Pet insurance can be confusing but we’re here to answer the common questions about pet insurance. Our video on pet insurance is one of our most viewed and we get a lot of questions so I felt it was worth revisiting to help you navigate the world of pet insurance. If you did not watch our first video, go watch it first.
Here are the most commonly asked questions:
Do they cover preexisting conditions?
No. If a health issue has already been diagnosed with your dog or cat, they will not cover it. Usually, after your first claim, they will request all past veterinary records and base their decision on what is covered from those records. There are some companies out there such as PetAssure, that will pay towards pre-existing conditions. For PetAssure your vet must be in network. This is not the same as insurance.
Is there a wait time?
Yes. There is a wait time before coverage starts, generally 30 days. Some companies offer gap coverage which covers any health problems that arise from the time you get your pet until your normal policy begins. If you are offered this, take it!
Which is the best company?
This is probably the most common question about pet insurance. Each company has a slightly different policy that appeals to different people. Research them to find the one that is best for you. Check with your current home, rental, auto, or other insurance company to see if they offer pet insurance as well. Companies like Progressive and State Farm have pet insurance programs that you can get a discount on if you have other services by them.
Do they cover 100% of costs?
Generally no. Most pet insurance policies cover 90% or less of the cost of your veterinary expenses. There are policies that offer less coverage for a lower cost, which is more affordable for some people.
Do they cover preventative care?
Generally no. Normal preventative care, including dental care, is not covered under most policies. Again, companies like PetAssure work for preventative care as they are not insurance and more of a discount card. Think of it how GoodRx works for humans.
Do costs increase over time?
Yes. Generally, the premium for a policy will increase each year as your pet ages.
How do the veterinary bills get paid?
Unlike human policies, veterinarians do not submit bills to insurance. You pay the veterinarian and then you submit the invoice to the insurance company for reimbursement. If you do not have the money upfront, some programs like Care Credit can help bridge the gap until you get reimbursed.
Overall I highly recommend pet insurance for any people who do not have the disposable income to be able to pay out of pocket for large veterinary expenses. It is a terrible thing to have to decide between your pet’s care and our finances. Avoid that situation if possible!