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What To Look For When Buying Pet Insurance
If you’ve been shopping around for pet insurance, there’s a very good chance that you’re feeling a bit confused. That’s because there are more pet insurance companies than ever to choose from, each offering their own range of coverage. If you’re wondering what to look for when buying pet insurance, keep reading.
How to Shop for Pet Insurance
As a pet parent, selecting the right pet insurance policy can be a daunting task. You want to be certain you have comprehensive coverage that will take care of your fur baby in their time of need, but also be affordable for you on a monthly basis.
Here are some tips on how to shop for pet insurance:
Know Your WHY
Every pet parent has their own reason for getting pet insurance. Your specific reasons will dictate what kind of policy you’re looking for. That’s why your very first step when shopping for pet insurance should be to know your why.
For example, if you want to be 100% sure you can always say yes to life-saving treatment, no matter the cost, you’ll most likely want to look for comprehensive coverage that will help you avoid catastrophes.
Then there are those pet parents who want to be able to pursue all kinds of veterinary care, beyond the life-saving stuff. They’ll want to look for a policy that covers a wide range of treatments that includes traditional care such as surgeries and chemotherapy to alternative therapies like acupuncture and hydrotherapy.
And then there are those pet parents who want a bare-bones plan that will cover just accidents/injuries. No bells and whistles, just insurance for those unexpected accidents.
So your buying journey really must start with fully knowing your WHY and going from there.
Compare Multiple Providers
Now that you have a firm grasp on the kind of coverage you’re looking for, it’s time to compare insurance providers. Find an easy-to-use comparison tool, like the one we offer, to do a side-by-side comparison.
In order to ensure the policy covers everything your fur baby might need, pay close attention to key coverage options, such as:
- Accidents and injuries
- Hereditary and congenital (present from birth) disorders
- Chronic conditions
- Behavioral issues
- Prescription medications
- Surgery and hospitalization
- Diagnostic testing
We should also mention it’s important to compare the coverage options against your pet’s breed-specific health risks. Some plans lack coverage for hereditary conditions in certain breeds, so you’ll want to take a close look at any exclusions.
It’s also a good idea to speak with your vet to fully understand the health risks your fur baby may be prone to as they age.
Take Note of Restrictions
We just mentioned exclusions but it bears repeating, ALL pet insurance providers will have their own set of limitations and exclusions and you’ll want to make sure you fully understand what is and isn’t covered before signing on the dotted line.
Specifically, pay close attention to:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Breed-specific exclusions
- Age limitations
- Waiting periods
- Maximum benefit amounts
- Deductibles and copays
We can’t talk about what to look for when buying pet insurance and not mention cost. The goal is to find a policy that offers you the coverage you’re looking for with a monthly premium you can comfortably afford.
There are a few variables that will have the biggest impact on how much you will pay out-of-pocket:
This is the overall price of the policy that will be billed either monthly (most common) or annually.
As with human health insurance, your pet insurance will require a set amount that you will need to spend before the coverage kicks in.
Annual or Lifetime Limits
Some pet insurance companies have a spending cap they impose either annually or throughout the lifetime of the pet. Anything above this you must pay out-of-pocket. Not all providers have these kinds of limits and it would behoove most pet parents to look for providers that do not impose any annual or lifetime limits.
To help offset the cost of insurance, some providers offer discounts such as multi-pet enrollment, policy bundles, active duty or veteran discounts and more.
Whatever comparison tool you use should be able to show you these numbers at a glance.
When it comes to cost, the best thing to do is look for those providers who allow some flexibility so you can customize your plan to fit your personal budget while still getting the coverage that matters most. Generally speaking, selecting a lower deductible will give you a higher monthly premium and vice versa. Likewise, the higher reimbursement rate you choose, the higher your premium and vice versa.
Play around with the numbers until you find a policy that will give you peace of mind without breaking the bank!
And finally, you want to go with a company who is there for you when you most need it. This means working with people who are responsive to your needs and make themselves available at all hours. After all, serious pet accidents and illnesses don’t just happen between the hours of 9 and 5.
Some things to consider;
- Hours of operation
- Contact options (phone, email, chat)
- Availability of customer service representatives
- Window of time to file a claim
- Optional filing methods
- Average time for claim reimbursement
- Ability to track claims online
You also want to read as many reviews as you can to get an idea of other pet parents’ experience with the company. To date, Pet Insurance Review has collected over 150,000 authentic reviews from real pet parents just like you!
What to look for when buying pet insurance? You’ll want to first understand your WHY, then compare providers to understand the coverage each offers. Be sure to take note of any exclusions or limitations, and see if you can customize your plan to fit your needs AND budget. If you do these things, you’ll be able to have peace of mind that you can comfortably afford.
And if you want to know the best companies, here are the top pet insurance providers in order based on over 150,000 authentic reviews from pet parents just like you:
Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024
Rating Provider Total Review 4.9 Embrace 10,254 4.9 Healthy Paws 7,432 4.9 Fetch 170 4.9 Lemonade 748 4.8 Trupanion 55,001 4.8 Nationwide 21,391 4.7 ASPCA 5,681 4.7 Hartville 164 4.7 MetLife 377 4.7 PetPartners 98 4.7 Spot 159 4.5 Pets Best 7,166 4.4 AKC 889 4.4 Figo 586 4.3 Pet Assure 12 4.3 Pumpkin 54 3.2 ManyPets 9
The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.
The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.
We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.