Health costs are rising for people and pets alike. To help combat the increasing costs having a quality insurance policy is very important. Through the years pet insurance has improved and is quite an attractive option for pet owners nowadays. Many of the policies provide decent coverage for routine examinations, vaccinations and typical procedures. However, where it can be quite useful when your pet may suffer a catastrophic illness or injury. Some policies do offer reasonable reimbursements. However, if you do commit to pet health insurance I would recommend purchasing it when the pet is still young as it may be difficult or very costly to cover an older pet. In addition, there may be preexisting conditions in an older pet which may disqualify it for certain coverages.
Which insurance company should you select? There are many companies to choose from and what degree of coverage would you like? It can be quite difficult to sift through all the legal jargon included in many pet insurance informational packets. After you do some research online and find a few companies you might like to work with, it is then time to dig deeper. Use this list of questions to find the level of care that is just right for you and your pet.
- Is the company licensed in your state? Which of their policies is available in your state?
- Does the company have a good reputation? What do the Better Business Bureau or other independent organizations say about it? How long has the company been around?
- Are the policies and information provided reasonably easy to understand? Are the people you talk to knowledgeable and helpful?
- Does the company offer customer service during reasonable hours?
- Can you see any veterinarian you want?
- Have premiums increased over the past few years? If so, by how much?
- What happens to coverage and premiums as your pet gets older?
- Are there any reasons you would not be able to renew your policy?
- What type of coverage and co-insurance does the policy require?
- Is there a "usual and customary charges" clause? How are those limits determined?
- What kinds of care are excluded or limited? Are congenital or hereditary diseases covered?What about cancer? Is dental care covered?
- Are conditions diagnosed within one year excluded as preexisting conditions the next?
- Are benefits available for wellness or preventative care for your pet?
- Can you choose a deductible? Can you change a deductible from year to year? Is the deductible annual or is it applied to each medical incident?
- Are the waiting periods before coverage begins reasonable?
- Is there a maximum age for enrollment?
- Are there limits per incident, per year, per lifetime, or per body system? What are those limits?
- Is a physical examination required for enrollment or renewal?
- How quickly are claims processed and paid?
- Are there any billing fees or discounts?
The list of 20 questions was provided in an article in a veterinary publication.