Pet Insurance

We have seen dozens of clients use and benefit from having pet insurance. Each pet, family, and plan is unique. As with any decision, do your homework. Ask questions and stick with what works best for you. We don’t endorse or recommend any particular company or plan, but we work with several (e.g., VPI, Trupanion, and PetPlan).

Types of Pet Insurance Policies

Some policies are just for injury or accident. We prefer the policies that cover preventive care as well as accidents or illness. There is a cost difference, but often times the preventive policies can help pay for services you’d be doing anyway (e.g., urine, blood, fecal tests).

How Is Pet Insurance Like Our Health Insurance?

One similarity with human health insurance is exclusions for pre-existing conditions. If your pet has had an illness (e.g., pancreatitis or UTI), or even a fecal sample where parasites were found, you should inquire what might be excluded down the road. Usually there is a waiting period and then coverage can resume in full.

One big difference between pet and human insurance is the burden will fall to you, the pet owner, in filling out paperwork and filing claims. We can assist you with claims and the various diagnoses or descriptions you need.

We can help if a claim is rejected. Many times, we are able to call the insurance carrier and work with them to get you full or partial payment. We have been pleased when we’ve worked with the major pet insurance companies. They were easy to work with and helpful.

Breed Exclusions

This is a confusing topic for many of us. The policy literature may not be 100{cc651acb8fd21d18461bab90e3951e117ad976e0f5f2bec6fa2ec763fee94208} clear as to what types of diseases or problems are excluded because of hereditary traits associated with a particular breed. Push for a clear answer to this question.

We may be able to help give you a few ideas as well. For example, Maltese may be predisposed to knee problems, Bulldogs and King Charles Cavaliers can have heart conditions, Boxers may get cancerous tumors, Pugs could have glaucoma. This list is by no means exhaustive.

The point is to be aware if your dog’s breed has predispositions to certain diseases. Insurance will not cover those and that might be the exact reason you want pet insurance in the first place.

We have a nice collection of breed specific information sheets. This may give you an idea of what to ask about concerning any exclusions and your pet.

Other Questions

One other item to ask about is whether your vet bill must be paid in full before the insurance company will accept the claim. Some companies require this so be sure to check.

Here is a great article on pet insurance by the AVMA that will give you additional information. Also one by a consumer advocate group covering top pet insurance plans.

If you want to talk further, Tracey Boyle, CVT in our office works with our clients who have pet insurance.