Pet insurance is often thought of as a backup for major health issues. While it can be used for this, it can also help to keep your pet healthy in the first place. Pets need annual check-ups, as do humans. Pets, however, are susceptible to different things in the environment. They also must have monthly preventative care to ward off fleas, ticks, and heartworms. Insurance companies know that large veterinary bills can result when preventative care is not given. Many companies that offer insurance for pets now include assistance with annual exams and shots.
What to Expect
When you sign up for your insurance plan, you receive information that explains your covered expenses. Be sure to look at the annual exam percentage and get the appointment made as soon as possible. When your pet stays healthy, you are less likely to run up your insurance premiums. Insurance for pets is a bit different than for humans. The pet owner usually pays for the visit upfront and is then reimbursed from the insurance company. You can expect a waiting period of a few weeks between the visit and reimbursement.
The Annual Visit
Your pet’s annual visit to the veterinarian is geared towards overall health. The vet examines the gums and teeth, checks the weight, and may run some blood tests. When insurance is involved, be sure to check the coverage for extra things like deworming and extra blood work. If heartworm preventative has lapsed, a blood test must be done to determine negativity. Preventative medications are prescribed at this point for the entire year. Some pet insurance companies may also pay a percentage of this. The final thing that happens at the annual visit is the vaccinations. The rabies vaccination is usually required by law. The others can keep your dog from becoming severely ill from soilborn bacteria and other dogs in social situations.
It is best to get health insurance when your pet is young. This way, they are not entering into the contract with a pre-existing health complications. Most companies do not cover long-term illnesses, such as cancer when they exist prior to purchasing the policy. If your pet is covered prior to the diagnosis, your reimbursements are likely to be higher. If you have a specific breed of dog or cat, there may be some common health issues that accompany that breed. Most insurance companies ask for this information before giving you a quote for service.
When you are searching for pet insurance, be sure to ask about the annual exam coverage and preventative care coverage. Most people are concerned about the big bills associated with accidents and major illness. Annual check-ups, however, are also included for many pet insurance holders. When your pet stays healthy, the insurance company runs less of a risk for payouts on big, or long-term illnesses. Take the time to review your benefits so you know what to expect at each veterinary visit and with your payouts.