Pet insurance has come a long way and now covers a myriad of events, conditions, and pets. These days people don’t just have dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, or birds and keep exotic pets like reptiles. Insurance companies will offer coverage for these different kinds of pets and the conditions they’re prone to. Buying pet insurance involves knowing what type of insurance cover is available and how much the insurance is going to cost.
Pet insurance is broadly available in categories such as the following:
1. Basic coverage
The option offers reimbursement for illnesses and accidental injuries like bite wounds, broken bones, and torn ligaments. It is the least expensive, has a deductible, and has a cap on reimbursement for each claim as well as on the total reimbursement for the term of the policy. An annual or per-incident deductible is an amount that needs to be paid annually or for each claim before any claim is considered.
2. Comprehensive coverage
This type of pet insurance covers a lot more than the basic coverage but is more expensive and covers illnesses, accidental injuries, office visits, diagnostic tests, and prescriptions. There may be a lower deductible but may have caps on per-claim reimbursement and total reimbursement for the policy term.
3. Pet well-care coverage
This type includes periodic and non-routine physical examinations, preventive vaccinations, and other preventive care. There may not deductible for well-care but there is most often a deductible for other medical services.
4. Pet theft and life insurance
These categories of insurance cover highly valued animals like show horses, dogs, and cats, animals bought from zoos, and police dogs. Insurance will cover the death of the animal during specific events, like transportation. Compensation will be paid for animals that are stolen or lost.
5. General pet insurance
An important component in pet insurance is third-party liability coverage that pays for any harm or injury caused by the pet and provides support to defend court cases. Some pet parents buy expensive accessories for their pets and may want to insure such articles against loss, damage or theft. Some insurance policies may offer cover for such eventualities.
Most insurance policies may have a copay condition wherein a pet parent has to pay for each claim over and above the deductible. Here is a list of conditions covered by some insurance policies:
- Flea, tick, and heart-worm treatments
- Spaying and neutering procedures
- Behavioral therapies
- Dental treatment, both routine and non-routine
- Hereditary and congenital conditions
- Accident and surgery waiting periods (limits will be mentioned in the policies)
Most pet insurance policies cover a pet’s health, well-being and any injuries caused by accidents. It is always better to start pet insurance as early as possible so that the costs are lower. A lot of pet insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions and illnesses. But several other facilities are covered, including diagnostic tests and treatment, special examinations, surgery, hospitalization, emergency care, specialized care, and euthanasia. Most policies cover chronic conditions such as arthritis, allergies, UTIs, and even cancer. However, policies from insurers will vary and it would be best to choose the one best suited to the pet parent and pet.