An introduction to pet insurance

Right now pet insurance is a big subject.  A lot of people are thinking it is a good idea to have because of rising vet costs. Most people who own a dog look at them as another family member. They want to make sure their dogs are given the very best in medical care in the event of illness or injury.

The question you need to ask yourself is if your dog suddenly becomes ill or injured, will you have the money to cover the bill? If not, then insurance for your dog could be the best answer for you.

Most pet insurance companies cover the same things. Here is a list of what normally is covered:

Annual Fees

Behavioral training

Diagnostic tests

Heartworm protection

Hospitalization

Lab fees

Prescription Flea Control

Spay/Neuter

Surgeries

Teeth Cleaning

Vaccinations

X rays

On the flip side, there are exclusions to a pet insurance policy. The things which most pet insurance companies exclude are:

Pre existing conditions

Hereditary and Congenital conditions

Some preventative care

Conditions related to breeding

Alternative vet treatment

Injuries or illness due to natural disasters

All disorders

When choosing an insurance company, make sure they are reputable. Larger companies tend to be better and more willing to pay out on claims than the smaller less known ones.

Keep in mind you get what you pay for. Cheaper companies are not always the best value. They may not be willing to pay on a claim. Then it doesn’t matter if you saved a buck going with them instead of the more expensive company. You can be stuck with the vet bill.

When making a claim on your pet insurance, there are a few things you should know up front.  Most people don’t realize pet insurance uses the “reimbursement” model. This means you pay the bill up front, and the insurance company will reimburse you. Most insurance companies will reimburse you up to 80 to 90%.

When you call the insurance company to make a claim, you will talk to a claims advisor. They will give you an idea of how long it should take to receive your reimbursement. Some insurance companies deal directly with the veterinarians though.

Third party liability claims are completely separate from other issues relating to vet bills. They normally take a long time to settle. Pet insurance companies deal with the claim on your behalf. At the worst, you may only have to pay the excess fee if there is one.

Third party liability insurance is normally used for vicious dogs. The policy usually covers owners whose animal has caused harm, either by biting or damaging property. This also includes damage and attacks on other animals. Third party liability insurance is generally a secondary coverage.

Reimbursement is similar to other types of insurance coverage except that you are submitting the claim summons, insurance policy number, writs, police reports, and other documents that has come about because of the attack.

Once the company gets your claim, the insurance company will contact you if needed. The insurance policy should cover you if your dog has attacked another person or damaged property or caused some kind of accident. So it is wise to purchase a comprehensive policy if you have an aggressive dog. Make sure though your policy will defend you in case you are accused of negligence.

This has been a brief overview of pet insurance. It is important you contact an agent who will explain all aspects of coverage. Make sure you do your research of the different companies and policies that are available.

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