At Rockland Insurance, we know how much your pets mean to you. Pets provide comfort, friendship and unconditional love, which is why it is so important to take care of them and make sure you can handle any unexpected vet bills that may crop up.
Accidents, cancer, surgeries and other expensive treatments can quickly spiral out of control, leaving you with a tough decision to make. Pet insurance can help eliminate some of those costs and let you give your pet the best life possible.
A pet insurance policy will help cover medical expenses related to your pet and give you peace of mind knowing that you can handle any situation that may crop up for your pet.
We can help you find an affordable policy that provides the coverage you need at an affordable price. Following is an overview of pet insurance so that you have a complete understanding of what it does and does not cover as well as the various options available to you.
What Is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is simply insurance for your pet that will help cover veterinary costs if your pet is injured or gets sick. Costs vary depending on the type of pet, and breed but in general, expect to pay a few hundred dollars a year.
Once your pet is covered, most veterinary bills will be reimbursed although you will be responsible for a co-payment. In most cases, you will need to pay the entire bill upfront and then submit the claim paperwork for reimbursement to your pet insurance company.
Like most insurance products there are restrictions and exclusions to coverage and it is important to understand what is covered by your policy. We will discuss some common exclusions later in this article.
One of the main benefits of pet insurance is that it lets you take the cost out of consideration when deciding whether you can afford a major procedure in the event your pet is injured. Serious injuries can lead to serious vet bills and in some cases pet owners can simply not afford the cost and are forced to put their pet down. Pet insurance helps alleviate the cost concern when it comes to expensive procedures.
Major surgeries or illnesses such as cancer can quickly push vet costs into the thousands of dollars. As an example, radiation therapy can cost between $5,000 and $10,000 while surgeries can easy run between $4,000 and $6,000. If you cannot easily afford these types of costs, pet insurance is probably a good investment.
Be Aware of Exclusions
Like most insurance products, there are exclusions and restrictions to coverage and it is very important that you understand what is excluded from coverage. While the majority of illnesses and accidents are covered, there some common exclusions that include the following:
- Preexisting or hereditary conditions
- Dental diseases
- Behavior issues
- Routine check-ups, preventative care
- Hip dysplasia
The majority of pet insurance policies will exclude pre-existing conditions but some will cover a pre-existing condition if it is curable, but will exclude conditions that are incurable. All of this means that waiting until your pet is sick or in need of a surgery is too late for pet insurance.
Pet Insurance Details
Most pet insurance policies come with a waiting period for coverage to kick in which is designed to keep pet owners from purchasing a policy after their pet has become sick. The waiting period can vary and most policies also require a vet check-up to determine any pre-existing conditions.
When its time to make a claim you must pay the costs out of pocket and then file a claim to be reimbursed. The insurance company will then review the claim and if it is approved payment will be sent out to you. In most cases, a claim will be processed in a few days although it can take up to a week or more for more complicated claims.
The majority of pet insurance policies come with the following components:
- Annual Maximum: This is the maximum amount the pet insurance company will pay out in a year. You will be responsible for any bills that exceed this amount in any given year.
- Deductible: This is the amount you will have pay towards each type of claim you make. Deductibles can range from $0 up to a $1,000 in most cases. You can usually choose your deductible when purchasing the plan. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium but you will need to be able to cover the deductible amount if you make a claim so choose one that you can easily afford.
- Reimbursement Level: This is the percentage of the bill that the insurer will pay after you cover the deductible. This usually ranges between 50% and 100% and you can usually choose the reimbursement level when purchasing the policy. As with the deductible, the reimbursement level you choose will impact your premium.
As an example to help clarify how all of these components work together, lets assume you have a plan with a 100% reimbursement level, a $12,000 annual maximum and a $100 deductible.
If your pet was injured and it resulted in vet bills of $15,000 you would need to pay the $100 deductible as well as $3,000 because your policy has an annual max of $12,000.
What Factors Impact Your Premium?
In most cases, the three major factors that impact you premium are what kind of pet you are insuring, how comprehensive you want the policy to be and where you call home.
Choosing a low deductible and combining it with a high reimbursement level will result in lower out of pocket costs but it will also push up the cost of your premium. Many insurers also allow you to choose your annual maximum, which will also affect your premium. Choosing a high annual max will definitely increase your premium. Only you can decide which levels are right for you but we are happy to walk you through the various options available to you.
What procedures you choose to have covered will also impact your premium. Many insurers allow you to add endorsements to your policy that cover exam fees, prescription food and even routine check-ups, however, these endorsements will result in a higher premium.
A few other factors that insurers take into consideration:
- Breed: Large pets are often more expensive to insure as they have shorter lifespans and are more prone to health issues and disease.
- Species: Dogs tend to be more expensive than cats and male dogs are more expensive than female dogs.
- Age of Your Pet: The younger your pet, the lower the premium. Young pets usually have fewer health problems than older ones.
- Location: Where you live will impact your premium, urban areas usually result in the most expensive premium.
The Bottom Line
Pet insurance can be a financial lifesaver if your pet is seriously injured or becomes sick with an expensive disease. We can help you find the appropriate levels of coverage while keeping your premium affordable. We work with a variety of pet insurance companies and can help you find the right policy that fits with your budget.
Go to https://www.gorockland.com/pet... to get a quick and cheap quote.