Choosing a Pet Insurance Provider Tips

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How to find and compare pet insurance companies

Last month a Labrador puppy was carried into an emergency clinic at 3am. New to this world, he had internal bleeding from eating clam shells. The Labrador was in agony. Luckily the family had pet insurance to cover emergency X-Rays that without insurance would be $400.00 per scan, then life-saving surgery at $1,700.00, and recovery care at $250.00. The total bill without pet insurance would have been $2,350.00; the total bill with pet insurance $735.00.

Even routine healthcare visits can add-up. On average, owners spent per year $225.00 on non-emergency visits1. This amount can be reduced with a quality pet insurance company.

How to find a pet insurance company:

First, inventory lifestyle:
1. Age
2. Indoor or Outdoor
3. Working or Sedentary

Next, discuss health issues with your dog's veterinarian:
1. Allergies
2. Urinary, kidney, heart health
3. Eye sight, hearing

Then, ask for recommendations from veterinarians, friends, and colleagues, and search the world wide web.

Now you are prepared to compare. Draft a spread sheet to ensure all questions are covered with all contenders. Note - some pet insurers have age limits to qualify for coverage; your dog may have too many birthdays for coverage.

Make sure policies detail coverage of your concerns and that you understand those instances where your dog is not covered or can lose coverage.

Finally, relax knowing you did the right thing for your dog.

   
How do I tell if my plan is reputable?

Good pet insurance plans offer options.

The number of pet insurance plans has risen dramatically in recent years. One estimate found about 50,000 policies were offered ten years ago compared with nearly 400,000 policies issued in 2005. With so many plans out there, it's possible that some companies are not reputable. One way to decide if a company is a good choice is to ask whether they offer options.
You should be able to help 'design' your own coverage. For example, you can decide how much your deductible will be. That is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance begins to pay. Another option you might have is an add-on for a specific kind of coverage. That means you can pay a slightly higher monthly premium to have a specific type of covered added to your policy.
In general, more reputable companies offer options. Some companies may offer very low rates but not afford you any choices, so remember if a pet insurance plan seems to good to be true, you must research diligently to see if it fits your pet's needs.

   
How do I get a quote for pet insurance online?

Don't divulge personal information online

With the advent of the internet, it's now easy to find potential pet insurers online. Many companies also offer the chance to price insurance online based on a variety of factors. For example, you can fill in deductible amounts and other plan specifics and compare monthly costs.
However, these companies should NEVER ask you for personal information when offering a quote. You should never reveal your name, phone number of othe identifying information when obtaining a quote online.
Divulging this kind of information can lead to identity theft so remember, companies who ask for it before you are ready to buy should be considered less than reputable.

   
How do I know if a plan is reputable?

Ask Your Veterinarian About Pet Insurance

Your trusted veterinarian may be one of the best sources about which pet insurance to choose. Veterinarians deal with clients every day who have pet insurance so they are usually the first to hear about the ups and downs of any particular plan.
Ask your vet if he or she has heard of the plan you are considering. Has it paid claims according to the policy? Has your vet heard any bad comments about the plan?
Since pet insurance is a relatively new product, it's likely that some companies on the market are less than reputable. Talking to your vet may help you avoid choosing the wrong insurance company.

   
Do you know how to choose a pet insurance provider that's right for your pet?

How to choose a pet insurance provider that's right for your pet: four key questions you must ask

Asking these four questions can help you make a wiser choice about getting the right pet insurance provider for your pets.

1. How long has the pet insurance company been in business?
Remember that the longer a company has been in business need not always translate into better care. But it helps to know that a pet insurance provider that's been there for a long time is more likely to function efficiently. However there are other questions that you must ask.

2. What are the list of conditions for which the company offers protection?
This is very important. The more number of conditions covered, the better it is for you and your pet. Also, don't forget to look at the list of exclusions, conditions for which the pet insurance company will not pay.

3. If you have many pets, is there a special discount group pet insurance that you can take?
If you have six cats and four dogs, many pet insurance providers will create a neat discount group pet insurance plan customized just for you. But, don't forget to ask for details about the group pet insurance plan.

