to ask what the company considers a hereditary condition for your breed. (For example, some policies will not cover a Labrador Retriever for a cruciate repair)
- Does the policy have an annual, per incident or lifetime cap?
- Does the company use a fee schedule? Veterinary prices differ across the country. Certain insurance companies may pay a fixed rate for certain procedures even if the cost to you is much higher.
- Companies reimburse the owner for covered costs. You will still need to pay your bill and wait for reimbursement.
Comparing different policies is difficult, but it’s important to do your homework. Check out the websites www.petinsurancereview.com or www.dogtime.com (this site has a useful plan comparison grid) www.pet-insurance-university.com
We also recommend the article Ensure your Pet’s Health: Consider Pet Insurance from the experts at the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)