Knowing what to look for and comparing options helps you pick the right pet insurance policy.
Thinking about pet insurance policies is as much fun as watching paint dry. And the thought of actually narrowing down policies and picking one…well, let’s just say that you’re not eagerly anticipating that task.
Comparing pet insurance rates can be a hassle, and because of this, many people chose to forgo it altogether. You want to get the best deal, the right price with the right features. But you also know that it’s not all about getting the lowest price; after all, when you look a little deeper, you often realize that what you see isn’t always what you get. There’s homework involved in any big ticket purchase or long term commitment, which includes insurance for our pets.
Perhaps you’ve heard stories from pet owners who have paid premiums for years, but were declined when they needed to make a claim. It isn’t necessarily the insurance providers fault; most likely, it was because they didn’t take the time to read up on what was (and wasn’t) covered under their plan.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind before choosing a policy.
Know the type of coverage you need for your dog. If you don’t need anything other than basic coverage, don’t sign on for all the unneeded extras that would go to waste, such as overseas coverage or third-party liability.
What are that company’s veterinary fee levels? Does it save you any money long term and how much extra will you have to pay to cover the difference? Watch for co-insurance elements on the policy that require you to ensure your pet up to a minimum level.
Do you understand how your premiums will be calculated? Of course, the type of coverage will factor into it, but not all insurance providers use the same formula to determine your premium. Criteria can include the type, breed and age of your pet. As well, your zip or postal code will make a difference as vet fees are usually higher in urban versus rural areas.
Read the Fine Print
ALWAYS read the fine print. This is where you’ll learn if there are time restraints of any type. It also includes if the coverage covers consultations, examinations and tests as well as breed-specific ailments that may be declined down the line. Also, if your vet puts your pet on a special diet to deal with a condition, can the food be claimed on your policy? And are you covered for accidental damage?
These days, we all need to make our money go a little farther, and we can’t afford to shell out hard earned bucks on a service that doesn’t match our needs. But don’t let all the options available intimidate you into forgoing pet insurance.
Thank goodness for the Internet! Pet parents can use this tool to help do some of the leg work by comparing pet insurance policies and prices for you, such as PetInsuranceQuotes.com. This website will ask what you’re looking for and show you a list of coverage options available as well as plans and quotes in a couple of seconds.
Sites like this are free of charge, and let you tap into plans offered by all the reputable insurance companies. By comparing policies side by side, you’re able to choose a plan that’s perfect for you and save money.
If you’re serious about pet insurance, don’t put it off until it’s too late. Use a pet insurance comparison tool to help narrow down your choices and put you on the right path for a healthier future.
Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.