Pet insurance can help you pay for expensive veterinary bills in the case your pet has a medical problem or emergency. Some pet insurance policies will also cover wellness care coverage such as vaccinations, fecal examinations, parasite control medications, heartworm prevention, flea control, anal gland expression, nail trims, prescription foods, and even dental cleanings.
It can take time to shop for pet insurance policies and find the right company. Once you do, you may want to understand your pet insurance lifetime coverage options. If you have more than one pet, learn more about factors to consider as you think about Can You Get Multi-Pet Insurance?
Buying pet insurance can be complicated. You have the policy, policy limits, copays, deductibles, reimbursement, exclusions, and waiting periods to consider. Here is a very good article that gives information on exactly how pet insurance works. Go to How Does Pet Insurance Work?
What is a Pet Insurance Policy With a Lifetime Cover?
For most companies, your pet insurance policy will be in effect as long as you keep your policy up to date. It will provide the coverage you select when you purchase your policy. For example: If you have a deductible of $500 and a copay or reimbursement percentage of 90%, your policy will pay 90% of your vet bills after you meet your $500 deductible.
The maximum coverage limit varies by company. This is how much money an insurance company will pay out per health issue, per year, or lifetime. Some may have a limit of $5,000 and others may unlimited coverage. This is a very important variable to understand as you compare companies.
It is also important to understand exclusions. Exclusions are what a pet insurance company won’t cover. For example, some companies won’t cover genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia. Learn more about pet insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing conditions.
What are Common Pet Insurance Questions and Answers?
Below are some of the most common questions and answers pet owners ask about pet insurance. These are important to understand as you consider a pet insurance policy with a lifetime cover.
- Are pre-existing conditions covered in your pet insurance policy? The answer is no. No pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions. This is important to understand because if you have lifetime coverage for your pet, it won’t cover those conditions for the life of your pet.
- When is the best time to get pet insurance? The best time to get pet insurance is when your pet is young and healthy. It is important to know that for all companies, pre-existing medical problems are excluded. So if your pet develops arthritis for example and then you purchase a pet insurance policy, then arthritis and conditions that relate to or are caused by arthritis will never be covered for your pet. If you buy your insurance policy when your pet is young and healthy, everything will be covered.
- What if I have a $4500 vet bill after I have pet insurance? The answer to this question depends on your policy coverage and if your policy is in effect. Here are a couple of key points:
- Every company researched for this article has a “waiting period” for the pet insurance policy to kick in for medical problems. The waiting period is defined as “the period of time you wait for your policy to take effect”.
If you have a wellness policy, the plan may be effective immediately to cover things like vaccinations.
- However, if you have a medical problem, there may be a waiting period of two weeks before the policies kick into place. If there is a two week waiting period and you have a $4,500 vet bill the next day and the policy is not yet activated, then you are responsible for that $4,500. If you have a pet insurance policy that is active (you have paid your premium and it is after the waiting period), then the pet insurance will pay to the full extent of your policy. This means that if you have a policy that has a zero deductible and the policy on your co-pay is that the company will pay 90% of the bill, then the pet insurance company will pay $4,050 and you will be responsible for 10% of the bill which would be $450.
- Can you buy pet insurance lifetime coverage? The answer is yes, you can buy a pet insurance policy and keep it for the lifetime of your pet. This varies with the company but most companies researched for this article will not cancel you unless you don’t pay your premium. There can be limits in how much they cover per incident or per year but they don’t cancel your policy. So your pet can have lifetime coverage if you continue to pay the premiums. Ask this important question before you sign up for a plan.
- How do you know if your pet qualifies for pet insurance lifetime coverage? If your pet qualifies for pet insurance, you can choose to keep the policy, pay the premiums every year or every month, and therefore keep the lifetime coverage. It is possible to change the coverage over time. For example, you can go from a zero deductible to a $500 deductible with most companies. If your pet has any conditions that pre-exist and are not deemed as curable when you purchase your policy, those will extend for the lifetime of your pet. Ask the company if they can ever cancel your policy before you sign up for a plan.
- Are there limitations in how much a company will pay for a problem? This is an excellent question. Many companies have “maximum coverage limits” which is how much money an insurance company will pay out per health issue, per year or a lifetime. Some may have a limit of $5,000 and others may offer unlimited coverage. This is a question to ask when you sign up for your policy.
- What is a coverage type? Most policies cover accidents and illnesses. Many companies offer add-on policies that also cover wellness such as vaccines, flea prevention and more.
Important Questions to Ask