4.Does the pet insurance company allow you to choose your vet or do you have to go to the vet the company recommends?
If the pet insurance company asks you to consult only with their selected list of vets, that can sometimes be difficult for you to do. The reason being, that if the vet recommended by the pet insurance company stays 20 kilometers away from your residence, then it can be tough to rush your pet to the vet in an emergency.

   
How do I tell if my plan is reputable?

Good pet insurance plans offer options.

The number of pet insurance plans has risen dramatically in recent years. One estimate found about 50,000 policies were offered ten years ago compared with nearly 400,000 policies issued in 2005. With so many plans out there, it's possible that some companies are not reputable. One way to decide if a company is a good choice is to ask whether they offer options.
You should be able to help 'design' your own coverage. For example, you can decide how much your deductible will be. That is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance begins to pay. Another option you might have is an add-on for a specific kind of coverage. That means you can pay a slightly higher monthly premium to have a specific type of covered added to your policy.
In general, more reputable companies offer options. Some companies may offer very low rates but not afford you any choices, so remember if a pet insurance plan seems to good to be true, you must research diligently to see if it fits your pet's needs.

   
How do I get a quote for pet insurance online?

Don't divulge personal information online

With the advent of the internet, it's now easy to find potential pet insurers online. Many companies also offer the chance to price insurance online based on a variety of factors. For example, you can fill in deductible amounts and other plan specifics and compare monthly costs.
However, these companies should NEVER ask you for personal information when offering a quote. You should never reveal your name, phone number of othe identifying information when obtaining a quote online.
Divulging this kind of information can lead to identity theft so remember, companies who ask for it before you are ready to buy should be considered less than reputable.

   
How do I know if a plan is reputable?

Ask Your Veterinarian About Pet Insurance

Your trusted veterinarian may be one of the best sources about which pet insurance to choose. Veterinarians deal with clients every day who have pet insurance so they are usually the first to hear about the ups and downs of any particular plan.
Ask your vet if he or she has heard of the plan you are considering. Has it paid claims according to the policy? Has your vet heard any bad comments about the plan?
Since pet insurance is a relatively new product, it's likely that some companies on the market are less than reputable. Talking to your vet may help you avoid choosing the wrong insurance company.

   
Can I really find health insurance for my senior pet?

Choosing Pet Insurance for Senior Pets

Senior pets pose specific health challenges and concerns, and finding health insurance for them can be one of those concerns. Many companies do not offer coverage for pets over a certain age, but there are many plans just for seniors, too. Be sure to ask if there are limitations on coverage, and what kind of deductible the senior pet policy carries.

Pets are living longer lives, and more treatment options become available every day. To ensure a long and happy life, don't ask "why insure my pet?" Instead ask "How can I insure my senior pet?"

   
Why should I buy health insurance for my exotic pet?

Choosing Pet Insurance for Exotic Pets

Exotic pets take exotic treatments, and that can put a dent in your wallet. Luckily, pet insurance is available for exotic pets. What's more, pet insurance for exotic pets gives you the flexibility to use a veterinarian who is most familiar with the needs of exotic and unique pets. In fact, many companies now cover everything from birds to Seeing Eye dogs as part of their plans.

   
Why do I need pet insurance?

Do I Really Need Pet Insurance?

Many pet owners simply do not believe they need pet insurance. As a pet owner, having pet insurance offers peace of mind that you will do everything you can if your pet becomes ill or has a devastating accident. Pets are more a part of the family than ever before, and as cherished family members, they need health care just like any other family member, and that health care can be expensive. Pet insurance helps you take the best possible care of your pet, while your finances stay intact.

   
What is a pre-existing condition?

Watch Out for Pre-Existing Condition Clauses

Most pet insurance providers are quite open about not covering pre-existing conditions in any pet. Pre-existing conditions usually mean any kind of on-going health concern whether it is treatable or not. For example, if a cat is diagnosed with diabetes before her owner buys health insurance, then most likely the diabetes treatment and medication will not be covered by the pet insurance provider.

