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Pet Insurance: Considerations When Shopping for a Plan

*If you have general questions about pet insurance, this should help! If you're looking for anecdotal recommendations or reviews on specific companies, check out Pet Insurance Info Exhange.*

You've heard us talk about pet insurance. I often have the insurance conversation with clients, especially recently, as I've utilized more than $12,000 worth of insurance coverage for Cadence's surgery. I am a strong believer in insuring your canine athlete. Of course, nothing is ever one size fits all, and it all depends on your personal situation.

The good news: there are many companies offering pet insurance coverage. There are several factors to consider and research when you're shopping for a plan, such as your pet's age and your monthly budget. With those things in mind, here is a handful of basic questions to ask as you search:

  1. What is the annual limit?

  2. How much is my monthly premium?

  3. What is my deductible?

  4. Is the deductible per incident or per insurance year?

  5. What conditions or injuries, if any, do they exclude?

Many companies offer an unlimited annual maximum, which means they'll cover however much you need (as long as it is a covered condition). Others have an annual limit. Companies with lower monthly premiums may also have a lower annual maximum. Additionally, as a general rule, a higher deductible means a lower monthly premium as well.

Another difference I've noticed among the plans is how they handle the deductible. I pay a $500 deductible per year, but it goes toward every claim I make. Whereas some offer a per incident deductible, which means you'll pay a deductible for each separate diagnosed condition. This could be a benefit for an illness, like epilepsy, that has recurring costs over the lifetime of the dog. The downfall lies in the fact that you might have to pay multiple deductibles in a short amount of time if your dog sustained two unrelated injuries or illnesses.

One of the most important factors? What the company even covers! All of the companies, as far as I know, do NOT cover preexisting conditions (so, anything your dog already has when you sign up for coverage). Beyond that, many handle alternative therapies and rehab coverage differently, too.

As you can see, picking the right coverage requires some research! Google, ask your friends, ask your dog's massage therapist, then sign up for pet insurance.

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