The Inside Scoop On Pet Insurance For Cats and Dogs

Most people are not prepared to shell out (most likely on their credit cards) over $1000.00 to a veterinarian for unforeseen veterinary care expenses. Every six seconds, a pet owner is faced with a vet bill for more than $1,000. Pet insurance is the protection you and your pet need. Did you know that the cost of veterinary care has more than doubled over the past 10 years? This is due in part to new and innovative pet treatments and therapies. By insuring your pet, you can have the assurance that if your pet ever gets sick or injured, your pets veterinary care will be provided for completely. Now that we know the basics its time to review some pet insurance plans, I have included in this list the best plans in the industry to fit a wide variety of needs.

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Healthy Paws
The next plan on our list is the top rated in the industry by customers on review sites and by veterinarians. This company provides coverage for dogs and cats, but not for exotics or any other animal. Plans vary, and coverage cost will vary between plan selected and age of your pet, from $15 to $90 a month. There are no payout limits with this company for individual accidents over the lifetime of your pets coverage, unlike many providers who place a cap on this. This plan has annual deductibles, not per incident so you can maximize the value of this plan. Pets can be covered from 8 weeks old to under 14 years old. This company makes the claims process easy, and customer service is top notch and friendly to deal with. As long as your pets condition is not a pre-existing condition from before you enrolled the pet, it will be covered, and you could pay as little as 10% of the vet bill. This plan features unlimited lifetime benefits, with no annual or per incident caps, however pre-existing conditions, preventative or routine care, and veterinary office visit fees are excluded from claims. Turn around time on claims is often hours, never weeks or months like some providers. Plans cover the following: Illnesses, Accidents, Hereditary Conditions, Congenital Conditions, Chronic Conditions, Cancer, Diagnostic Treatments, X-Rays, Blood Tests, Ultrasounds, Surgery, Hospitalization, Prescription Medications, Emergency Care, Specialty Care, and Alternative Treatments. If you enroll your cat or dog now, it will be allowed coverage when it reaches age 14 years and beyond, provided that no lapses occur in coverage, IE missed payments or cancelling the policy for any reason. A huge plus with this plan is that they will also pre-authorize very expensive treatments, on a case-by-case basis, with your veterinarian hospital to help reduce your upfront burden.

Trupanion

This is one of the highest rated pet insurance agencies. I rank this plan right under Healthy Paws. This plan features no payout limits, but they can be aggressive with what they consider a pre-existing condition, and you need to have all your pets medical records. They pay up to 90% of costs, but beware that the deductible is per issue, not annual, so if you choose a high deductible the plan could be nearly worthless for smaller visits to the vet. They do offer a zero dollar deductible plan however, but this of course costs more money. There is no dollar limits on the cost of care if your pet becomes sick or injured.

The Cons: Many customers have reviewed this plan and claim they are very aggressive on what they call a pre-exisiting condition. Reports abound of slow responses to claims, and increases yearly for premiums despite stating on there website that premiums do not increase due to a pets age or prior claims.

PetPlan
Our first plan is for those with older pets. This plan has no age limit cap like many plans. While you will pay a bit more for an older pet, your older senior pet will be covered. This plan provides for illnesses and injuries, hereditary and chronic conditions, veterinary exam fees, prescription medications, diagnostic treatments and imaging, cancer treatments, alternative therapies, dental treatments (non-routine), rehabilitation and referral plus specialist treatments. Plans above the basic can include additional expenses like boarding kennel care, death of your pet, coverage if your pet is lost or stolen and more. Pet plans website has a claim calculator to help you pick the plan best suited for your needs. Policy holders can get a free pet rescue alert plan that alerts fire fighters and first responders to help find your pet faster in the event of a fire or other disaster.

The cons: Some consumers report being given the run around when trying to remit claims to this company. Some pet owners were told they needed papers going back 2 years on their pet before any claim would be approved. Their deductibles are per occurrence as well, not annual like many providers of pet insurance are. Any veterinary specialist care was only covered to 80 %. Lots of hidden catches. Still this plan might be the only option for many with older senior citizen pets. You are better off choosing someone else.

These were the top rated pet plans on the market. Of the 3, I recommend Healthy paws, based on coverage and user reviews. There customer service is the best in the industry, and the turn around time on claims is the best as well. I myself used this pet insurance and have never had an issue with either claims, turn around time or dealing with the insurance company. Healthy Paws deducible is also annual, not per incident, so this plan has the most value for your money. Trupanion would be a close 2nd choice but lags far behind Healthy Paws. PetPlan is coming in third for my review based on customer service and the claims process, especially since the deductible is per incident and not annual.

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