Some companies can be sticklers for when the disease was originally diagnosed. If you sign up for a policy, and a disease is discovered during the waiting period before the policy goes into effect, then the company may rule the disease was pre-existing and not cover it. There have been cases like this in the past, so ask questions about pre-existing conditions before you sign up with any pet insurance provider.

   
Why is pet insurance becoming so popular?

The Growing Popularity of Pet Insurance

Even a few years ago, pet insurance simply was not an option for most pet owners. However, more people are turning to pet insurance providers for a number of reasons.

First, pet care costs are skyrocketing, and pet owners need some relief from high veterinary bills. In addition, pet care has made dramatic strides in technology, diagnosis, and treatment and these all add dollars to the pet care bill. More animals can be treated and saved from illness and disease today, but it can be very expensive. So, pet insurance is becoming a necessity for pet owners who love their animals and will do just about anything to keep them healthy.

   
What are my options if my pet is turned down for pet insurance by a pet insurance provider?

Some Alternatives to Pet Insurance

So, you've checked out pet insurance providers, and found your pet is too old, has a pre-existing condition, or has a heredity problem that no pet insurance company will cover. Are you totally out of luck? No, there are some alternatives to pet insurance companies. Many insurance experts recommend setting up a "pet savings account" and paying yourself premiums every month, to use for your pet's health care. There are also pet HMOs, that provide discounted health care at selected veterinarians around the country. Many vets also offer "wellness" packages that give discounts on routine checkups, vaccinations, and the like. Check out all your options with your local veterinarian before you give up on health insurance for your pet.

   
Are there limitations on what is covered for certain dog breeds?

Compare Dog Insurance, Too

You may think, "Insuring my pet will be a breeze," but there are some things to consider when you're in the market for dog insurance. You should compare dog insurance policies very carefully to make sure your particular breed does not have any policy limitations. For example, breeds such as German Shepherds, who commonly suffer ailments such as hip dysplasia, have a limitation in most policies against hip dysplasia coverage. Others, such as Chinese Shar-Peis are only covered for accident insurance in many policies. Companies call these conditions genetic or hereditary, and will not cover them in most cases. So, know your policy's limitations before you sign up for dog insurance.

   
What kind of limitations do the best pet insurance plans have?

Watch the Fine Print

The best pet insurance plan is one that fits with your pet's needs and your lifestyle. Whatever plan you choose, make sure you understand the fine print in the contract. Many policies limit the amounts paid for many services, treatments, and diseases. Sometimes these limitations are yearly, while others may be for the life of your pet. For example, a policy might have a $2,000 limit on cancer treatments every year. You need to understand these policy limitations before you obtain a policy. When you understand the limitations, you won't say "insuring my pet was a nightmare!"

   
What should I look for when I compare cat insurance for insuring my pet?

Choose Cat Insurance Wisely

When it comes to insuring your pet, all pet insurance companies are not the same. Each one has advantages and disadvantages for you to consider. Not all policies reimburse 100 percent of the treatment cost; some only reimburse 80 to 90 percent of the costs. All plans have some type of deductible, but that varies, too. Some are as low as $25, while others can be as high as $200.

In addition, some companies do business in the U.S. and Canada, while others only do business in certain states. It pays to compare cat insurance between plans, because some plans do not accept older cats, while others do, and some give discounts for indoor cats.

   

Choosing a Pet Insurance Provider

A pet is like a member of the family. Choosing a health insurance provider for your dog or cat is like choosing one for yourself and the rest of your family. You want the best and most comprehensive coverage. So when you start looking at pet insurance providers to see which company is the best fit for you, keep one thing in mind: you don't want to be penalized for the type of care you seek. Whether it is an emergency or a routine checkup, you want a provider that will not increase your premiums or refuse reimbursement based on the quality of the care you get. You should never have to settle for less than the best for your pets because a provider won't cover the cost. Look for a provider that will not place a cap on the care you obtain. Animal lovers never have to ask why pet insurance is so important, so your provider should never have to question why you sought such high quality treatment for your furry loved ones.

   
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Jerry Mayo