Types of Pet Health Insurance Plans
Just like with people insurance, there are several different types of plans for pets. Let me explain which types offer what so you’ll have a better understanding of how to select a pet insurance plan that’s right for your needs and budget.
Pet Health Care Insurance Policies
As the name implies, these types of plans only cover accidents. This is a reasonable way to protect yourself from facing large vet bills as accident-only policies are very affordable, costing under $10 per month in many cases. Remember, however, that these types of pet health insurance plans will not cover illnesses or preventative care.
Accidents are things like being hit by a car, swallowing foreign objects, getting into a fight, breaking a bone, getting burned, being bitten by a snake, etc.
Accident & Illness
This would cover everything a standard accident-only policy would, but it also adds insurance for most illnesses your pet might be diagnosed with. Keep in mind that pre-existing conditions (illnesses your pet had prior to getting pet health care insurance) will not be covered. About 50% of the time, cancer will not be covered. Also, many hereditary conditions that are specific to particular breeds are usually not covered.
Be sure to check the policies exclusions so you know exactly what the insurance company will and will not pay for. Because these plans cover more than accident-only pet insurance, they will cost a little more.
Illnesses would be stuff like diabetes, hyperthyroid, kidney failure, heart failure, cancer, fungal infections, ear infections, etc.
As you continue to go up the scale, you reach preventative care plans. These are my favorite and the ones I think can potentially offer the most value depending on your pet and your current care routine. As with everything else involved in the process of selecting a pet insurance plan, it takes a little evaluation.
Managed Care (None are listed on this site)
The name implies the same as it does with people insurance. These are networks of providers that typically restrict you to using a vet within their network. Using your own vet may result in claims not being covered. There are other limitations depending on the plan so, if you choose to consider managed care, be sure to carefully read the restrictions.
Lifetime vs. Non-Lifetime Policies
Pet insurance that offers renewable benefits is considered lifetime coverage. This means that something your pet was treated for under the current policy does not become a pre-existing condition when you renew the insurance. For example, under a non-lifetime policy, if your cat is diagnosed with diabetes the insurance will cover claims made for that incident. However, once the policy renews, diabetes will be considered a pre-existing condition and no further claims will be accepted.
Have you gotten a pet insurance quote yet? If not, do it now!