Life is unexpected, and like any other family member, the loss of a pet can be devastating. The best way to protect them from unexpected health emergencies is to take dog insurance and get invaluable peace of mind about their health care, regardless of their financial situation.
But before you go shopping for pet insurance for dogs, you must make sense of what it covers first. To have a clear understanding, what pet health insurance for dogs covers, pay attention to five key things.
Read More: Pet Insurance for Dogs
Five Key Things To Look In A Policy
1. The Type of Plan
There are mainly four types of plans
● Accident-Only Plans
● Accident and Illness Plans – It’s the most common pet health insurance covering accidents and illnesses like digestive issues, allergies, cancer, and infections.
● Insurance With Embedded Wellness – It’s a comprehensive plan that includes accidents plus illness and might also cover things (varies company-to-company) like
- Heartworm prevention
- Cremation and burial
- Dietary consultations
- Flea and tick medication
- Dental care
● Endorsements or Riders – These are like wellness add-ons you specifically need to purchase as an add-on with the policy.
2. How is the Coverage Categorized?
Like our health insurance categories (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum), you don’t get any bifurcation in pet insurances. Only it varies on the co-payments and deductibles rates.
3. The Exclusions
There can be different exclusions, restrictions, or conditions in a pet health policy. Like, most health insurances put an age limit (anywhere between 6 and 10 weeks) for a pet to hop on a plan. Some may place restrictions on pre-existing conditions and deny to cover any medical expenses for that particular illness treatment.
4. Breed-Specific Conditions
Certain dog breeds have higher risks of genetic disorders and a greater chance of passing it. It can add to the cost of your pet insurance.
5. Does the said Dog Insurance Cover the Pet Liabilities?
Mostly, dog insurances do not cover pet liabilities like property damage or injury inflicted by your pet on others. So you may require to purchase a different type of insurance for that.
Here’s The List Of Things Pet Insurance for Dogs Covers
It’s about all injuries and emergencies related to the accident like torn ligaments, cuts, broken bones, swallowed objects, toxic ingestions, etc. Depending upon the policy, it can also include services related to an accident, like X-rays, MRI, ultrasounds, bloodwork, sutures, medications, hospitalization, and surgery.
Depending on the policy terms and the company you select, it can cover everything related to your pet’s illness. It can include diagnosis of the health condition till the treatments when your pet gets better.
● Hereditary and Congenital Conditions
Note – Not all dog insurance companies may cover inherited conditions and birth defects.
If your pet is prone to such a condition, go for those insurance providers that offer this coverage as an optional add-on. You may need to pay extra, but at least your pet gets health insurance.
● Alternative Therapies
To help recover your pet from an injury or illness, nowadays, there are various therapies. Look for a dog insurance provider that has provisions for optional add-on coverages for
- Chiropractic care,
- Rehabilitative therapy,
- and Low-level laser therapy
● Behavioral Issues
Most pet health insurances might not cover behavioral issues like excessive licking, fur pulling, pacing, and destructive chewing. But some companies can provide it as an optional add-on feature in the health insurance of your pet.
Therefore, look closely at the coverage policy terms before you make the call. Other things you get covered in dog insurance include prescription medications, veterinarian bills, supplements, and microchip-implantation (depending on the insurance company terms). However, you must also look at the exclusion list carefully before taking a policy.
Some exclusions could be like
- Pre-existing health conditions
- Cosmetic procedures
- Breeding costs
- Preventive care
How Does Dog Insurance Work?
After you select a policy, you will pay the premium mostly monthly. In case of a situation, your pet needs care (covered by the policy), initially, you will pay the deductible as stated in the policy. Later, the insurance company will work out things with the veterinarian and pay their portion of the cost. You bear the remaining, as per the co-payment terms of your policy.
How much will Pet Insurance for Dogs Cost?
On average, a monthly premium for accident and illness coverage can cost you $48.78 for a dog. The cost of your pet insurance varies on
- Your type of coverage
- Co-payment percentage (10%, 20% or 30% after your deductible)
- Deductible options ($100 to $1000)
- As well as the age and dog breed and where you live
It would be best if you compare the insurers, check their ratings and reviews before picking them. To find the best possible policy, go for dog insurance that suits your individual needs and budget.