Even though insurance for pets has been in existence for more than two decades, most pet owners still do not understand the concept of pet health insurance. While it is encouraging that pet owners are presented with numerous coverage plans, the availability of such varied choice also makes the pet owners wonder whether these plans are capable of minimizing their pet care expenses. Recent studies on pet insurance show that most pet owners find it very hard to choose an insurance plan that is both economical and right for their needs. Lets take a brief look at pet assurance and insurance plans.
When compared to pet insurance, assurance plans offer a number of attractive features that include coverage for any pet, irrespective of its age or any pre-existing medical conditions. With assurance plans there is no necessity to fill any claim forms and the waiting period is usually very minimal. The best part of assurance plans is that it does not have any deductibles at all and it does not specify any limit for getting maximum coverage.
Assurance plans also offer a wide coverage for routine medical expenses including spays or neuter care. Pet assurance plans even cover specialty treatments for conditions like cancer. It also covers expenses for hospitalization without any additional charges. The major drawback of assurance plans is that the veterinarian you choose should be within the network area specified by the assurance company of your choice.
On the other hand, pet insurance plans are relatively expensive with several features like benefits, deductibles and claims that can vary significantly depending on your choice of coverage plan. With most insurance plans, the waiting period is about two weeks and about 80% of the eligible expenses have to be incurred by the pet owner only after filing a claim form. Generally, most insurances plans have deductibles, which is about $50 per incident.
As far as medical expenses are concerned, pet owners can claim their expenses only if they meet the eligibility criteria. Coverage for specialty cases like cancers is extremely limited in most insurance plans and most often an additional deposit of about $99 has to be made annually even for routine treatments. In case of spay or neuter routine, pet owners can claim reimbursement for about 65%, depending on their coverage plan. The maximum coverage limit varies depending on whether it is for lifetime, annual or per incident category. With most insurance plans you can choose any registered veterinarian.
How to Choose the Right Plan
When you compare pet health insurance plans with assurance plans, the latter will definitely look more favorable and a better choice of the two. However, if you take a closer look you will find that in general, no particular plan can be the right choice for all pet owners as the requirements of each pet and pet owner is unique. The best way to make the right choice is to compare various features of different coverage plans like benefits and actual cost. Comparison charts are available in most pet insurance websites for your convenience.
Whether your choice is insurance or an assurance plan, keep in mind that the right choice is the one that suits your particular needs.