Pet Wellness Guides > 8 Tips for Choosing the Right Pet Insurance Plan - Pet Insurance Review
8 Tips for Choosing the Right Pet Insurance Plan
Posted: 09/08/2022 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Health problems , Pet care , Top Tips
Your pet is a beloved member of your family so you want to ensure you can provide the very best medical care should they fall victim to an accident or injury. A comprehensive pet insurance plan can help you cover the cost of care, giving you peace of mind.
That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that choosing the right pet insurance plan has a reputation for being challenging and confusing.
But it doesn’t have to be. Here are 8 tips to help you make the right policy choice:
1. Shop Around
You wouldn’t choose your own health insurance plan willy-nilly, and you shouldn’t rush the decision for your fur baby either. You’ll want to spend a bit of time looking into the providers available and comparing different plans, monthly premiums, deductibles, reimbursement models, coverage limits and exclusions.
Get your search started by using our handy pet insurance comparison tool.
2. Read Reviews
When you’ve made big purchases in the past, you no doubt read as many testimonials and reviews as you could before signing on the proverbial dotted line. While researching the various plans, you’ll also want to check out providers’ track records. How many years have they been in business? Are they financially stable? Do they have good customer service? What about their overall rating?
Check out what our customers have said about some of the best pet insurance providers in the country.
3. Be Certain
Before signing up for a policy make sure you fully understand the coverage and how certain factors can affect it. For instance, a pet’s breed or potential pre-existing conditions could affect policy coverage. You’ll want to know how your premiums will change and if the number of claims you have will affect your monthly premiums.
If the terms of the prospective policy are hard to understand, and they can be, call and speak with a customer service representative who can clear things up for you.
4. Get Advice
Pet health insurance providers typically offer different types of plans that can be customized according to your specific needs. For instance, you can go with an accident-only plan, accident and illness, or a general wellness plan. Each will cover certain things and not cover certain things.
To understand what your fur baby will most likely need, speak with your veterinarian who will take a look at your pet’s medical history, age, breed, etc. to determine what medical conditions your pet is at risk of developing.
5. Crunch Numbers
Many pet parents are drawn to those policies that are the cheapest in terms of monthly premiums. But a low premium that offers limited coverage won’t necessarily help you in your time of need. This winds up being a big waste of money.
Monthly premiums and reimbursement plans will change depending on the coverage and deductible you choose. For instance, lower annual deductibles will typically mean higher premiums and vice versa. When weighing your options, be sure to crunch some numbers and see what makes the most sense for your budget and situation.
6. Enroll Early
Pet parents often make the mistake of waiting until their pets are older and start experiencing health problems before enrolling them into a plan. But it makes much more sense to enroll your pet while they’re still young and healthy if possible. This way you will avoid limitations due to pre-existing conditions that are common with older pets. And, similar to human health insurance, premiums tend to be higher with older pets.
7. Downgrade Later
We advise our customers to get the absolute best coverage they can afford in the beginning because over time premiums will most likely rise. This will happen for a few different reasons such as inflation, your pet getting older and rate adjustments based on the company’s actuarial data.
When and if the premiums get out of your financial comfort zone, you can easily downgrade your coverage to lower your monthly premium. Most providers will allow you to do this without any penalty so be sure to ask.
However, if you go with a cheaper policy now that offers a low premium and need to upgrade coverage, your pet may be subject to underwriting again. This means that any conditions that were previously diagnosed and/or treated (even while insured) will most likely be considered pre-existing and won’t be covered after the upgrade.
8. Ask Questions
It’s important to know as much as possible about your policy before enrolling so you are not met with any nasty surprises in the future. Here are some questions you may want to ask potential providers:
- When will coverage actually begin? (It’s usually 14-30 days after sign-up)
- Do they make payments to the vet or reimburse you at a later date?
- Will they pre-approve (certify) all claims? (this is important to know before giving go-ahead for major treatments and surgeries)
- Does the provider conduct a medical review (history) of your pet before enrolling you?
The more questions you ask, the more confident you will feel.
A pet health insurance plan could mean the difference between spending many more years with your fur baby, or having to say goodbye suddenly and unexpectedly. While there is cost involved, policies offer peace of mind and allow you to give your pet a better quality of life.
If you’re ready to start shopping for plans, get a free insurance quote today from the country’s best pet insurance providers.