Finding quality products for your dog that meet their needs and lifestyle is a priority for many pet parents. But when it comes to the array of pet insurance providers available, how do you decide? In your search for pet insurance, selecting a quality plan that is trustworthy, beneficial and adaptable is important. While pet insurance is something you hope you won’t have to use, it is vital to have a good insurance provider in the event that you do.
To help you start out on the right foot, we have outlined various components of a good pet insurance provider. Before committing to a provider, we encourage you to ask questions, research and compare plans to find one that will best align with you and your pup’s lifestyle. Your dog’s medical history, their age, common illnesses/conditions of their breed, your geographic area and your budget are just some of the factors you should consider before jumping into a plan with a pet insurance provider.
SHORT WAITING PERIOD
In your search for a pet insurance provider, you will typically find that many plans include a waiting period. This means that there is a certain period you must wait before the coverage provided by the insurance provider will begin. The length of a waiting period will depend on the plan – some are lengthier than others.
When you are looking for a good pet insurance provider, finding one with a shorter waiting period may be more beneficial, as fewer factors are hindering you from receiving coverage. Keep in mind, most pet insurance plans include a deductible that pet parents are also required to first meet before limiting your out-of-pocket expenses. Therefore, both a deductible and a waiting period can factor into the delay in coverage. Some providers will also have waiting periods for certain treatments (i.e., surgeries), so be sure to read this section of any plan with a close eye. If a plan does include a long wait time, any medical instances that occur during that time could be considered a pre-existing condition. This means any further treatments as a result of the same medical instance after the waiting period would not be covered.
While this is not to say that pet insurance providers with long wait periods are “bad” necessarily, but if waiting before any coverage kicks in is a concern for you and doesn’t align with your pup’s lifestyle and health background, look for a pet insurance provider that offers a shorter waiting period.
FLEXIBLE REIMBURSEMENT PERCENTAGE AND DEDUCTIBLE
The reimbursement percentage, which is the amount of coverage you receive, will greatly differ depending on the pet insurance provider. For example, if a plan offers 80% coverage, that means you would get reimbursed that percentage of the costs. This is, of course, after your deductible has been met.
A deductible is the amount of money you are required to pay before any coverage begins. For example, if you end up making an emergency vet visit and the bill totals $800, but your insurance deductible is $1000, you will not be reimbursed for a percentage of that bill. In this case, you would be required to meet that threshold of $1000 before the insurance would start covering a portion of the remaining care and treatment costs.
While there can be many factors that differentiate pet insurance plans from each other, the reimbursement percentage and deductible are the two components that can really set certain insurance providers apart. A plan that offers 100% coverage and a $0 deductible may sound ideal, but in reality, you want to find a provider that offers flexible plans that let you set the reimbursement percentage and the deductible in accordance with your budget.
A low deductible can mean a large premium you are required to pay month-to-month (or when you pay for the insurance coverage). Meanwhile, a low reimbursement percentage can also mean a lower premium, but may not be as beneficial if your pup does need a great deal of treatment. It is about finding that happy medium and the right balance of coverage for your and your furry family member.
While the idea is to receive a significant reimbursement percentage to prevent paying exorbitant fees for certain services, you still want to pay a premium that fits with your budget. A good pet insurance provider will provide a great deal of flexibility and options in this area.
POSITIVE REVIEWS AND REPUTATION
Most pet parents want the best for their pup. This is why it is important to look at the reviews and determine the reputation of the pet insurance provider before proceeding with them. A good pet insurance provider will not only have outstanding reviews but will provide the opportunity for pet parents to share their thoughts through this medium and have them visible for others to see. If there are any negative reviews, the insurance company should be replying to them with explanations or offers of additional support. Consider how they handle their customer service as you may need to reach out to the company for support and want to know you’ll be treated with respect and urgency.
Finding a reputable pet insurance provider may take some research, both online and with other pet parents, but you can likely narrow it down to a smaller selection with this information.
A QUICK CLAIM PROCESSING TIME
In the instance you ever need to turn to pet insurance to cover costs, you may need to pay out-of-pocket first before being reimbursed. As you are searching for pet insurance plans, take note of the claim processing time, as this will help you determine when you can get your money back. A pet insurance provider with a long processing time may not be the best choice if you have budgeting concerns. Meanwhile, a short processing time (i.e., 1-3 days) can offer you greater reassurance and motivation to continue with any treatments your pup may require.
Speaking of claim processing, a pet insurance provider with a simple claim filing process is also ideal. In the event your pup does require emergency treatment, the last thing you want to deal with is a difficult claim process. Determining the process ahead of time can save you headaches later.
GENETIC AND HEREDITARY CONDITION COVERAGE
If your dog’s breed is known to have certain medical conditions but your pup has yet to develop them, finding a pet insurance provider that offers coverage on genetic and hereditary conditions now may have your future self thanking you. Of course, this will vary depending on your dog, but finding a pet insurance provider that can offer this coverage can be very beneficial.
When selecting a pet insurance provider, you should take note of any exclusions they may have. Some providers will not provide coverage for dogs of a certain age or breed due to genetic and hereditary conditions.
CHOOSING A GOOD PET INSURANCE FOR YOUR DOG
With several providers to choose from and an even greater number of plans to compare, finding a good pet insurance provider for your pup may seem like a tremendous decision. However, it is all about determining where your pup is at their stage of life, what conditions or challenges they might face in the future and selecting a plan that best align with your budget.
We know keeping your dog happy and healthy is a top priority, and finding a pet insurance provider that will meet your dog’s needs is important. To help in your search, Dogtopia has worked with petted.com to create a handy comparison tool. Click here and simply answer a few questions, and it will find the best plan for you in seconds.