It’s no surprise that people are beginning to swarm to pet insurance. It saves you a bunch of money, grants you access to tons of vets, and most importantly, gives you peace of mind.
Yet, a lot of people are intimidated by the process of buying insurance. In reality, purchasing pet insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s a lot simpler than you might think.
However, with how new the market is, there’s a lot of uncertainty about how insurance policies for pets work. Today, we’re going to be answering your biggest questions about pet insurance. To learn more, read below!
How Much is Pet Insurance?
The most frequently asked question that we receive is, “how much is pet insurance?”
Since the objective of buying insurance is to save money, it makes sense to want a good deal on it. However, the cost of your insurance will ultimately depend on what kind of coverage you want.
The average accidents-only plan is around $16 a month for dogs and $11 a month for cats, whole the average accidents and illnesses plan is around $49 a month for dogs and $29 a month for cats.
This is a loose indicator of how much pet insurance usually costs. Keep in mind that there are customizable insurance plans that allow you to choose what services you want covered. These types of plans can vary greatly in price.
There are also riders that you can use to add coverage to an existing plan. These premium add-ons can tack on a few extra bucks to your bill every month.
What’s the Difference Between a Pet Health Discount Plan and a Comprehensive Insurance Plan?
With a pet health discount plan, you are charged a yearly fee. When you visit the vet, a percentage of certain services are paid for.
For example, a general wellness check might cost $100 typically. With a pet health discount plan, it might only cost $80.
With a comprehensive health insurance plan, your pet is covered almost in the same way that your own healthcare plan covers you. You pay a monthly fee in exchange for coverage of specific conditions or visits. The specifications of this coverage will vary, based on your plan.
For this type of insurance, you pay off a deductible, then the insurance pays for the rest. You must pay off this deductible before any benefits come in.
You will also be subject to a copay. This is usually 10-30% of your medical bill.
Do I Choose the Vet?
Most pet insurance companies allow you to choose your vet. However, depending on your plan, there may be some limitations.
For example, some companies offer discount plans that only give you access to a few vets in your area. In order to receive the discount, you’ll have to choose from one of those vets.
Besides this scenario, you will more than likely be able to choose your vet. Just make sure that there are vets in your area that accept that particular insurance.
What Are Waiting Periods?
When you first purchase an insurance policy, you will typically be subject to a waiting period. Your benefits will not kick in until this waiting period concludes.
It is essential to know when your coverage starts so you don’t take your pet to the vet when they aren’t covered. This simple mistake could end up costing you hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Every provider has different waiting periods. The length of your waiting period may also vary based on the condition of your pet.
Typically though, you can expect to wait about two weeks. For pets with chronic conditions, it can take several months.
What Are Exclusions?
If you’ve looked into some pet insurance plans already, you’ve probably ran into the term, “exclusions.” This term refers to the services that an insurance provider will not cover.
For example, if you see that a pet insurance brand excludes general wellness checks, that means that they will not pay for any portion of that service. You’ll have to pay for general wellness checks out-of-pocket.
A common exclusion you’ll find is for pre-existing conditions. Just like for human health care, most pet insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions or hereditary issues.
However, you may be able to cover these conditions with a rider, or a premium add-on to your coverage. If a condition is excluded that you wish to treat, talk to the plan provider and find out if there are any special cases you can pay for.