What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

Anyone who owns or has ever owned a pet knows that caring for them is akin to caring for any other family member. If you buy medical insurance for your child, it only makes sense to buy insurance for your pet as well.

This will not only give them a greater chance of surviving any untoward incident like an accident or illness but will also take the pressure off you in the moment to pay a large sum of money for their treatment.

A good insurance cover is like a long-term savings plan for your pet’s health and well-being. But what does pet insurance cover? The following sections will shed some light on this.

 

What Is Pet Insurance and What Does It Cover?

Pet insurance is a way for you to ensure security for your pet’s health. In case of illness, accident, or some other incident, a pet insurance will provide you coverage to ensure you can give your pet the best medical care possible.

There are various types of insurance coverage you can find that will offer you different benefits. No insurance coverage will be the same, so it is up to you to find something that will be the perfect fit for your pet and their lifestyle.

If you are wondering “what does pet insurance cover?”, the following are some of the things that you should expect:

Accidents

Most pet insurance will have accident coverage. In the event that your pet meets with an accident or gets hurt, this coverage will ensure that the medical expenses are covered without any out-of-pocket expenditure.

Emergencies related to accidents, such as cuts, fractured bones, toxicity, bite wounds and ligament tears, will be covered under this policy. Ideally, this type of coverage should also include other services and tests related to the treatment, such as ultrasounds, blood tests, mediations and surgery. You can opt for a plan that includes insurance coverage, or you can also opt for an accident-only plan that will provide you with more coverage in case of an accident.

 

Illnesses

Illness coverage is for a sudden onset of illness, whether major or minor. The coverage provides benefits for a range of things, from diagnosing the illness to buying medicines or footing hospital bills.

 

Illnesses such as cancer, hypothyroidism, digestive problems, eye infection, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and digestive problems, to name a few things. A sudden diagnosis of illness can be an extremely stressful situation, not only for the pet but also for the owner. With good insurance coverage, at least the financial aspect of the situation can be taken care of.

 

Prescription Medicine

As has been mentioned above, if the pet meets with an accident or has a sudden onset of illness, the prescription medications required for treatment will be covered. These prescription medications may include medicines for reducing inflammation, fighting off an infection or even reducing symptoms of pain.

 

While most types of coverage will provide prescription medications for the issues that they cover, but in some cases, they may need to be added on, depending on the illness or severity of the accident.

 

Behavioral Issues

It is very common for young pets to have behavioral issues and it is not something to be worried about. With the right kind of treatment, behavioral issues related to restless pacing, destructive chewing, excessive licking, etc. can be overcome.

 

There are some insurance coverages that will provide treatment for such behavioral issues as well, from diagnosing the issues to discerning medical treatment. This is not a coverage that you may find in all types of insurance plans. In most cases, it is an optional add-on, but it is available.

 

Alternative Therapies

Apart from the traditional forms of treatment that have been popular in the West for years, there are also alternatives emerging that can be viable forms of treatment. There may be some forms of insurance policies that will also cover these types of treatments, should you choose to take this route.

 

These typically include physiotherapy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, chiropractic care, etc. As long as your condition is covered, alternative therapies for these issues can be claimed by insurance. Again, not all policies offer this coverage. In some cases, they may be offered as an optional add-on.

 

Microchipping

Most pet parents are increasingly taking to microchipping their pets. It alleviates any anxiety about your pet wandering off and is a great way to ensure you are constantly keeping tabs on them.

 

It may seem excessive to some, but whether you live in the open countryside or in a crowded city, being able to track your pet in case they get lost can seem like the biggest gift of safety. There are some insurance covers that may also cover microchip implantation or at least offer it as an optional add-on. 

 

What’s Not Covered

Now, while the above sections provide an answer for “what does pet insurance cover?”, there are also many things that pet insurance policies famously do not cover. The following are some of those items:

 

Pre-existing Conditions

If your pet is born with a certain medical condition, it is unlikely it will be covered by any insurance plan. Essentially, any ailment or injury that pre-exists the date from which your policy is activated will not be covered by the insurance plan.

 

However, typically, if there is any injury or ailment that gets treated and does not require any intervention for 180 days, it may not be considered a pre-existing condition. Check with your insurance provider to see what their specific clauses are. 

 

Routine Care

Routine care like regular visits to the vet, grooming and checkups may not be covered in most pet insurance plans. Typically, these doctor’s visits will not set you back a lot unless something is wrong. If from a routine visit to the vet you find that your pet has an illness, that diagnosis and treatment may be covered by the insurance policy.

