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Insurance For Pet - How to Buy Insurance for Pet Companions

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There was a time when if you told someone you were thinking about buying pet insurance for a cat, you would have been laughed at and run out of town. At the very least, you would be enjoying several months in a padded room. In today’s society, however, even financial experts have voiced the opinion that insurance for pet companions is really not such a bad idea after all.

In the past, pets were a semi-disposable commodity. If they had an internal medical problem, that was the breaks. Veterinary science was not as advanced, and surgery was a costly and risky business. In recent years, treatments once only used on people have been adapted by veterinarians for use in pets. These treatments have proven effective, but they remain very expensive.

When most people hear that they can save their pets life for a few thousand dollars, they will take out credit to have it done even if they can’t afford it. After all, what is money compared to a trusted friend? This can lead to severe consequences down the road that could have been avoided with insurance for the pet.

Pet insurance policies vary widely and many new companies have jumped on the bandwagon trying to reap the benefits from fearful pet owners while providing them subpar coverage. For this reason, the first rule of buying insurance for pet companions is to shop around and compare policies.

Here are a few factors to consider when shopping for pet insurance:

1. Check with your state department of insurance. If the company is not registered, it should be avoided. Even if the insurance company is listed with your state, take a look at the Better Business Bureau listing in their home state. Doing both of these checks will immediately weed out most of the predatory companies.

2. Find out what is covered by the pet insurance policy you are considering. Several types of coverage may be available:

  • Accidents – Accident coverage should not only include broken bones, but the accidental swallowing of items. Accidental swallowing accounts for the majority of emergency trips to the veterinarian.
  • Illnesses – While most common illnesses are usually covered, some policies omit chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, and skin conditions.
  • Check-ups – Routine visits to the vet are not normally covered in regular policies but are available as optional coverage.

3. – Pay attention to the deductible options. Just like human health insurance, higher deductibles mean lower monthly premiums, but greater out-of-pocket expenses. Some companies allow you to change your deductible in the future with no penalty in order to accommodate ever-changing life situations.

4. Be sure to ask about policy limits and exclusions. Some policies put a cap on coverage. This cap can be on a per-incident basis, lifetime basis, or both. Make sure the limits are enough to cover at least a single catastrophic event. In addition to limits, many policies have exclusions on pre-existing conditions. Sometimes, the policy will exclude one-time conditions that were previously treated, so if, by chance, your pet has a second incident of a non-chronic condition, it will not be covered. Make sure exclusion clauses are clearly written and easy to understand.

5. The policy should not restrict you from seeing the veterinarian of your choice. Never be forced to select from a network list. This can cause problems in the case of emergencies or if you must take your pet to a specialist.

A few companies that provide insurance for pet companions have been around for several years and have continuously been given great reviews by policyholders. Here are three companies that have proven themselves:

  • Veterinary Pet Insurance – VPI is recommended by many veterinarians. The company was originally founded by a group of veterinarians over 25 years ago and continues to be supported by a veterinary advisory board. They have a choice of several plans and options. VPI can be contacted at 1-888-899-4874.
  • Embrace Pet Insurance – Embrace receives 9 out of 10 stars by consumers. They allow you to use any vet, and their plans are comprehensive, including even genetic conditions. Plans can be tailored for any budget. Contact Embrace at 1-800-511-9172.
  • PetCare Pet Insurance Programs – PetCare is owned and operated by Pethealth, Inc. Their headquarters is in Ontario, Canada, but they are an international company, providing pet insurance policies throughout North America and Great Britain. This company is a top provider of pet insurance for cat owners. Contact them toll-free at 1-866-275-7387.
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