I can tell you from personal experience that veterinary pet insurance is real insurance that is underwritten by legitimate insurance companies. I have had coverage on my animals for several years now, and the companies I have dealt with are very much real and reputable companies that offer a service of providing medical benefits for cats and dogs. For example, AETNA was the underwriter for the last insurance policy I had on one of my older dogs.
Canine and feline medical insurance works somewhat like health insurance for people, except for one BIG difference. Regardless of the company that you select, you will be expected to pay for the vet bill in full. Then you submit the paid bill to your insurance company, and they reimburse you the amount that is listed in your contract. So, if an illness, accident or emergency happens, you need to have a way to pay the vet bill upfront. This is the opposite of many health insurance plans for people, in which you pay a copay at the time of services and the doctors bills your insurance for the balance to be paid.
Just as health care coverage can vary for people depending on how good their health insurance is, coverage also varies for insured pets.Depending on the company you use, they may or may not cover routine or wellness visits for your animal. They also may or may not cover prescription drugs.
With the popularity of canine illness and accident coverage, doing a simple online search will pull up several reputable companies that you can get instant, online quotes from. Depending on the age of your pet, your pet may only qualify for limited services. There are very few companies that offer pet insurance for senior dogs and cats. For example, I have an older dog that is over 14 years old. I just recently had to find a new insurance carrier for her because the current underwriter stopped doing animal insurance in the state of Texas. Because of her age, some companies limited coverage to accidents only, and not any illnesses. However, these same companies would have insured her for “life” if she had enrolled into their health plan before she was considered a “senior”.
Some pet health insurance companies give you the option to create your own custom plans based on coverages, deductibles, etc. The best thing to do of course is get at least 3 quotes from 3 different companies. Take the time to read what is covered, and what isn’t, before you commit to purchasing any insurance.
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you’ve found it helpful. Please seriously think about getting veterinary illness and / or accident coverage while you pet is still healthy and young. If you wait until an accident, illness or emergency has happened, it is too late. All pet insurance companies will view this as a pre-existing condition and won’t cover it or your pet. Please look for future articles I will be writing addressing this subject, as well as others, relating to pet medical insurance.