Navigating the new world of pet insurance can be frustrating. Usually, our own healthcare is a bit more streamlined — you pick out your plan from your employer, get your card in the mail, and your doctor handles the rest. When it comes to pet insurance, we have to do just a little more legwork, but the long-term payoff is more than worth it. Even if you could handle providing your pets with top-notch care without, having insurance to rely on for emergencies and for reducing the general cost can make budgeting easier for everyone. In fact, most insurance companies cover up to eighty percent of the health costs so long as it falls within their terms.
That’s why we put together this list to help explore some of the key data points you should be familiar with before you dive into finding the best pet insurance plan possible!
Upper Age Limits
This is a very important factor that can help you to determine the longevity of your insurance plan. This is a term referring to the age at which insurance will cover your pets up until. While not all pet insurance companies have an upper age limit, some are very rigid in that they won’t provide coverage to senior pets after they reach that age. Unfortunately, that is also when insurance will be the most useful to their family in providing them direct care.
If you are considering a provider that does have such limits, make sure that you can accommodate long-term savings for their later years.
A pre-existing condition is any long-term to permanent illness or disease that your pet may have acquired or been diagnosed with prior to activating your insurance. Exploring how different companies treat pre-existing conditions is an invaluable way to making sure that you can get the most out of the plan you purchase.
It also demonstrates why is it can be very beneficial to start pursuing pet insurance as early as possible and avoid any restrictions to the coverage. Not all pet insurance companies have the same strictures in place, however, which can make navigating this very simple if you know that outright for the company you are considering.
You will also want to make sure that the provider does not list any clauses that may limit coverage for hereditary diseases or ones based on genetic predisposition. This can include things like allergies, breed-specific skin conditions, or even some forms of cancer.
Term Maintenance Requirements
Some insurance plans will have guidelines for the routine care that you must upkeep. These are not only practical things that you should be doing anyway, they will help provide your pet the best health they can get and potentially save a considerable amount of money if they can detect an issue early.
These practices can be any of the following – or more – and can vary from provider to provider:
- Routine Labwork: Annual or semi-annual bloodwork can allow your veterinarian to keep a practical baseline on your pet’s organ function, and can alert them to anomalous changes which could indicate an underlying condition. Moreover, some medications will require blood panels to ensure that there are no negative effects.
- Vaccination Upkeep: There are some veterinary diseases that are outright devastating and highly contagious. You can ask any emergency veterinary professional what they think of Distemper or Parvovirus, and they can tell you of countless once vibrant pets that have suddenly succumbed to these terrible diseases — which are extremely contagious and require extensive cleaning protocols even at home. Vaccines keep your pets healthy and safe – and save countless puppies and kittens every day.
- Comprehensive Dental Care: Another potential requirement is routine teeth cleaning. This is a sedated procedure that will provide your pet with comfortable and healthy gums and teeth. Failing to practice this can result in losing teeth prematurely and lessening your pet’s quality of life.
Be sure to discuss any other potential requirements with an insurance agent before you commit, just to make sure you can have all of the bases covered.
Some insurance companies will require a wait limit after the first payment before you are able to begin making claims on veterinary invoices. Make sure that this information is clarified before you make any large plans for your pet’s care so that you get the most out of your plan. However, don’t delay if there is the care they need! Their well-being is more important than any saved cashed.
Thankfully, saving money is what pet insurance is all about. Being able to mitigate the large bills and know that you have security during an emergency can make all the difference when helping them to live the best life that you can provide. They look up to us for their care, we have to make it our goal to do all that we can — and this is just one powerful tool for us to use.