Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance

When it comes to covering your pet’s health, the options can seem endless. Between choosing the right company and the right plan, the task can seem daunting. But be assured, there is a plan out there that will fit your specific needs.
A good website to help research pet insurance
An independent site run by a veterinarian who has compiled a list of the benefits, coverage and ‘gotchas’ of every policy available in the U.S

Most important thing to understand – No Insurance covers pre-existing conditions so sign your pet up when they are young

My personal favorites based on my clients’ experiences have been Trupanion, Healthy Paws, & FIGO None of them cover any wellness care, but your pet’s largest expenses occur with chronic medical problems, with illnesses that need 24 care ($1000-1500/day) and with surgeries by board certified surgeons ($5000-8000). I routinely see $3000-10,000 reimbursements to my clients with pet insurance.

Premiums are influenced by the age of the pet at the time of sign up, their breed, your zip code, and the deductible you choose (plus the level of reimbursement for Healthy Paws and FIGO.) I suggest comparing the plans at 90% coverage with unlimited annual reimbursement but please read the policies carefully. For instance, Healthy Paws doesn’t cover hip dysplasia unless there have been no problems for a year, which can be a concern for a young large breed dogs.

Trupanion has no annual or lifetime caps and covers 90% after the exam and deductible, which can be set from $0-$1000. The deductibles are per medical diagnosis. If the problem is treated and resolved (upset stomach, ear infection,) the deductible occurs at each visit. If you have a high deductible and your pet has multiple curable problems in the same year, you might not have any reimbursement that year. Even higher deductibles are wonderful for expensive illnesses, surgeries, and especially, the chronic conditions. Deductibles occur once per lifetime for ongoing conditions, which often need expensive medications and lab monitoring (chronic skin allergies, autoimmune disease, intestinal problems, periodontal disease, heart disease, osteoarthritis, kidney disease, liver disease). Root canals and periodontal disease are also covered as long as routine dental prevention (which isn’t covered) has been done.

Healthy Paws and FIGO have annual deductibles. (Expenses add up during the year to meet the deductible and the deductible recurs each year.) There are pros and cons to this difference. Healthy Paws has no annual or lifetime caps, and 70-90% reimbursement options after the deductible. FIGO has 10K, 14K or no annual caps options, no lifetime caps, and with 80-100% reimbursement options after the deductible. Unlike Trupanion & Healthy Paws which don’t cover exams, FIGO counts the examination fee towards the deductible.

Nationwide’s Whole Pet with Wellness is a new plan that offers 90% reimbursement of everything that a veterinarian does or prescribes, including my house call exams, wellness labwork, vaccines, flea prevention, & routine dental care. I’m impressed by its coverage. You can contact the local rep Betty Paulsen for more information.