When it comes to pet insurance for your dog, the best options depend on your pet’s specific health needs and your budget. In general, the more you pay in monthly premiums, the higher the reimbursement rate and coverage limit, and the lower the deductible. But what really sets apart one policy from another are the details outlined in the provider’s terms and conditions, which are typically found on their website and include information about the deductible, the annual limit, and the reimbursement percentage.
While it’s possible for a healthy dog to never get sick or injured, most pet owners want the peace of mind that comes with knowing their fur-children are protected from the high costs associated with serious accidents and illnesses. The good news is that most pet insurance plans offer affordable rates and a way to cover the costs of unexpected vet bills.
How Pet Insurance Works
While the specifics of pet insurance plans vary, most work similar to renter’s insurance. You pay a monthly premium and then your plan covers a portion or all of the cost of eligible vet fees. The deductible is the amount you are responsible for before the plan starts to reimburse you, and the maximum payout (also known as an annual limit) is the highest amount that your insurer will pay in claims during a given period.
Most providers have a waiting period before they’ll begin covering an accident or illness, usually 14 days. This is to ensure that you’re not insuring a pet for something that could have been prevented with routine wellness care or a vet visit. Hereditary or congenital conditions are also often subject to waiting periods, as well as dental care and alternative treatments (such as acupuncture and physical therapy).
Depending on the provider and the type of coverage you choose, your policy may cover a range of medical issues including dental work, hip dysplasia, behavioral issues, hereditary conditions, chronic diseases, and even cancer. Some providers have different policies for each type of condition, so be sure to research the coverage options carefully to make sure you’re getting what you need.
Lemonade, for example, offers a range of coverage for dogs with unique features such as the ability to submit a claim through an app and receive payment within minutes. However, it doesn’t cover some common injuries, such as cruciate ligament injury, and its most basic plan excludes hereditary conditions. It does, however, have excellent customer service and provides a useful cost comparison tool for its coverage offerings. Worth watching: Healthy Paws claims to process most claims within two days and is a top choice for many pet parents, but it doesn’t offer a wellness add-on and doesn’t cover exam fees, which can add up quickly. It also has a six-month waiting period for some knee and ligament issues. pet insurance for dog