Final expense life insurance. Best Pet Insurance Companies Of December 2021 Forbes Advisor

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

What’s covered by pet insurance will depend on the type of plan you buy. Pet insurance plans are generally available in three varieties: Pet life insurance.

Accident and illness plans (the most common)

Wellness plans for routine care such as vaccinations, usually available as an add-on

Accident and illness plans generally cover injury or sickness such as broken bones, cancer, hereditary conditions and congenital conditions, and more. Accident-only plans cover only accident-related problems, like a broken bone.

You can add a routine wellness plan to many pet insurance policies. This will offset the cost of the annual vet wellness visit, vaccinations, heartworm treatment and other routine care costs that help keep your pet healthy.

Pet insurance may not cover pre-existing conditions, meaning conditions your pet had before the policy went into effect, including any waiting period. Ask whether there’s a look-back period so that conditions before the look-back period can be covered.

How to Find the Best Pet Insurance For You

Pet insurance plans can be hard to compare in an apples-to-apples way. Coverage, exclusions and pricing variations make it hard to calculate the potential value of each plan. Here’s how to find the best pet insurance for you.

Choose the best pet insurance plan type for you

Do you want a pet insurance that goes the extra mile every time, or do you want to hold down costs with an accident-only plan that won’t pay anything for pet illnesses? Or something in between?

Comprehensive pet insurance plans that cover a wide range of health-related problems plus wellness are typically the most expensive, but it might be worth considering if you want complete coverage.

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Pet insurance can generally be broken down into these plan types:

Comprehensive coverage. Sometimes called a “nose-to-tail” policy, this typically provides coverage for accidents and injuries, including serious or chronic illness, hereditary conditions, diagnostic tests, surgeries, treatments, and wellness, such as routine veterinary checkups and vaccinations.

Accident and illness coverage. This type of policy typically covers vet bills for accidents (like an ACL rupture) and illnesses, including common illnesses, hereditary conditions and serious illness (like cancer). You won’t be covered for wellness exams such as routine veterinary visits, flea and heartworm prevention, or vaccinations, but you can often add a wellness plan in order to get comprehensive coverage.

Accident-only coverage. This type of policy covers vet bills only if your pet is injured in an accident, and you won’t be covered for illness-related medical bills.

Pet wellness coverage. This type of plan covers wellness-related medical expenses, like routine veterinary checkups, flea and heartworm prevention, and vaccinations. You can often add wellness benefits to an accident and illness plan.

Find the coverage level you’re comfortable with

When you purchase a pet insurance policy, you’ll usually select an annual maximum, a deductible and a reimbursement level.

Annual maximum coverage: You’ll usually have a choice of an annual maximum payout level. This is the cap on how much the pet insurance plan will pay for the year. Many pet insurance plans offer choices between $5,000 and an unlimited payout. Choosing an unlimited payout will raise the premium price but you won’t have to worry about exceeding your annual maximum if your pet needs very expensive treatment.

Deductible: Choosing a higher deductible will lower your monthly pet insurance bill. Typical deductible choices are $100, $250 and $500. Once your deductible is met, you can submit vet bills to your pet insurance company for reimbursement. Trupanion offers a unique lifetime per-condition deductible: You’ll pay a deductible once for every new condition, without a reset every year.

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Reimbursement percentage: You’ll choose a reimbursement level when you buy the plan, and the lower the reimbursement level, the less you’ll pay in pet insurance premiums. The most common reimbursement choices are 70%, 80% or 90%.

Pet insurance discounts

Pet insurance discounts are a good way to save. Here are some common discounts:

Multipet discount. Many insurers offer a discount if you insure more than one pet.

Spay/neuter discount. Some insurers offer discounts to pet owners who have their pet spayed or neutered.

Annual pay discount. You can often reduce costs if you pay your annual premium in one lump sum.

Military discount. Some insurers offer discounts for military members and veterans.

Group discount at work. Some employers offer pet insurance as a voluntary benefit, which could get you a 5% to 10% discount.

Best Pet Insurance FAQ

A pre-existing condition is an injury or illness that started prior to your pet insurance coverage or during the waiting period. When you apply for pet insurance, the insurer might require a medical exam or medical records before enrolling your pet.

Life assurance plan

Some plans, such as ASPCA’s pet insurance, do not require a veterinary exam or medical records for enrollment. But injuries or illnesses that precede your enrollment date won’t be covered. For example, if your dog busted a paw after tumbling down the stairs in March and you enrolled in April, medical costs related to the injury won’t be covered.

You can get pet insurance for some pre-existing conditions. Some insurers will cover curable pre-existing conditions, such as an ear infection. For example, ASPCA’s pet plan will cover curable pre-existing conditions if there are no symptoms for 180 days (excluding knee and ligament problems). If the condition recurs after 180 days, it will be covered as a new problem.

Pet insurance is not limited only to cats and dogs. Some insurers sell pet insurance for birds and exotic pets like water dragons, turtles, potbellied pigs, rabbits, frogs and hedgehogs.

For example, Nationwide offers an avian and exotic pet health insurance plan. This plan covers eligible pets for problems like upper respiratory infections, eye infections, arthritis and internal parasites.

Not all exotic pets are covered. For example, Nationwide’s plan won’t cover venomous species, endangered or threatened species, hybrids of domestic pets, species that are kept in flocks or on display, or any species that is illegal to own by state or federal law.

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