Your Guide To Choosing The Best Pet Insurance
Pet insurance is used as a safety net to help protect pet parents against unexpected costs. The most obvious reason to have insurance on your cat or dog is to cover veterinary bills; however, for some it can seem like an unnecessary expense. So how much will it cost, what should a good policy include, how can you get the best deal on pet insurance?
Today we’re sharing out top tips for choosing the best pet insurance for your needs.
1. What you should expect to pay. The premium for pet insurance options that offer similar benefits can vary enormously. However, think in terms of $20 a month being the minimum for what the average person might call comprehensive coverage. Lifetime coverage starts at around this figure for a two-year old dog, although this depends on the type of dog and its age when insured. Anything more and there is probably a good reason. If you are paying much less, you might find that the coverage contains more restrictions.
2. Be aware of age restrictions. Insurance companies know that older animals typically have health issues. Vet bills are inevitable and can be expensive, especially in the diagnosis and treatment of a serious or chronic condition. Some pet insurance terminates when a dog reaches 10 years of age – remember that the most expensive care is usually provided in the last years of life.
3. Know what vet fees are covered. Most people probably think $2,500 to cover vets fees is more than enough. Unfortunately, with many ailments this is inadequate and is certainly more likely to be so 10 years from now. A significant number of insurers now offer a limit for vets’ fees. Some say this is the minimum as the fees are increasing well above the general inflation rate.
4. Be aware of policy excess amounts going up. Some providers keep their premiums low, but instead significantly increase the excess for vets’ fees as your pet gets older. This excess can be a percentage contribution toward the cost of treatment – typically 20%, but some are higher.
5. If you make a claim for particular items, some policies will exclude coverage if you make the same claim the following year. Even with the best pet insurance, along with the premiums going up, policy terms and conditions can change as your pet ages. Standard monthly paid policies will usually exclude any condition for which a claim has already been made.
6. Don’t get caught in bill inflation. Your premium may go up to reflect the increased cost of claims as well as the greater chance of claims occurring. Vets fees have been rising well above the rate of inflation. This simply reflects the huge range of treatments now available.
7. Determine how much your premiums are likely to increase in the future. Think carefully before signing up for what you think might be the best pet insurance policy just because of an initial special offer or discount. These discounts may only apply for the first year of coverage, and then revert to the full price next year and for the following 12 years. To get a better idea of value in the market place, get several online quotes using different pet ages. This will give you a better idea if your prospective provider is likely to continue to offer you good value in the future.
8. Be clear about dog breed coverage restrictions. There are known issues with certain breeds such as hip dysplasia with German Shepherds and the shorter life of giant breed dogs. This should be reflected in the terms and conditions of any policy you are offered. The providers may only offer coverage for unexpected costs and not inevitable payments for inherited disorders.
If you have questions about how to choose the best pet insurance for your situation, please don’t hesitate to stop by or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!