How Does Pet Insurance Work?
If you’re anything like us, your fur babies are just like your children. You worry about them when you’re away from them, you feed them the best quality food to ensure they’re healthy and strong, and you take them to the doctor when they get sick. Pets in your household hold a special place in everyone’s heart, and they receive the same commitment to their care and well-being as everyone else in the family.
However, just like human care, going to the vet can get expensive depending on what type of care is needed. Just as you have insurance for yourself and your children, you can also get insurance for your pets.
You may be asking yourself: how does pet insurance work? Well, the short answer is that it works like human medical insurance, although it’s a lot less complicated.
Pet Insurance Basics
Most pet insurance companies have several things in common:
- You usually pay a monthly premium.
- You have a deductible.
- You select a reimbursement level or co-pay percentage.
- You can go to any licensed vet.
- You pay your vet first, and then you’re reimbursed by the insurance company after filing your claim.
When it comes to insurance, you should do your own research to make sure you get coverage that financially protects you when it’s most important. For example, insurance that covers a $50 wellness exam, but only pays $500 of a $3,000 surgery, doesn’t really benefit you.
Pet Insurance Steps
We like to know the basics of pet insurance because it’s important. But, let’s get back to the main point of this article. How does pet insurance work? It’s pretty simple, and it can be broken down into three steps.
Step 1 – Get Treatment
If something happens, and your fur baby needs medical care, take them to the vet.
Step 2 – File a Claim
Each company has its own process for filing claims, but typically you can download the claim form from the company’s website, fill it out, and send it in with the receipts from the vet office.
Step 3 – Get Reimbursed
Most pet insurance plans have different levels of reimbursement that you can choose from, depending on the amount you’re willing to spend each month. Once you submit your claim, the insurance company will reimburse you within five to 14 business days.
It’s not a complicated process, but you should make sure you choose an insurance company that will really take care of you and your pet.
Questions to Ask About Pet Insurance
As you’re looking for pet insurance, there are some questions you should ask to make sure you find a company that meets your needs.
Can you use your current vet?
Good pet insurance companies do allow you to use any licensed vet in the United States, and some will even cover visits in Canada. That way, if you’re traveling with your pet, and something happens, you can still file a claim.
Do insurance companies reimburse what the vet charges?
Yes, in most cases. There aren’t any benefit limits or extra fees, but the reimbursement amount depends on the level you chose from the beginning. Typically, you can choose reimbursement amounts of 80%, 90%, and even 100%, but these levels will affect your monthly premium.
Will you have to pay extra for hereditary, congenital, or chronic conditions to be covered?
In most cases, the answer to this is no. If it’s not, then you should look into other pet insurance companies.
Are pre-existing conditions covered?
As with most insurance companies, pre-existing conditions are not covered. You may come across the rare insurance company that will cover pre-existing conditions; however, make sure you read the fine print.
Does the policy cover routine care?
Here’s where you have to be careful: some insurance companies will cover routine care, but they won’t cover much for major incidents such as surgery. The best pet insurance companies don’t cover routine care because they are designed to cover the expensive care options.
So, how does pet insurance work? It works by getting your pet the care they need, taking the receipts and filing the claim, and then collecting your reimbursement. Pet insurance is something you should consider if you want your pet, and your wallet, to be protected against unexpected events. Like your kids, pets can have accidents or fall ill, and those unexpected expenses might cause problems for your family. Look into pet insurance to help prevent those problems, and to make sure your fur baby gets the care they need.
Here’s our FAQ page, if you have more questions regarding pet insurance.