Updated: Apr 27, 2020
First of all, let me just say, I do not think I can ever look at a dog or a cat without smiling. I love everything about pets.
Okay, enough of that. Let's get down to business.
Pet insurance can be a great way to reduce medical bills for your four-legged family member’s accidents and unexpected illnesses. However, the lack of coverage for some conditions often shocks pet owners. Mostly, any health issues that occur after you purchase your policy are eligible for coverage. However, unlike humans, routine check-ups are often not covered. Pre-existing conditions are hardly ever covered because it is our responsibility to have the insurance in place beforehand. Also, do not be surprised if examination fees and preventative treatments are not included. It is always recommended to read the small print when purchasing pet insurance not to be caught off guard.
Please Explain Pet Insurance.
Sure. I will do my best. The primary responsibility for most pet insurance plans is to insure accidents and illnesses.
What is considered an accident?
These are bodily injuries that result from an unexpected event. For example, while pursuing a bone, your pet overestimates its athletic prowess by misjudging the height of a wall and broke its leg.
Here are more examples of accidents that could happen.
Foreign body ingestion/swallowing a toy
Insect bites (except fleas and ticks)
Okay. Now explain an Illness coverage.
Sure. This is a treatment for symptoms that derive from an infection or disease. Please do not try to outsmart the insurance company on preexisting conditions. Whatever strategy you use, trust me, thousands have already tried it and failed. Do not think you are that one unique person who can trick an expert at their craft. Your best bet is, to be honest about the condition of your wonderful little 4-legged family member.
Here are some examples of illnesses that are most likely to be covered.
Flea borne illness
Each insurer is different, and the list will vary between them. If you want broader coverage for optimal protection, you will end up paying about $10 to $15 more each month. The insurer will allow you to purchase additional endorsements to add to the policy. It could prove to be worth it in the long run. You can never have too much protection for your family. Some common endorsements are spaying, neutering, wellness exams, and preventative treatments.
Here is a couple of terms you might run into and say, "what the heck does that mean?”
Congenital anomaly - An inherited condition
Osteochondritis dissecans- Cartilage detached from the bone
Besides myself, keep in mind, the internet is your best friend. If you run into a term you do not understand, search until you know what the heck they are talking about. After looking up the word and it still feels convoluted, I recommend calling the insurance company directly to provide clarity.
If you want to go all out, then the most inclusive type of pet insurance encompasses accident and illness coverage. These types of “I want to protect my pet at all cost" plans typically cost around $45 a month for dogs and $25 for cats.
I am going to share with you the most common treated dog and cat ailments, according to a few articles that I read.
Cruciate ligament injury
Inflammatory bowel disease
Feline lower urinary tract disease
Urinary tract infection
My apologies for not defining each of them. If I did, this blog would have been a very long read. I like to keep it short and sweet.
For the people that have an extremely healthy pet, but he sure does like living on the edge of danger, you can purchase an “accident-only plan. The injuries must be unforeseen (unless you are a psychic) and unexpected to be considered an accident. An example would be a car accident or a bad fall chasing after a stranger. These plans are less comprehensive but affordable, costing around $10 and $15 a month for both dogs and cats.
One would think an accident is an accident, but it is not that simple. The list of excluded accidents and injuries is extensive. Injuries that stem from hereditary issues or are triggered by genetic factors are a big “Nope” on coverage. You also have to watch out for bilateral conditions (A prior injury that could be the cause of a new injury) and preexisting conditions being excluded.
Things you should know.
Hereditary conditions mostly apply to big dogs. Therefore, do not be surprised if dysplasia and torn ACLs are excluded from coverage because the issues are more familiar with the big guys and older dogs. I must warn you. These issues are costly, and unfortunately, the insurers run from them.
I personally, am a fan of Health Paws. Top notch customer service and great rates. If you are looking to acquire Pet Insurance, start with Healthy Paws.
CEO and Co-Founder of linqrs mobile app, The Most Clever Way to Shop for Insurance. Former Insurance Agency Owner, College and NFL football coach.