Pet Insurance: Coverage for the Unexpected
While you can budget for your pet’s preventive care, it’s harder to budget for a pet emergency or an unexpected illness. Treatment in these situations can be expensive, creating a situation where you may have to choose between your budget and your pet’s care. At Companion Animal Hospital of Norridge, we don’t ever want a pet parent to be in that situation. That’s why we strongly recommend pet insurance for every companion! For a monthly premium, the costs of your pet’s unexpected treatment costs are covered, meaning you never have to compromise on their care!
How Pet Insurance Works
Pet insurance is similar to human medical insurance in that you’ll have a monthly premium and a deductible. Once your deductible is reached, your pet’s unexpected treatment will be reimbursed up to 90%. One important difference to note between pet and human insurance is that pet insurance companies do not pay your veterinarian directly. It’s up to you to cover the initial cost of your pet’s treatment and then file a claim to receive the appropriate reimbursement.
Pro Tip: Enroll your pet when they are young to take advantage of low premiums and full coverage. Older pets may already have pre-existing conditions that are not covered by most plans, so enroll early before these conditions have time to develop!
Choosing the Right Insurance Plan
At Companion Animal Hospital of Norridge, we accept most insurance plans, giving you the flexibility to choose the plan that works best for you and your pet. When looking for an insurance plan, there are a few things to consider:
- The kind of coverage you need. Most insurance plans cover unexpected illnesses and injuries, but there are some that also cover wellness and preventive care services. Do plenty of research to find the plan that covers everything you need it to.
- Conditions that may affect coverage. Not all plans cover all conditions. Some plans exclude coverage for conditions that are pre-existing, congenital, hereditary, or related to breeding. Make sure you fully understand your plan’s coverage before committing!
- What you want to pay each month. Some insurance plans have a static fee for your premium, while others allow you to choose your monthly payment from a sliding payment scale based on your deductible, coverage, etc.
- Consider the plan’s reimbursement policy. Different plans will reimburse you differently. Some take a percentage of the invoice while others give you an annual benefit schedule of allowances. You’ll also have to think about whether the plan gives you a per-incident deductible or an annual deductible.
- Ask about discounts and/or multi-line discounts. Some plans offer a discount for pet families that include more than one pet. Additionally, some companies like Nationwide may offer multi-line discounts if you also have your home or car insurance with the same company. Don’t be shy — ask for discounts!
Ask Us for Advice
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a pet insurance plan! Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s health and the kind of coverage that would be best for them. Pet insurance companies we recommend include Trupanion and Nationwide. Here’s a snapshot of both companies:
- One plan to choose that covers all unexpected illnesses and injuries
- Choose your monthly premium from a sliding scale based on deductible, coverage, etc.
- Reimburses at 90% after the deductible is reached
- Offers multiple plans, including those that cover wellness and preventive care in addition to unexpected illnesses and injuries
- You may be eligible for a multi-line discount if you have other insurance plans through Nationwide
- Different plans reimburse at different rates after your deductible is reached