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Pet Insurance 101

  • October 29, 2012
  • 4:04 pm
  • 1 of 2
Pet Insurance 101

In addition to public speaking, most people share a fear of the unknown. And let’s face it—it’s a valid concern because none of us can predict the future. That is why we invest in insurance—to protect us when the unknown becomes reality. We purchase insurance policies to protect our houses, our cars, and our most treasured belongings. We carry health insurance to guarantee proper medical attention when we are sick or injured.

Given that our pets are integral members of the family, it is no surprise there are numerous companies extending similar coverage to protect our companion animals. Why is it then, a national estimate reveals only 1 percent of people with pets in the U.S. have their four-legged friends insured? According to our most recent reader survey, the top three reasons people do not have pet insurance include: not thinking they can afford it; not understanding how the coverage works; and not perceiving it as a value for their pets.

All of these concerns may be due to a lack of accurate information on the subject. Let’s approach this one issue at a time.

Understand the Basics

Gathering information is the first step. Reading and understanding the fine print is a must. Your pet’s health is too important to skim pages or be shy about asking questions. It’s quick and easy to get a quote either online or on the phone. You should do some comparison-shopping—so we recommend getting a minimum of three quotes. Some important factors to consider include: whether or not the plan allows you to choose your own veterinarian/specialist, what exactly is covered and what is not, how a claim is submitted, and what are some of the available discounts (being in the military, therapy dog certification, etc.).

How Does Pet Health Insurance Work?

1. Do your research. Read through the entire plan.
2. Sign up via internet or phone.
3. Visit your veterinarian and pay for treatment.
4. Submit a claim to cover the costs.
5. Receive a reimbursement check.

When reviewing different policies, it can be difficult to compare “apples to apples” because companies may offer unique, customizable plans depending on what you’re looking for. Always read the fine print to learn exactly what a specific plan requires and entails.

Next: What’s covered with pet insurance?

  • 1 of 2

Read more: Cats, Dogs, Everyday Pet Care, Pet Health, Pets, , ,

By Brendan Quealy for TAILS

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TAILS is an interactive website, online community, and print magazine that celebrates the relationship between pets and their people. TAILS features expert knowledge, advice, pet product reviews, local resource guides, community event listings, and fun contests to promote and encourage people to live responsibly with their pets.


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9:52PM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

How Does Insurance Work?

Just like any insurance. Read the policy, re-read it, ask questions. Policies vary widely, so don't rely on anything you read here. You can get a policy that covers everything - just as with human health insurance - opt for a catastrophic-only type of policy, etc. Be sure you look at the annual and lifetime limits!

11:49AM PST on Nov 11, 2012

thanks for sharing :)

7:51PM PST on Nov 10, 2012

Thanks for all the information.

6:44PM PST on Nov 9, 2012

I don't think pet insurance is worth it.....I looked into it & decided against it. Maybe Obama will pass Obamacare for pets..lmao.

5:33AM PST on Nov 5, 2012

I researched pet insurance when I adopted my cat about a year ago and ultimately decided against it. I did not find any plan that covered preventative care or vaccines. Many had lots of limits and exclusions. What ended it for me was that most only provided reimbursements (if approved) meaning I would still have to pay the vet bill up front. Better plan: open a savings account and put the money you would have paid in premiums into it. It will be there whenever your furry child needs it.

9:41PM PST on Nov 4, 2012

Thanks good info even tho I live in Australia

7:43AM PDT on Nov 3, 2012

I agree with those who think this is a bad idea. These ins. companies simply DO NOT PAY!
And I have to wonder about the future of people ins. if the Pubs get into office.
As it is, I couldn't cover ANY of my pets when this first came out. I always adopt older animals and they won't cover any animal over the age of 7.

8:10PM PDT on Nov 1, 2012

ALL members of a FAMILY should be insured.

10:41AM PDT on Nov 1, 2012


7:02AM PDT on Oct 31, 2012

Thanks. Always protect your pets.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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