Does My Dog/Cat Need Pet Insurance?

January 21, 2021
Amber Van Denzen
Pet Insurance Atta Boy!

Choosing pet insurance? 6 Tips you Need:

Our four-legged friends are an important part of the family. Like our kids, pets also need medical care annually + in emergencies- and that is where pet insurance comes in. Pet insurance ensures the good health of your fur babies. From tooth removal to stomach problems, pet health insurance serves as a lifeline. So, investing in a pet insurance plan can save your cash in a crisis and for annual care, depending on your plan.

Let’s take a look at some important things to consider while choosing pet insurance for your cat or dog. 

Pet Insurance Atta Boy!

Atta Boy! Animal Care – Pet Sitting + Dog Walking

#1 – Enroll As Early As Possible 

During puppyhood or early after adoption, your pet is likely to have fewer diagnosed health issues. Many pet insurance plans do not accept pre-existing conditions. Apply for a plan prior to any emergency situations or changes in health history. Most policies have a minimum age and a maximum age that varies based on breed and species (generally max 7 years- ish).

#2 – Compare Several Insurance Providers

You would never select your car insurance just by going to one place, so do the same for pet health insurance company. Invest time to analyze the trustworthiness + policy specifics of the provider.

  • Go to their website
  • Read the testimonials
  • Check their customer support service
  • Ask your Veterinarian’s opinion

Now, there is a MASSIVE list of companies that now offer pet insurance- so do your due diligences. After we spoke to a few Lakeland and Florida Locals these are the top companies:

#3 – Select a Plan

There are different price plans based on the type of health care services you need or choose for your pet.

Regular health problems like constipation, checkups, and skin issues fall under a less expensive category.

Surgeries and Emergency may cost you more. Some of the best cost of return is plans that refund you for basic annual care such as vaccines, heartworm tests, etc.

Dental is also a whole other category. Dental cover is not always included in a standard plan.  Many policies include cover for dental treatment if your pet has an accident ( example: like hit in the fact and fractured a tooth). But, treatment for dental routine dental disease + dental cleanings is often only included on the most comprehensive, higher priced policies.

#4 – Read the Fine Print

An insurance policy may say the cover certain situations- but there may be limits or exclusions that could have a big impact on your reimbursements. For example, some providers cover prescription food but only for certain conditions or up to a limited amount of time. It would be disappointing to think you had this coverage and then discover that it runs out after a few weeks.

#5 – Check for the Waiting Period

Pet insurance often does not kick in until after the first 14 days of your policy, which is known as the “exclusion period” or “waiting period”. While this gives you the chance to change your mind about a policy, it also means that you won’t be able to make a claim during the first two weeks for an illness. Claims for accidents are often excluded for the first 48 hours- so don’t go to a local Lakeland Dog Park until after! Don’t try and buy a policy on your way to your Lakeland or Mulberry Veterinarians office for an emergency or medical issue- it won’t work. If the official start date of your policy is not clear, be sure to double check with your provider.

#6 – Lifetime vs Time Limited

Many companies offer lifetime policies, which allow owners to claim for a condition throughout a pet’s life after diagnosis while on an insurance policy. Lifetime insurance covers Veterinary fees up to the stated limit every year for the lifetime of the pets needs. This can be a good option if you worry about your pet developing a long-term or recurring illness. So long as you renew a lifetime policy each year ( and yes, price may increase), the level of vet fees will reset to the full stated limits that you started with.

With a time-limited pet insurance policies – a claim may only be covered until a certain amount of time only.

Example: You make a claim for a dog suffering from cancer and your insurer pays out, you will then only allowed to continue making claims relating to the condition for up to 12 months or up to your vet fee limit. After that, all cancer will be excluded from the policy forever.

Annual policies with Timed Limited Claims are likely to be cheaper than lifetime policies but can cost owners more in the long term if they have to pay for treatment that has been excluded.

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