23Jan

Proactive Planning: Pet Insurance Coverage Guide for 2023

If your pet suddenly gets sick or hurt, your policy can aid with expenses. Much like insurance for humans, the available policies have many differences. Not each condition is covered by each policy, and some conditions may unfortunately not be covered at all. Clearly understanding what you can expect before obtaining the policy that works for you is the best practice for helping with your pet policy planning.

What Do Pet Policies Cover?

Most basic pet insurance plans will assist with sudden accidents and injuries. If your furry friend breaks a bone or is hit by a cyclist, the insurance company would cover the costs for checkup and eventual treatment. Some pre-existing conditions such as cancer cannot be covered. If a new illness occurs that was caused by the pre-existing condition, it can be unfortunately ruled out as well.

The Various Forms of Pet Insurance Coverage:

Most pet insurance companies offer several tiers of coverage. There are basic forms, accident-only plans, and more inclusive coverage options. It can still be useful to get a low-cost wellness package that provides extra coverage for yearly checkups along with care to prevent further issues. The following are some of the different types of coverage and what to expect after beginning your policy.

Accident-only: 

These plans will cover your pet if an unexpected event comes up to surprise you, like breaking a bone or being accidentally poisoned. Viruses and other diseases aren’t covered, and genetic conditions are not either. You’ll be relieved to provide coverage for your pet when it comes to broken bones, bite wounds, cuts and lacerations, toxin ingestion and poisoning, car accidents, eye injuries, sprains, or bee stings. You’ll also receive reimbursement for X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, laboratory testing, and ultrasounds. Since pets love to “play detective” and are very inquisitorial beings, this type of coverage nearly always proves its worth. 

Accident and Illness:

This will cover you for everything under the accident-only type, as well as for illness and disease. Most elderly pets will greatly benefit from accident and illness coverage, especially because cancer poses such an expensive threat. Hypothyroid issues, allergies, disc diseases, urinary tract infections, arthritis, Lyme disease, osteosarcoma, and hip dysplasia are some of the conditions covered. 

You can also receive coverage for behavioral therapy, outright dental emergencies, and even holistic medicine such as acupuncture. This is one of the most frequently purchased coverage types, as it goes a bit beyond what pets can encounter during daily existence. 

The Wellness Plan Add-On:

Wellness plans will cover routine healthcare and preventative treatments. They cover expenses that you can expect regularly such as annual exams, vaccinations, flea and tick preventatives, heartworm conditions, dental cleanings, prescription food, nail trimming, grooming, training, microchipping, and even burial. Since they include so many various treatments, wellness add-ons can come with a cap on useful reimbursements, with a common amount being around $600.

How does pet insurance work?

After you secure a pet insurance policy, your vet and provider are not in direct communication with each other. You are responsible for paying the bill up front, and then you file a claim for reimbursement. After you pay a monthly or annual premium, you won’t have to worry about coverage “within a network” like many HMOs for humans dictate. An 80% reimbursement rate is standard, which will cover services after you meet your deductible.

Is Pet insurance coverage a good idea?

Pet insurance may be worth it for your scenario and the protection of your beloved companion. One of the most important things to think about is your ability to cover unexpected vet bills if your pet does suddenly become hurt or sick. If you feel that you have enough money set back for emergencies or even life-saving treatment, it is important to remember that in some instances these treatments may be multiplied as health declines. An unexpected broken bone can cost thousands, and once cancer comes into play, each treatment can be as much as $4,000.

The breed, age, and health record of your pet will also be important factors that one should take into consideration. Our best advice would be to not put things off until it is too late: get your insurance now!

22Aug

Looking out for Your Furry Family Members: Pet Insurance Solutions for 2022

All of us here at the Alexander Insurance Agency have noticed a trend toward adopting a furry family member over the past few years! In fact, pet ownership in the U.S. has risen drastically, as people nationwide realize how their mood, outlook and general happiness can improve after adding a pet to the home. The American Pet Association has also shown that around 70% of households added pets to their troupe in 2021, compared with just 67% the year before. 

The report also estimated that owners put forth an expenditure of over $30 billion on products and medical attention for their pets, which was an increase of 3% from the year before. The pandemic also brought about a record number of pet adoptions, as many workers were given the option to work remotely and found it to be the right time to bring a new pet into the home. After this period of growth, many of our customers are now asking us what types of insurance coverage can help with pet ownership.

What Type of Coverage Options are There for Pets?

The pet insurance plans that exist are designed to assist pet owners with the cost of expenses that come up when their pet becomes hurt or ill. Most policies require you as the owner to abide by a reimbursement-based plan and provide you the option of choosing which form of care or specialist to select for their pet’s needs. Here are the predominant categories that this type of coverage falls under:

Accident and Illness:

This is the most common form of pet insurance, and it will cover you for injuries such as bites, eye pain, poisoning, routine sickness, torn ligaments, broken bones, and infection. Many pet owners are satisfied with the fact that it can cover cancer and arthritis, which are more prevalent and detectable now in pets, as well as parasites and ear infections. It is recommended to obtain this coverage during younger years as well, because many providers will put the brakes on extended care for pets as they age, helping you cut down on cost while keeping your loved one healthy and happy.

Accident-Only Coverage:

Some insurers offer accident-only coverage that would aid you in the event of an accident that causes your pet a drastic physical injury.  It can be less expensive than Accident and Illness plans, and is ideal for an animal suffering from a pre-existing condition. Swallowing foreign objects and accidental poisoning are common occurrences covered, but your provider may impose a limit on how many total claims you are allowed coverage for.

Wellness Coverage:

This is a form of coverage that assists with the more routine side of things such as scheduled examinations. Many pet owners have great experiences with this type of coverage because you can get reimbursement for annual exams, spay or neuter procedures, routine blood panels, heartworm testing and treatment, fecal testing, urinalysis, routine vaccinations, teeth cleanings and flea and tick treatments!

What Should I Look for When Purchasing a Plan?

There are a few important factors to consider when choosing the pet insurance policy that will best fit your needs. Some of these are:

  • Deductibles: It’s important to consider how much you must pay before the policy pays out. There are only 2 types of pet insurance deductibles: an annual deductible and a per-condition deductible. If your policy has an annual deductible, you will pay the amount in each policy term. If it is a per-condition deductible, you will pay the amount for each condition or incident. 
  • Reimbursement: It’s also very important to consider the percentage of veterinary expenses that will be covered under your policy. Most commonly, policies offer 70%, 80% or 90% reimbursement options, but there are some insurers that will offer up to 100% reimbursement of veterinary costs.
  • Coverage Cap: The Coverage Cap is the highest amount your pet insurance policy will cover. Most policies have a cap of $5,000, but there are also insurers that offer unlimited coverage. It is important to consider your needs when choosing your policy.

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?

Many industry experts agree that pet insurance is well worth the cost. First and foremost, it eases the stress of pet owners who worry about being able to cover an expensive illness or incident. While it is impossible to predict when your pet will become sick or injured, you can protect your finances (and your pet!) with a carefully selected policy that covers large and/or unexpected vet bills. You’ll get peace of mind knowing that you’ll never have to turn down treatments and/or care because of not being able to afford the bill.

Just as the cost of healthcare for humans has risen over the last few years, the cost of healthcare for pets is increasing as well! Here at the Alexander Insurance Agency of St. Charles, we understand how important it is to protect your entire family – even the four-legged family members! We can assist you with picking the perfect pet insurance policy to suit your needs, so you’ll never have to spend a minute worrying about whether or not your pet will be able to be cared for no matter what may happen.