When your dog or cat gets sick, you want to know that you will be able to give him the care he needs, and sometimes this means covering hefty veterinary expenses. One way that pet parents can save themselves money in cases like this is to have a pet insurance policy. Unfortunately, many pet parents do not think about buying an insurance policy until their furry friend is already sick. At this point, they will likely be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. Before you buy a pet insurance policy, take the time to learn about pre-existing conditions so you won’t be denied coverage.
The Basics of Pet Insurance
At its most basic level, pet insurance does for pets what health insurance does for humans – it helps to mitigate the costs for expensive treatments. The details vary from one policy to another and from company to company. Most pet insurance policies will reimburse you up to 90% of the cost for services covered by the plan. In order to receive coverage for your pet, you will need to pay a monthly fee called a premium. In addition, you might also have to meet a yearly or per-incident deductible before the plan will pay anything. Unlike health insurance plans, which render payments directly to the provider, pet insurance plans usually provide reimbursement directly to you after you pay for the services upfront. While each pet insurance plan is different, most do not provide coverage for pre-existing conditions.
About Pre-Existing Conditions
The definition of “pre-existing condition” might vary from one company to another, but it generally includes illnesses or injuries that may or may not have been diagnosed or treated, but existed prior to the effective date of the policy. For example, if your dog is diagnosed with cancer before you buy a pet insurance policy, the plan will be unlikely to provide any coverage – this may be true even if your pet didn’t receive any treatment for the condition. Every plan will provide a definition for pre-existing condition as well as a list of uncovered conditions.
It is important to note that some plans also deny coverage for what is called a bilateral condition. If your pooch tears a ligament in his left knee before you buy pet insurance and then he tears the ligament in the right knee once you have coverage, the plan might not cover the second tear because it is a bilateral condition (the same injury on the opposite side of the body). Pet insurance policies also reserve the right to deny coverage for incurable conditions that begin before the coverage date. An example of this is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in cats. To make sure that your furry friend gets the coverage he needs when you purchase a pet insurance policy, you should start taking him to the vet at an early age and make regular visits to stay on top of his health and prevent avoidable conditions.
Now that you know the basics about pet insurance and pre-existing conditions, you can decide whether it is a good option for your pet. Some pet parents find that having a pet insurance policy saves them a great deal of money in the long run and it is generally best to get insurance as early as possible.
Here are pet insurance policies recommended by LovePets.