There are a variety of pet insurance companies on the market today and choosing the best policy for your favorite cat or dog can be a confusing and expensive ordeal. Nearly all of these companies have competitive choices, expensive options and premium memberships. With so many variables, it is important to find a company not just looking out for your pet, but also for your pocketbook.
One key factor to keep in mind while deciding the best pet policy, is if an examination of your pet is required before your policy can be issued. The reason insurance companies want to know the current health of your pet before your policy starts is to cover their costs, not yours. Should you chose one of these companies requiring an exam before your policy starts your first gift from them will be a hefty bill, as you will not yet be covered. Exams are not only expensive (Ranging anywhere from $600 – $1200+) but the results can alter, if not entirely prevent healthcare coverage for your favorite furry friend. It gets worse, if the health concerns are severe enough, some pet insurance companies may deny you service entirely, so the initial fee may be for nothing. With loopholes like this hidden by clever wording, companies offering the same initial rates as their competitors might actually end up costing you more in the long run.
The challenge then becomes being able to decode the hidden messages of pet insurance companies. Oh, the things we do for furry love…
If you look on a pet insurance company’s website, be sure to watch for terms such as “a review of preexisting conditions” or “a review of your pet’s complete medical history.” When a company refers to “a review” they are neglecting to mention the person responsible for paying for these initial examinations is you. Remember, the payment for initial exams come out of your pocket.
Timing is everything, and one way to sidestep these hidden upfront costs is to pay close attention to when your fur baby’s medical history is required by a new insurance company. If “a review” is not required until after your first insurance claim, this company will not require an initial exam. This does not mean these companies are willing to pay for issues that may have existed before your policy. It means when you have to pay for your first visit to the vet, this visit will be covered by your insurance deductible.
Even with this knowledge it may be difficult to know just who is on you and your pet’s side. The import thing to remember is you can always ask. Never sign anything until you know just what is required.
Ultimately, the goal is to look after your fluffy loved ones, so the cost of an initial exam may or may not outweigh the benefit of working with a specific pet insurance company. The reality is pet insurance has become a “buyer beware” market. That said, once you pay the initial fee, insurance functions the same across the board. You get what you pay for, just don’t let anyone make you pay for something you hired them for in the first place.
Also Read: Pet Insurance VS CareCredit