 

Neutering/Spaying

Neutering and spaying are typically not included in most insurance policy covers, even as an optional add-on. A neutering or spaying surgery is usually an elective procedure so an insurance policy will not cover that.

 

In some cases, a neutering or spaying procedure may be prescribed as preventive care, so you can check with your insurance provider whether that will be covered.

 

Vaccinations

While vaccination is not covered by most insurance policies, if your pet is fully vaccinated then their monthly premium is likely to be lesser. In some cases, vaccination costs may be added as an optional add-on. Needless to say, it is extremely important to get your pet fully vaccinated to protect them from preventable diseases.

 

Benefits of Pet Insurance

The benefit of pet insurance, as has probably become evident from the description above, is that you do not have to dig into your pockets to pay for exorbitant treatments.

 

This is a monthly or yearly premium that allows you to set aside money for a rainy day and also get a host of benefits. In case of a sudden onset of an illness or an injury, your pet insurance will allow you to attend to the main problem at hand without worrying about the costs.

 

At times, there may even be some added benefits or schemes related to a certain plan that may give you the opportunity to get additional treatment. If you are a pet owner, it goes without saying that you must also invest in a good pet insurance cover. 

 

Cost of Pet Insurance

The cost of pet insurance cover will differ based on a variety of factors. The following are some of these factors:

 

  • The age of your pet – the older your pet is, the greater the cost of the premium will be.
  • The breed of your pet – there are some breeds of animals that tend to be more vulnerable to certain types of ailments. The insurance premiums for such breeds may be higher.
  • Your geographical location – every state has different rules and guidelines regarding pet insurance, so the cost of insurance may differ based on your geographical location. 
  • Whether your pet is fully vaccinated – most pet insurance policies begin when your pet is a minimum of six weeks old. In that interim, it is best to complete all their vaccinations so that the premium for your pet’s insurance is relatively less.
  • How many things are being covered – Depending on the many things your insurance covers, the premium will increase automatically. If you do not have any optional add-ons, your insurance cost will be less.

 

Final Thoughts

The sections above have hopefully provided a synopsis of what one can expect in a pet insurance coverage plan. No matter how old your pet is or what prevailing conditions they have, there is always a pet insurance plan out there that you may find fits your requirements.

 

Keep looking and make sure to compare plans so that you can get the best benefits possible for your pet. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry and a good insurance policy is the best way to be safe.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

Like all other insurance, pet insurance coverage varies based on the policy you purchase.  Pet health policies range from accident only all the way up to full coverage including routine care and death benefits.  So no matter what level of coverage you are looking for there is a policy available for you.

Accident Only Pet Insurance

Accident-only pet plans are the most affordable yet the most restrictive of all the pet insurance policies available today.  If you choose to purchase an accident-only pet health policy you can expect to see some if not all of these procedures covered but ONLY if the need for them arises from an accident!  (be sure you get a specific definition of “accident” from your insurance company)

  • Vet consultations & visits
  • After-hours emergency vet visits
  • Specialist vet care
  • Laboratory and diagnostic tests
  • Hospitalization
  • Radiology
  • Prescription medicines & drugs
  • Surgery

Accident And Illness Pet Policies

This is the most common type of policy purchased by pet owners as it’s the most comprehensive yet budget friendly of all the pet insurance plans.  Should you want to protect your pet from illness as well as accident you can be reasonably sure it will cover the treatments listed above as well as the following…

  • Cancer treatments
  • Ear / eye conditions
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Infectious disease
  • Skin Conditions
  • Diabetes

There are often stipulations on how much you must pay out of pocket either per incident or per year and this should be looked into before purchasing your pet’s policy.  Another thing to be aware of is the pet insurance companies stand on “Pre-Existing Conditions.”  Will a claim you file this year for cancer disqualify you for that disease next year?

Routine Maintenance Pet Health Plans

Pet policies that cover routine maintenance are the top of the line in the pet insurance industry.  You can expect to pay the most for them but also get the most benefit from a policy of this type.  With a policy like this you can afford to be more proactive and preventative with your pet’s health than you can with other types.  They reimburse you for expenses such as…

  • desexing
  • microchipping
  • heartworm control
  • teeth cleaning
  • dewclaw removal
  • council registration fees
  • prescription diets
  • alternative therapies
  • cremation /burial

Pet health policies are available at all coverage levels and price points.  So no matter if you’re only looking to protect yourself from unexpected accidents or if you want all the benefits an “Accident/Illness and Routine Care” policy will provide, there’s pet coverage out there that’s right for you.

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