Pet Insurance Basics
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance is coverage that helps you manage your veterinary costs. It’s actually a form of property insurance, which sounds strange since we certainly don’t think of our pets as anything other than furry members of our family. But it works similar to an auto or home insurance policy and reimburses you for covered incidents.
Why do I need coverage for my pet?
Like our own health crises, pet medical emergencies often come out of the blue. Many times, an unexpected veterinary bill means adding to your credit card debt or draining a savings account. In some heartbreaking cases, it can even mean having to say no to recommended diagnostic tests or treatments. Pet insurance reimburses you for covered veterinary bills, so you can focus more on your pet's care – not the cost.
Quality veterinary care is also getting quite expensive especially as more advanced medical services become available for pets. These days our pets can benefit from all sorts of treatments, including MRI, laser surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Pet insurance can give you the financial cushion you need to provide your pet with the best care possible even when it comes with a high price tag.
What does pet insurance cover?
Pet insurance typically covers pets for injuries and illnesses. With Complete CoverageSM, you can take advantage of more robust coverage that includes:
- Hereditary and congenital conditions – These are conditions that are inherited or caused by birth defects, such as hip dysplasia and intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).
- Alternative therapies – There are many alternative therapies that can help pets recover from an accident or health condition, such as chiropractic care, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture. Complete CoverageSM covers these services when they’re used to treat a covered condition.
- Behavioral issues – Compulsive behaviors, such as fur pulling, destructive chewing, and excessive licking, can be harmful to your pet and disruptive to your family. The costs of diagnosing and treating these conditions are covered.
You can also add preventive care coverage to your plan at a low additional cost. This coverage will reimburse you for services that can help keep your pet healthy, such as annual wellness exams and dental cleanings.
How does it work?
If something happens to your pet, you can take them to any veterinarian for treatment, pay for their services as usual, and submit a claim for reimbursement. You can usually submit clams online or by email, fax, or mail. With the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program, you can submit your claims using the My Pet Insurance App. Just open the app, enter some basic information about the incident, and snap a photo of your invoice. It’s a fast and convenient way to submit your claims.
How do I get my money?
You can select our direct deposit option to have your reimbursements deposited right into your bank account. This way, you can get your money as quickly and easily as possible without having to wait for a check in the mail or deposit a check. However, you can choose to have your reimbursements mailed as a check if that works better for you.
Will I need to switch to a new veterinarian?
Absolutely not! With Complete CoverageSM, you have the freedom to use any veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic. This means you can stay with the veterinarian you and your pet have both come to trust. Plus, you’re covered if something happens to your pet when your usual veterinary clinic is closed or while you’re traveling with your pet. You can also visit specialists, such as veterinary dermatologists, cardiologists, or oncologists, without needing to get a referral or pre-authorization first.
How much does it cost?
Your cost is based on a few different things, including the age and breed of your pet as well as your zip code. You can get a free quote to see what your monthly premium would be without any obligation to enroll. You can also customize your plan to better fit your budget and coverage needs.
How can I customize my coverage?
There are a few ways you can customize your plan with the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program:
- Annual limit – This is the maximum amount you can be reimbursed during your plan year. We have $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, and $20,000 options. We also have an unlimited annual limit for those who want the most possible coverage.
- Reimbursement percentage – You can choose to be reimbursed 70%, 80%, or 90% of your covered veterinary costs.
- Deductible – We have annual deductible choices of $500, $250, and $100. You only need to meet this deductible once a year no matter how many times your pet is hurt or sick.
If you choose a lower annual limit or reimbursement percentage, you can pay a lower premium. However, this also lessens the potential cash back you can get during your plan year. By selecting a higher deducible, you will have a lower premium, but keep in mind you’ll need to meet a higher amount before you can start getting reimbursed.
What should I look for in a pet insurance provider?
As you compare pet insurance online, there are several things you should consider.
- Coverage and price – It’s important to balance coverage with price. Of course, you want your premium to fit into your budget, but keep in mind that the lowest cost plan may not be the best option if it doesn’t give you the coverage your pet needs.
- Experience and stability – You want a provider who knows what they’re doing when it comes to pet insurance and will be there for you over the life of your pet. Although you can’t predict the future, a good indicator is to look at how long they’ve been in business.
- Easy claim submission – You should look at the process and ways you can submit your claims. Is the claim form short and easy to understand? Can you submit claims online or using an app? It shouldn’t be complicated or time-consuming.
If you’re having trouble understanding the differences between your options, you can compare the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance program with top pet insurance providers. When you’re ready, get a free quote so you can see the options and prices available for your pet.