Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tips for Choosing a Pet Insurance Policy

After one week of investigating, interrogating, and deliberating we have chosen an insurance policy for Brodie. I would like to share some tips that I have learned so that it will help others who are trying to make this decision for their own pets.

Tips:
  • Visit http://petinsurancereview.com/ Give them your email address and they will send you 3 quotes from different companies
  • Visit the company's website. Read the entire site. Familiarize yourself with the policy and make a list of questions.
  • Call the company and interrogate them. Ask every question you can think of including why you should choose their policy.
  • There are discounts for purchasing online, but usually the rep will give you more if not all of the discounts over the phone because they are commission.
  • Get the name, direct phone number and hours of the person you spoke to. After all they are commission and they did help you. Purchase it from them.
  • Ask them to email you a policy for your to read. What is listed on the website is only a summary of the policy. You need the fine print before purchasing.
  • Learn the lingo. Know what all these terms mean. http://www.aspcapetinsurance.com/learn-about-pet-insurance/basics/pet-insurance-glossary.aspx
  • Read the reviews on http://petinsurancereview.com/ about the companies you are considering. Know what people are saying.
  • Know why you are purchasing your policy. What kind of coverage are you looking for.
  • Do not be upsold, i.e.I don't need a life insurance policy because a few hundred dollars will not help my grieving when my pet dies. I don't need benefits for breeding, etc.
  • Purchase your policies when your pets are young. Puppies are accident prone and older dogs have illnesses.
  • Do the math. For us, it is cheaper to buy the policy with increasing rates. When he is 12 we will have spent less than if we purchased the more expensive plan without increasing rates. Plus all of the plans have rate increases, just not every year.
  • Do not buy a policy after talking to just one company. Comparison shopping is a must. I didn't comparison shop much before we bought Brodie's first insurance policy and it was a nightmare.
  • Know what coverage you already have. Our HomeAgain membership covers up to $3,000 for injuries while they are lost.
Questions to ask:
  • Is the deductible annually or per incident?
  • Do the rates increase as the pet ages? How much? When were the last two times the rates did increase and how much?
  • Are we reimbursed the actual amount paid or what is deemed a reasonable and customary price for the service?
  • What is a preexisting condition?
  • How can we get continuous coverage for conditions that continue into the next policy period? AKA ongoing conditions
  • Does the plan cover hereditary conditions, genetic conditions, congenital conditions, annuals, vaccinations, preventative care, prescriptions, dental cleaning, boarding if we are hospitalized, vacation cancellation?
  • If it does not cover dental cleanings, will it cover any infections or tooth extractions etc. that are found during a dental cleaning?
  • Are their discounts for multi-pet plans or pets that are microchipped, neutered, or service dogs?
  • Is there a discount for paying annually instead of monthly?
  • What amount are we reimbursed? How long does it take to receive reimbursement?
  • What is the reimbursement limit?
  • Is the limit per incident, policy period or lifetime?
  • What is the effective date?
  • What is the waiting period for accidents? for illnesses?
I hope that this has helped you in choosing a health insurance plan for your pet. Maybe he or she live a long, healthy and happy life.

1 comment:

  1. OMG...Thank you for this. We are looking for Pet Insurance for Andy & Bella and I was so overwhelmed.

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