How Pet Insurance Works

Pet owners can get overwhelmed by the cost of veterinary care, especially when an unexpected health issue arises. With over 1 out of 3 pets experiencing an accident or illness, and most families unable to afford the high costs of treatment, pet insurance is a lifesaver. Thankfully, new insurtech companies have taken a fresh look at how pet insurance works to bring more transparency and affordability to the market.

A pet owner pays a monthly (or annual) premium to the provider in exchange for the pet insurance company covering a percentage of eligible vet bills after the policy deductible is met. A variety of factors influence the premium, including pet age and breed, the region of the country, the deductible amount, co-insurance, and in some cases, annual payout limits.

For example, some pet insurance providers offer hereditary disease coverage which covers the costs of genetic conditions like heart disease, hip dysplasia and eye disorders that don’t show up until later in life. These policies typically come with a higher premium but can save pet parents thousands in veterinary bills and emotional distress when a condition occurs.

Many people are able to find a plan that fits their budget and lifestyle by customizing the policy. Changing the reimbursement rate, deductible, and annual limit can significantly lower the monthly price of a plan but may result in less financial support from the pet insurance provider if a costly incident occurs.

While most pet owners want to ensure their pet’s health, the process of signing up for a policy and filing claims can be overwhelming for some. Fortunately, pet insurance providers make the process as simple as possible by allowing the pet owner to submit claims online, by phone or by mail. In addition, some pet insurance providers allow veterinarians to file the claim directly on the behalf of the pet owner which can help speed up the reimbursement process.

A common misconception is that pet owners should choose a plan with the lowest monthly price regardless of coverage. However, this can be misleading because a plan with a low monthly price often means the coverage is less comprehensive. The best pet insurance plans will provide significant coverage for accidents and illnesses, while still remaining affordable to the majority of pet parents.

When researching plans, pet owners should take the time to read reviews from reputable sources and consider how the experience of other pet owners is comparable to their own. While review aggregators can give an overview of overall customer service experiences, they don’t always reveal important details such as breed exclusions, lifetime pricing and policy specifics that should be considered when selecting a plan. Instead, a tool like Pawlicy Advisor can provide pet parents with customized quotes from top providers with custom comparison charts and ranking based on breed-specific health risks and lifetime pricing. This information helps pet parents make informed decisions on what type of plan is right for their pet and family.

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