Considering pet insurance? Here are the questions you should be - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Considering pet insurance? Here are the questions you should be asking

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Not only are more people looking to protect their precious pets, but more companies are offering insurance for them.

Like all insurance, you’re gambling with whether you’ll use pet insurance or not.

But before you buy in, make sure you consider the following from the Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner:

What's covered and not covered under pet insurance

What is pet insurance?

Its insurance that may help pay for veterinary bills if your pet is hurt, sick or needs routine preventive care. Most plans cover dogs and cats. Some plans will cover other types of animals.

When shopping for pet insurance, youll want to compare the different policy options that are available and also find out what the policy does and doesn't cover.

Pet insurance policies may cover:

  • Accidents

  • Surgeries

  • Prescriptions

  • Emergencies

  • Illnesses

  • X-rays

  • Hospitalizations

  • Wellness checks

Not all plans cover:

  • Preventive care

  • Dental care not associated with an accident or injury

  • Treatment for behavioral problems

  • Breed-specific hereditary conditions (limited benefits may apply to treatment)

  • Elective procedures

  • Congenital conditions (limited benefits may apply to treatment)

Questions to ask about coverage:

  • Can I keep my current vet?

  • Is there a waiting period involved before coverage takes effect?

  • Are routine wellness exams covered?

  • Does the plan cover chronic or recurring conditions?

  • Is neutering or spaying covered?

  • If my pet has a pre-existing or hereditary condition, does the plan cover it?

  • Is prescription drug coverage included?

  • Does the plan cover advertising costs and rewards if my pet is lost or stolen?

  • Does this plan make payouts if my pet is being treated and dies?

Compare policy costs

Find out if the policy limits payouts by incident, a yearly timeframe or your animal's lifetime.

Ask what premiums will be based on the age and breed of your pet, and the amount and type of coverage you choose.

Questions to ask about costs

  • Are there discounts for insuring multiple pets?

  • How quickly do you pay claims?

  • Are claims covered annually or by incident?

  • If the coverage is by incident, is there a time limit?

  • Is there a dollar limit for vet office fees?

Reimbursement

Some companies pay the vet for covered services, but only after you pay the full bill when your pet is treated. The company then reimburses you for the covered amount.

Read and review the policy

Be sure to look at:

  • Deductibles

  • Copays

  • Coverage limits

  • Exclusions

Pre-existing conditions

  • Review the policy to make sure it covers pre-existing conditions (certain hereditary and medical conditions).

  • For pre-existing conditions, the company may enforce a wait period before coverage kicks in.

  • For other conditions, such as diabetes or cancer, they may exclude it entirely or cover it only on a limited basis.

  • Also, a vet may have to examine your pet to certify its health before you can insure it.

Renewable benefits

If your pet's treated for a covered condition during the policy term, some companies will then consider it a pre-existing condition when the policy renews. As a result, the company may exclude coverage for that condition in the renewal policy.

Veterinarian networks

  • Some plans require you to use a specific network of veterinarians.

Make sure there's a veterinarian in your area or that your family veterinarian is in your network if you don’t want to change.

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