Frequently Asked Questions
We receive hundreds of questions about insurance from pet owners who are eager to make sure they are getting the best for their pet. Here are some we get the most often.
Regarding Pet Insurance
What Is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance helps you manage your veterinary bills so you can give your pets the best care possible.
Why Do I Need Pet Insurance?
The costs of veterinary care are rising rapidly, especially as more treatments become available for animals. With pet insurance, you can focus more on your pet’s care and less on the cost.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Pet insurance typically protects pets in case of accidents or illnesses. Because wellness care is so important to keep your pet happy and healthy, many pet insurance companies offer plans that includes vaccinations and check-ups.
How Much Does It Cost?
Most companies attempt to make pet insurance as affordable as possible. However, your cost will often depend on factors like the level of coverage you choose and the breed and age of your pet.
Using Your Plan
Are Insurance Plans Effective?
Although plans vary from company to company, with most plans, accident and wellness coverage tend to start the day your plan is effective. Illness coverage generally has a small waiting period, while hereditary and congenital coverage usually have a longer waiting period. You should be able to calculate your pet’s effective dates prior to enrollment using the company’s documentation.
What Are The Payment Options?
Payments can almost always be made by credit card or automatic check withdrawal. Companies usually accept payments on a monthly basis, although quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payment options exist.
Can I Pay Annually and Save?
Usually. Many insurance companies will waive minor fees if you pay for an entire year upfront. This option is not available with all plans and may not be available in your state.
Can I Use My Favorite Veterinarian?
Yes! We wouldn’t want you to have to change veterinarians. In fact, with our pet insurance, you can use any licensed veterinarian in the US or Canada, including specialists and emergency clinics. This way, your pet is also covered if you’re traveling.
How Do I Submit a Claim?
Submitting a pet insurance claim involves filling out a claim form and attaching any relevant itemized receipts. You may also need to get a signature from your veterinarian. These materials can then be sent to the insurance company either digitally or physically.
How Long Does It Take To Get Reimbursed?
Many insurance companies pride themselves on their quick turnaround on reimbursements. Some have a claims processing time of less than two weeks, and many have policies in place to ensure you get the money you spent back within a month or two. Some insurance companies offer online support that can help you track your claims easily.
What are 'Usual and Customary Charges?'
These are veterinary costs covered by your pet insurance plan and considered reasonable in areas similar to yours. Insurance companies use available industry and proprietary data to determine typical costs.
How Does the Deductible Work?
Say a pet insurance company has a $100 annual deductible per pet. Once you have paid out of pocket an amount equal to $100 for a single pet, then the insurance company will begin contributing coverage less any relevant coinsurance or copayments. On the other hand, some companies offer per incident deductibles that require you to pay a new deductible for every injury or illness. Many plans allow you to customize your premium with varying deductible amounts.
Can My Claim Be Paid Directly to the Vet?
Usually. Indicate as much on the relevant claim form, and your insurance company will send the reimbursement directly to the veterinary clinic.
Can I Switch My Coverage Level Later?
Depending on your plan, you may be eligible to change your base plan level of coverage after effectuating.
Can I Cancel My Pet Insurance Whenever I Want?
Most insurance companies allow you to cancel mid-coverage by contacting them. Alternatively, you can allow your policy to lapse due to nonpayment.
What Isn't Covered?
All pet insurance providers have some exclusions, which are treatments or conditions that are not covered. Be sure to read your policy thoroughly to know what is and is not covered.
What Happens At Renewal?
Many companies automatically reissue your pet insurance plan every year on your renewal date to ensure continued coverage without interruption. Any accumulators such as your deductible and amounts contributed to caps will reset, and some special cases regarding Continuing Care may need to be dealt with individually.
Can I Recieve Info By E-mail?
Almost always. In today’s digitalized world, it’s rare to find a company that does not allow you to choose to receive your plan-related communications online at a member center or through email. Going paperless saves time, effort and the environment. Contact your insurance company and ask if you can go paperless.
About Your Pet
What Are The Pet Insurance Age Requirements?
Insurance companies usually have a minimum age and sometimes have a maximum age. For instance, cats and dogs may need to be at least two months old before they are eligible for coverage. Also, pets nearing the end of their species’ average lifespan may not be eligible for coverage, or may only be eligible for limited coverage. Check your insurance provider to see what restrictions apply.
Will My Insurance Be Canceled When My Pet Gets Older?
It’s rare for an insurance company to drop pets simply due to age. However, it’s common for premiums to increase with pet age.
What If I Have More Than One Pet?
Some insurance companies offer discounts for having multiple pets with the same insurance provider.
What Are Pre-existing Conditions?
Very few if any pet insurance companies cover conditions that exist before coverage begins. New incidents of a pre-existing condition may be covered if 180 days have passed since it was cured and last treated.
What Are Chronic Conditions?
Ongoing or chronic conditions are often covered by Continuing Care. If this is the case, then your pet’s plan must have Continuing Care when the condition starts and during each year care is needed for the condition to be covered.
What Do Congenital and Hereditary Mean?
A congenital condition is one that is considered a birth defect, or a defect in growth development. A hereditary condition is one that may have been passed down from an animal’s parents or through the breed. Both congenital and hereditary conditions can show symptoms at any time during a pet’s life.
When Does My Continuing Care Coverage Activate?
Continuing Care covers ongoing conditions, which are conditions that need care across multiple plan periods.
Does Continuing Care Have a Deductible?
Almost always. Continuing Care reimburses based on usual and customary covered costs for chronic conditions with after you meet any relevant deductibles.