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What to Know When Buying Pet Insurance

Getting pet insurance is a great way to ensure that you’re covered in the event that something should happen to your furry best friend. Vet bills can add up quickly, especially in emergency situations, and having pet insurance can give you peace of mind that you are covered if you need to be.

While only 4% of dog owners and 1% of cat owners carry pet insurance policies, a large number of those that don’t say it’s because they don’t understand what the policy covers and if it’s worth it. Read on below to learn what to look for when you’re shopping around for pet insurance so you can make a well-informed decision on whether this makes sense for you and your pet. 

Main things to look for:

Renewals: It’s a good idea to make sure that the insurance you choose will automatically renew at the end of each policy period as long as you pay your premium. You should also ensure that your policy can not be cancelled except for non-payment of premiums.

Stipulations based on health: It’s important that the coverage can not be cancelled based upon the health of your pet. It’s equally important to ensure that the policy can not be changed or have exclusions added on the renewal based upon your pet’s health.

Age: You should check to ensure the rates will not increase based upon the age of your pet.

Limits: Try and select a policy that has no lifetime coverage limits on what the policy will pay out for your pet. It’s also a good idea to check the annual/yearly coverage limits. These can range from $5,000 to unlimited and given the cost of veterinary care and surgery, the higher the coverage, the better.

Veterinary bill coverage: Some insurances will reimburse a percentage of the actual veterinary bills, and these can make a huge difference. The reimbursement percentage you select will affect the amount of your premium and these typically range from 60% to 90%.

Reimbursement caps: Check to see if there are veterinary / test / procedure benefit / fee / reimbursement caps or limits included in the policy. You do not want a policy with a usual and customary charges table to cap what they will pay for covered services.

Deductibles: Check to see if the deductible is paid one time a year or one time per incident. Some companies, like Trupanion, require a deductible to be paid only one time per condition or type of illness for the life of the pet. Others, like Healthy Paws, require a one-time annual deductible. Each has their own benefits depending on if the illness is chronic or if there are many one-time conditions.

Chronic illnesses: You’ll want to check the coverage of chronic illnesses and hereditary conditions such as hip dysplasia. Many policies do not cover any condition or disease that affects both sides of the body like bilateral conditions, as they deem that to be a pre-existing condition.

The North Shore Injury Lawyer

As an avid dog lover, weekly volunteer, continuous sponsor, and Pro Bono attorney for Last Chance Animal Rescue, Mark T. Freeley, the North Shore Injury Lawyer is an attorney who cares about the wellbeing of pets. With over 30 years of experience dealing with insurance companies, you can count on Mark to help you navigate the ins and outs of pet insurance policies. If you have questions about how to make the right decision for you and your pet when selecting the best pet insurance or if you have questions regarding a potential case, give Mark a call today at 631-495-9435.

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