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?