How to Get Dog Insurance – 6 Things You Should Know

You never know when your dog meets a disaster as disasters are always a hand away from you. To save on expensive medical treatments, it is necessary to get your dog covered by an insurance policy- a reliable one that covers most areas of a dog’s health.

It may be sometimes tricky to choose the best policy but by considering various factors, you may be able to choose the right one.

Related: Average Dog Insurance Cost Comparison in the US

Considerations When Choosing a Policy

Pet health insurance is growing in demand as pet parents seek to take the best care possible for their furry friends and as veterinary care costs skyrocket with inflation.

Dog owners, in particular, benefit from pet insurance, as dogs are more likely than cats to sustain injuries or fall ill. This is because they’re more likely to socialize with other dogs at the dog park, on walks, or at doggy daycare. (Cats, on the other hand, tend to prefer to stay home.)

If you’re considering purchasing dog health insurance, keep reading to discover how to get dog insurance and what you should keep in mind as you find the policy that’s right for you.

What’s Covered

When choosing dog health insurance, you’ll want to ensure you know what the policy covers. Policy coverages will be outlined for you before you agree to make a purchase. Ensure that anything your pet may be prone to is covered, including ear infections, tooth decay, accidentally eating things he shouldn’t, and more.

What’s Not Covered

While looking into policy coverage, check the list for categories that your pet health insurance will not reimburse for. For many plans, things like preventative care, flea and tick meds, prescription medications, and pre-existing or genetic conditions are not covered. However, if you dig deeper, you are likely to find a policy or two that does provide the coverage you need for your beloved pet.

Monthly Cost

When you buy a pet insurance policy, you’ll need to pay a monthly amount, called a premium. The cost of your monthly premium will vary depending on:

  • Insurance policy coverages
  • Your deductible
  • Your reimbursement percentage
  • The age of your pet
  • And other variables

When determining how much premium you can afford to pay, consider how much money you’ll save in just one or two veterinary visits due to illness. You will likely recoup the cost of the premium very quickly, making it a worthwhile purchase in the end.

How Much You’ll Pay Out-of-Pocket

Now that you know how much you’ll pay each month with your premium, you’ll need to know how much you’ll pay per visit or per year with your deductible and with your reimbursement percentage. Deductibles can either be per-visit or per-annum, and you’ll have to meet your deductible before the insurance policy will reimburse you for the remainder of the amount.

Similarly, the reimbursement percentage is the amount that your policy will pay once the deductible is met. For example, if your vet bill is $1,000, and you’ve met your deductible, but your reimbursement percentage is 70 percent, you’ll need to pay $300 out of pocket to cover the veterinary bill. This means your policy reimburses you for 70 percent of the total bill.

How to File a Claim

Unlike human health insurance, for which your doctor’s office will file a claim to receive payment for services rendered, pet health insurance often requires you to file a claim using a claims form, and pay the full bill out of pocket in the meantime. Then, they review your claim form and send you a reimbursement check in the mail. But be sure to ask your veterinarian’s office whether they’ll file the claim for you or accept the reimbursement check on your behalf. Some of them do, particularly if they have an established relationship with the insurance carrier.

If your veterinarian’s front-desk staff will file the claim for you, that’s a bonus!

When You Should Purchase a Policy

The best time to purchase a pet health insurance policy is before you need it. This is because pre-existing conditions often are not covered – and if they are, your premium will be more pricey.

If your pet is already covered by insurance, you’re more likely to save the most money possible on veterinary bills over your pet’s lifetime.

When In Doubt, Ask Your Vet

Your veterinarian and their staff see a variety of pet patients all day long, and many of them likely are covered by pet health insurance.

If you aren’t sure which insurance carrier you should purchase a policy from, ask your veterinarian’s team which is most popular with other pet parents who visit their office. You also can ask family, friends, and coworkers for their recommendations and read reviews online.

Ask questions about whether they’re satisfied with their coverage, what providers are easy to work with, and if they raise the cost of their premiums each year. This will give you a good idea of disreputable companies to steer clear of, and pet health insurance carriers you can trust.

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