Just like humans, pets require regular veterinary care, some more than others, and pet health insurance can make this care more affordable. Since there are many providers of pet health insurance, pet owners should shop around for the best deal. There are several questions that should be asked of a pet insurance provider during this process.
Question 1: How much does the coverage cost? Pet insurance must provide an adequate level of coverage but also be affordable. The cost of accident and illness plans varies greatly. If a provider promises an extremely high payout, scrutinize the plan cost. In some cases, the coverage will be unaffordable unless the deductible is significantly increased. Request a free quote from each provider and compare costs in light of coverage level and deductibles.
Question 2: How experienced is the provider? An experienced provider usually has established connections required to provide the most comprehensive coverage at the lowest cost. Look for a provider with a high Better Business Bureau rating.
Question 3: What affects reimbursements? Some plans are limited by a benefit schedule and exclude the fee for a veterinary exam, while others reimburse a certain percentage of charges on the vet bill. When reimbursement is dictated by a benefits schedule, a fixed amount is paid per diagnosis regardless of pet treatments. Some plans feature a per-incident deductible that reduces the reimbursement for each illness or injury. Others have an annual deductable that applies regardless of the number of treatments.
Question 4: Is coverage available for wellness? Pet owners should use preventative care to keep their pets healthy. For a small additional cost, some providers offer coverage for spaying or neutering, an annual exam and dental cleaning, certain tests and vaccines, and heartworm and flea medication.
Question 5: What is the process that you and your vet must go through, per the coverage? In general, the pet may be treated by any licensed veterinarian. The vet receives payment when service is rendered and a claim is submitted to the pet insurance company for reimbursement. However, insurance companies may have subtle differences. Some plans provide reimbursement without a diagnosis, which can make a substantial difference when a cause of illness is difficult to determine. Some companies require the vet to complete or sign a portion of the claim form, while others do not.