Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tips on Pet Insurance

The Orlando Sentinel's Animal Crazy blog has this post on tips for people considering pet insurance. Forbes online has a similar story here, that lists a number of tips to ponder courtesy of the American Animal Hospital Association:

  • Understand the exclusions. Almost all policies exclude pre-existing conditions and some exclude hereditary conditions. Some may exclude certain conditions unique to certain breeds.
  • Almost all policies have a deductible and a copay requirement. Some pay according to a set schedule of "usual and customary fees" while some pay based on the actual incurred expense. Be sure you understand how expenses will be reimbursed.
  • Be sure you understand what the policy covers. Some policies (but not all) cover some preventive care, such as vaccinations, but there may be additional cost for this coverage.
  • Ask whether the policy allows you to seek care from a veterinarian of your own choosing or whether you must go to a veterinarian that participates in the company's network of providers. When faced with a pet's serious illness, most people want to be able to obtain care from their regular veterinarian.
  • Talk to your veterinarian. Vets don't sell insurance, but chances are they are familiar with various policies and can provide guidance.

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