Insuring Man’s Best Friend: A Guide to Pet Insurance

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Feb 16, 2016

Your pet is there for you through the good times and bad, so shouldn’t you be there for them, too?

As much as you hope you’ll never be faced with a sick or injured pet, when it does happens it can be devastating if you can’t foot the bill. Fortunately pet insurance exists for this exact situation.

Here are the basics of pet insurance and how to decide what coverage is right for you.

What’s included in a policy?

There are different options when it comes to a pet insurance policy, but the basics include:

Death

If your dog or cat passes away sooner than expected, the cost of your pet or the price you could sell them for is usually covered by insurance, and the cost of euthanasia, cremation, and a burial may also be covered as well. It’s important to note that this coverage usually has an age limit: 7-10 years of age for cats and 7-8 years of age for dogs. Animals older than that are usually excluded from this coverage.

Missing Animal Costs

Of course you’ll do everything you can to find your pet if he/she goes missing, and fortunately the costs of your posters, flyers, etc. can be covered by your pet insurance policy.

Liability Coverage

On the off-chance that your pet misbehaves and causes damage to another person or their property, this coverage can cover any costs incurred by the affected party.

Overseas travel

When you and your furry best friend head off on an adventure together, you can travel in peace knowing that your pet is covered if he/she becomes ill or is involved in an accident.

Cattery/Kennel Fees

If you find yourself in the hospital with nobody to care for your pet, a pet insurance policy could cover any cattery or kennel fees. Usually you have to be hospitalized for an extended period, at least 2-4 days or more, for this coverage to kick in.

Dental coverage

Sometimes policies include accidental dental coverage, but not all policies offer this, so double check that your policy does if it’s important to you.

Pet insurance is basically coverage for unexpected costs of pet ownership, and nothing routine like checkups or vaccinations are usually included. The costs associated with pregnancy and breeding are also usually excluded.

What are my plan options?

Depending on your type of pet, the history of the breed, and your own personal preference, you can choose from a few different policy types. These include:

Lifetime Coverage

If you’re looking for total comprehensive coverage so nothing goes unplanned for, this is for you. Keep in mind this is still for unforeseen accidents and illnesses for the most part. Nothing routine is covered.

Non-lifetime coverage

You have two options for this coverage:

Time-sensitive: If you’re planning to move, go on a big adventure, or have another situation in which your pet could potentially be lost or injured, this insurance might be for you.

Non-time sensitive: If you know that your dog or cat is of a breed that is notorious for developing a certain health condition, you can take out a policy that will cover care for that specific condition.

Accident-only coverage.

If your animal is otherwise healthy and you don’t see that changing, you might consider accident coverage.

For sick and older pets

Unfortunately if your pet is already sick or older, you will probably be denied coverage. Your premiums will also probably go up as your pet gets older. But think twice before switching to another seemingly-cheaper policy, because they might deny you altogether and then you’re stuck without any coverage.

A few things you can do to lower your potential premiums is to have your animal spayed or neutered and insure them while they’re young and healthy.

To learn more about pet insurance in San Pedro, get in touch with us at Insurance Center Associates.

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