As almost any dog owner will testify, emergency vet costs can be quite high, in many cases reaching up to $5,000 or more. When it comes to affording veterinary care, pet insurance helps by reimbursing you for the money you spend out-of-pocket on covered treatments.
While this financial assistance can certainly go a long way and ensures your pup can receive the critical care they need, at the end of the day, vet bills can still put a serious dent in your family budget. The question then becomes: Could you have more than one dog insurance plan as a way to maximize benefits and potentially receive two claim payouts? Does buying two pet insurance policies for the same dog pay off?
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Yes, you can have more than one dog insurance policy at the same time. However, similar to human health insurance, you cannot claim reimbursement for the same incident from multiple insurance providers. If you need to pay for veterinary treatment related to accidental injuries, illnesses, or emergency care, you will have to choose under which policy you want to make the claim.
Submitting a claim with two insurers is considered fraud. When filling in claim forms, your insurance company might ask if you have other policies that may reimburse the claim. Failing to disclose the existence of other policies is considered fraudulent information and can result in your claim being rejected.
No, buying two pet health insurance policies for the same dog is perfectly legal.
There are a few reasons why you might want to insure a dog twice. Perhaps you want to switch dog insurance but avoid a lapse in coverage. Keeping your existing policy while you wait for the new pet insurance waiting period to pass may offer a viable solution. The standard waiting period for pet insurance is 14 to 30 days for illnesses and between 24 hours and 15 days for accidents, depending on the carrier.
Or, it could be that one provider shines in its coverage for accidental injuries, while the other has a higher reimbursement rate that you utilize for costlier vet visits. In other cases, you may decide to keep an insurance plan because it pays for your dog’s ongoing medical issue that would likely be excluded from a new policy as a pre-existing condition.
Ultimately, having more than one pet insurance policy is not advisable because it means you’re paying double the premiums. In addition, many insurance companies will deny your claim if they find out that you have two policies to protect themselves from becoming a victim of insurance fraud. In that scenario, you’d end up paying twice the price for zero coverage.
Yes, you can switch pet insurance policies at any time. If you decide to do this, be sure to talk to your insurance company about the changes you want to make to your pet insurance coverage. Your provider may be able to decrease or increase coverage to meet your needs at little or no additional expense. As carriers usually provide multiple pet insurance plans, you should also consider changing your insurance plan while staying with the same carrier.
If you have multiple dog insurance policies and would like to cancel one of them, the process is fairly straightforward, but you'll need to check your provider's instructions. Every pet insurance cancelation process is different; not only does it vary by carrier, but also by program. In many states, you can receive a 100% refund if you cancel within the 30-day cooling-off period, so long as you have not submitted a claim.
Keep in mind, you can’t just stop paying your monthly insurance premiums and expect your plan to be canceled; you will need to submit a cancellation request via your provider’s preferred channel of communication. Some companies like Figo require you to cancel with a written notice, whereas others like Nationwide offer multiple options for cancellation, such as sending an email, calling their customer support, writing a letter, or using your Nationwide Pet Account settings.
You should also find out if there are any penalties, such as a cancellation fee, if you are changing providers in the middle of your term. Luckily, most pet insurance companies allow you to cancel your policy at any time as long as you provide proper notice.
If you do find out that you’ll be charged a fee for canceling before the end of the insurance period, it might be wise to wait until your policy comes up for renewal. Generally, the best time to switch providers is about a month before current coverage ends, so you can prevent gaps in coverage and avoid paying for more than one dog insurance plan at the same time.
If you are the owner of more than one dog, multi-pet insurance can be more cost-effective and more manageable than taking out separate policies for each one of your pets. Pet insurance for two dogs works in the same way as standard pet insurance but provides coverage for multiple dogs under the same policy.
Multi-pet insurance discounts vary, but most companies offer some kind of incentive for enrolling more than one dog or cat. Here are several insurance providers with multi-pet discounts that we recommend:
Use the Pawlicy Advisor search tool when shopping around to see what discounts you can get for insuring multiple dogs through a single insurance carrier. We can help you find cheap dog insurance rates for every member of your pack.
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Kari Steere is a licensed P&C insurance agent in all 50 states and has focused entirely on pet insurance since 2019. As an animal lover with a rescued Terrier named Barry, when she's not helping pet owners find the perfect plan on Pawlicy Advisor, she runs a ranch in Oregon and rehabilitates any animals that come across her path.