1. Pet health policies are similar to human insurance policies. They have Annual premiums, deductibles, and various coverage based upon what the owner chooses. Most plans also have co-pays and caps that limit how much will be paid out annually.
2. Some packages are comprehensive, including annual checkups and vaccinations, spaying/neutering, death benefits and even reimbursement for offering a reward for lost pets. Other plans cover only accidents and illness.
3. If your pet has a pre-existing medical condition, make sure this is not excluded from your policy. It doesn’t make sense to buy a policy that won’t pay when you need it.
4. Check to see if your insurer excludes or charges a higher premium for your breed.
5. Review any age limits for coverage. Some insurers start coverage right away, some require the pet to be 8 weeks old. Some don’t cover pets over 8 years old, some have no age limit.
6. If you have more than one pet, ask your insurer if they offer a multiple-pet discount.
7. Make sure you understand what your buying. Some policies cover only accidents, most cover accidents & illness, and a few offer comprehensive coverage, including preventive care (checkups, vaccinations, neutering, etc.) along with accident and illness coverage.
8. Check the deductibles, caps on coverage and co-pays. For example, some pet insurers will pay 80% of the costs for treating a pets illness, others may pay 100%. Make sure you select an insurer that provides the coverage you need.
9. Approval of pet insurance is almost instant. But on some policies there is a 30 day waiting period. This is usually on the older dogs or cats.
10. With some policies your dog is required to get annual health checkups and vaccines. This keeps your pooch up to par and is usually covered by “preventative care” under your policy.