There are three general categories of dog medical insurance covering accidents, routine checkups and wellness care, as well as comprehensive plans that cover both accidents, wellness, and cancer.
I challenge you to visit some pet insurance company webpages and really think about which plan offers the coverage you need. Ignore their marketing efforts and find an attractive level of coverage to base your decisions on rather than an attractive price with gaps in coverage.
Don’t worry! We will talk more about price and coverage types when you return!
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Where to find dog insurance in different countries:
Coverage: Things To Consider!
- Pre-Existing Conditions:
It is best to purchase a dog medical insurance policy sometime shortly after your puppy has recieved all of its shots and only requires annual or semi-annual boosters. If you wait until your dog has developed a condition, like allergies for example, then it turns into a pre-existing condition and your dog cannot recieve coverage for that ailment if you were to go out and purchase a policy after the fact.
This is because allergies are what the pet insurance companies would a call “incurable” pre-existing condition. Other examples of incurable conditions include orthopedic bone abnormalities, arthritis, cancer, and diabetes to name a few.
There are also “curable” pre-existing conditions. For example, a respiratory infection or bladder infection may be a pre-existing condition, but if it is cured and does not reoccur for a prescribed period of time (usually 12 months) then your pet can be covered for those conditions under a new policy.
It may also take up to a month or more for the full benefits of your coverage to kick into effect.
- Which Vets Are You Allowed To Visit?
Make sure that the insurer is clear about which veterinarians you can visit in order to recieve compensation. There are dog medical insurance companies out there, like Embrace Pet Insurance, that allow you to visit any veterinarian that you please. Being able to see the veterinarian that you want, and who knows your dog best, is very important.
Also, what if you are forced to move for whatever reason, and all of a sudden none of the veterinarians in your area accept your insurance? That would render any pre-existing policy and your premium payments utterly worthless.
- Other Common Exclusions To Coverage:
Most policies, at the time of this writing, do not cover the cost of prosthetic limbs, behavioral issues, injuries that are the result of human abuse, dog fighting, or neglect, organ transplants, burial or cremation services, and cosmetic surgeries such as tail docking or dewclaws.
Factors Affecting Cost:
Different companies and plans have varying deductibles (amount you need to pay before filing a claim). A deductible is essentially an amount that the covered party must pay in order for their insurer to pay out benefits. The purpose of a deductible is simply to reduce the number of small claims paid out by the insurance company, and is a standard practice in the insurance industry.
- Your Dog’s Age:
The older your dog gets, the more difficult it will be to secure an affordable, cost effective insurance policy. Once a dog reaches approximately 8 years old, it becomes very difficult to get them insured. Conversely, most companies will not insure a newborn puppy because of their extreme susceptibility to illness while they rely on their mother’s antibodies.
- Breed and Purpose:
Contrary to popular belief, some dog breeds are healthier than others, so the monthly or annual premiums vary accordingly. Expect to pay more if your dog is a working or hunting dog as well because of the increased risk of injury associated with those lifestyles.
- Types of Coverage:
A comprehensive dog medical insurance coverage plan is generally going to cost more than a standard wellness or accident insurance policy. The price will also be dependent upon the rates of the insurer. Again, be sure that a plan covers exactly what you are looking for before comparing prices.