How To Get The Best Pet Insurance Plan

By Ronald Kimmons. May 7th 2016

Similar to humans, pets are often in need of medical attention. However, medical care for animals can be prohibitively expensive. For this reason, insurance companies offer policies that cover the veterinary and pharmaceutical costs necessary to keep pets healthy and fight disease. However, as with other types of insurance, buyers should remember that there are many companies out there fighting for their business. If you are in the market for a pet insurance policy, make sure to take the steps necessary to get a policy that is as affordable as possible while providing the care that your pet needs.

Get Insurance Quotes

The Internet is full of helpful resources for those in the market for pet insurance. Many insurance companies allow prospective buyers to go to their websites and enter their information to receive a quote. By doing this on a variety of insurance company websites, you can gather enough information to make an educated decision. If you prefer not to scour the Internet on your own to find the best prices, you can use a rate comparison service. Many of these services are run by independent parties that compare the costs of various insurance companies and compile them together in a comprehensive list. Other comparison services forward your information to a group of insurance companies and allow them to send you their quotes independently. Once you have a list of the companies with the most affordable rates, investigate each of them to see which is the best option.

Verify The Coverage

It’s important to keep in mind that cheap pet insurance policies are not necessarily good pet insurance policies. For example, Policy A may be slightly cheaper than Policy B, but if Policy A covers significantly less, Policy B may be your best option.

There are three basic types of coverage that pet insurance companies provide. The first type, called a “cover for life” policy, provides a set amount of money every year for veterinary fees. If you exceed the specified amount for a given year, you must make up the difference out of pocket until the next year begins. The second type of pet insurance is condition-based. It provides a certain amount of money to cover a given medical condition. Once you reach the limit for the given condition, you must pay for any further treatment out of pocket. The third type of coverage has both a time limit and a total claim limit. It covers a certain amount of money for a single condition for a designated period of time (usually not longer than a year). Of these three types, the first type is generally the most comprehensive. If one company offers the first type of coverage at a price comparable to what other companies charge for the second or third types, that may be the best buy.

Verify The Providers

Keep in mind that some pet insurance policies limit your choices for veterinarians that are covered under the policy. For example, certain insurance companies make agreements with specific veterinarians to keep rates low – and consequently do not pay for procedures performed by other veterinarians. Other insurance policies offer coverage for procedures performed by any certified veterinarian. These policies tend to cost more, but not always. If you are thinking about purchasing a policy with limited providers, make sure that you have an approved provider near you.

Find Company Reviews

Once you have narrowed your search down to two or three insurance companies, consult Internet review boards to find out about other pet owners’ experiences with these companies. You may also want to look at that company’s Better Business Bureau grade. If a particular company has poor customer service or does not follow through with paying claims, the fact that it charges lower rates than other companies may not be a sufficient reason to buy its policies. You can find a lot of chatter about the best pet insurance policies on blogs and Internet communities dedicated to pets and breeding.

Keep Researching

It is important to note that even if you have a policy that has worked out well with a particular pet, this does not mean that the insurance company you chose will have the best policies for other pets – or for the same pet later on. For example, a company that has a great policy for your dog may not have great coverage for your new horse. Also, if you opted for a cheap policy with many limitations early in your pet’s life, new conditions may make it necessary to purchase a more expensive policy for the future, and the best company to offer that extended coverage may or may not be the company you currently have. Stay abreast of new developments and ask around to ensure that you can continue to get your pets the best possible coverage for the best price.

If you are in the market for pet insurance, make sure to do your homework ahead of time. Taking the time to thoroughly research your options will pay off down the road in terms of the quality of care and the cost of insurance.

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