When it comes to pet insurance for dogs, you have a lot of options. Many providers offer accident-and-illness plans, wellness add-ons and other customization features, and each plan has different coverage limits, deductibles and reimbursement rates.
Your pet’s size, breed and geographic location are all factors that influence the cost of your policy, as are the length of your policy and whether you select a lifetime or annual rate. Pre-existing conditions are also an important consideration; you’ll need to declare these before you can take out a new policy and they may not be covered. Similarly, the age of your pet at the time you purchase a policy plays a role in how much you pay, as insurers tend to charge older pets higher premiums.
In addition to choosing a plan type that best meets your needs, you can customize your policy by selecting a deductible and annual limit that fits your budget. The reimbursement option you choose determines how much of your vet bills your provider will cover after you’ve paid the deductible, which ranges from 70% to 90% of each claim.
You’ll also be able to choose a wellness plan that covers routine costs like exams, vaccinations and screening tests. These are typically less expensive than comprehensive medical or illness coverage. Some insurers, such as Figo, also include a mobile app with useful features such as health care reminders and live chat with a veterinarian.
The cheapest premiums will be for the most basic plans, but you can also save by forgoing add-ons that will hike your rates, such as a 24/7 vet hotline or additional dental coverage. Alternatively, you can opt for a specialized plan that covers only specific types of treatment. For example, a accident-only policy will help cover medical care after your pet tears a ligament or ingests something toxic, but won’t cover illnesses or hereditary issues.
Some insurers have a separate hereditary or congenital condition coverage option, which can be useful for breeds that are prone to certain ailments, such as hip dysplasia. It’s worth shopping around to see which providers cover these and which only offer it as part of their standard coverage.
The best pet insurance companies have a breadth of treatments they cover and unique coverages like hereditary and congenital disease coverage, which can save you money on your premium. Some also have the ability to pay a vet directly rather than reimburse you, which can be helpful in avoiding snags with unpaid claims. Those with flexible payment options are often rated highly, as are those that let you customize your deductible, annual limit and reimbursement rate to create the right plan for you. Finally, a company’s track record and reputation for customer service can also be an indication of the quality of their coverage. pet insurance for dog