How Pet Insurance Works
It is common for Pet Insurance to have a waiting period between when you buy your policy and when illness coverage begins. For accident coverage, the waiting period is usually a few days. Insurers will require your pet to get a check-up before your coverage kicks in to establish any pre-existing conditions.
What You Need to Know
Deductible: The money you have to pay towards a bill (either per year or incident) before the insurer pays. Ranges from $0 to $1,000.
Reimbursement level: After the deductible is paid, the percentage of the bill that will be reimbursed by the insurer. Usually 50% through 100%.
Annual max: The maximum amount your insurer will pay in medical bills each year. Any charges incurred above the max will be paid out of pocket.
Standard pet insurance will cover most accidents and illnesses, but insurance providers will exclude some common things. Not all illnesses are covered by pet health insurance plans, so you should read the fine print before you buy. Here are the most common exclusions:
- Dental disease
- Pre-existing or hereditary conditions
- Behavior issues
- Routine check-ups, preventative care
- Hip dysplasia
Here are some factors about your pet that insurers use to calculate insurance premiums, apart from your coverage level:
- Species. Dogs cost more to insure than cats, with male dogs having the highest premiums and female cats the lowest.
- Breed. Larger pets generally cost more to insure because they tend to have shorter life spans and develop more health issues.
- Age. Younger pets are cheaper to insure, as they usually have minimal health issues in their early years.
- Location. Premiums vary according to state and zip code, with more densely populated areas carrying higher insurance costs.