FAQ: Pet Insurance Simplified
It’s a jungle out there. Pawlicy Advisor is here to help you navigate the pet insurance marketplace. These are the most common questions we get:
What is the purpose of pet insurance?
Pet insurance helps you cover the costs of veterinary care, ensuring that unexpected pet expenses will not cause you financial hardship and you’ll be more likely to accept your veterinarian’s treatment recommendations.
How does pet insurance work?
Pet insurance works at any licensed veterinarian. You send your bill to the insurance company after treatment and your insurance company reimburses you for the cost of care based on the coverage you selected. Some insurance companies have an optional claims feature called Vet Direct Pay. This allows the vet to be paid directly so you don’t need to pay upfront.
All insurance plans include three key coverage values:
Deductible: this is the amount of money you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket annually before the insurance company will start covering Givenchy’s medical bills.
Reimbursement rate: this is the percentage of the total medical expense that the insurance company will reimburse after your deductible is met.
Annual coverage: this is the maximum amount an insurance company will pay out after your deductible is met.
To walk through an example, let’s say your pet had a $10,000 medical bill because of cancer treatments and you had an unlimited coverage plan with a $500 deductible and 80% reimbursement. You would pay the first $500 (deductible) out of pocket. The insurance company would cover 80% of the remaining $9,500 expense, or $7,600.
What options are available on the market?
Wellness-only: plans cover a portion of your checkups, annual vaccines, and routine care.
Accident-illness: plans cover treatments for diseases, scrapes, fractures, infections, and most other unexpected accidents or health issues. Diagnostic tests, surgeries, and in-hospital stays are also covered for accidents and illnesses.
Accident-illness with added wellness: plans cover all of the above.
How much could I save over my pet’s lifetime?
This depends on the life expectancy of your pet—which can range from six to over twenty years depending on the type and breed—the health conditions that could arise, and the insurance coverage you choose. It is possible to save tens of thousands of dollars if your pet comes down with a serious condition. Most importantly, insurance covers unforeseen expenses so you don’t have to worry as much about caring for your pet in a time of need.
How do I know if my veterinarian is in-network?
With pet insurance, you never have to check if a licensed veterinarian is “in-network” because there are no networks. After your visit with a licensed veterinarian, you can send your itemized receipt to your insurance company for reimbursement of covered conditions.
What issues are considered pre-existing conditions?
Health issues or injuries diagnosed before you enroll in insurance are considered pre-existing conditions. If your pet’s breed is more likely to develop a chronic condition, you will want to get them insured early, when they are young and healthy.
I have an older pet. Can I still get my pet insured?
Pawlicy Advisor searches our pet insurance partners’ websites to find insurance plans that will accept your pet, even if they have pre-existing conditions. You can sign up for Pet Assure, a veterinary discount program. Just let the veterinarian know you’re enrolled, and you won’t have to file claims.