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Pet Insurance: Little Known Features and Types of Coverage You May Not Know About



In a perfect world everything runs smoothly from day to day, there are no accidents, disappointments or things to worry about beyond deciding what color sock you’ll wear with your shirt tomorrow. Unfortunately this perfect world only exists in places like the Wiggles show, on a cruise or at an all inclusive resort, providing the weather is good.

Buying Pet Insurance

Switching back to where most of us spend our time in the real world, things are not all bad and most of the time life is okay but accidents do happen, disappointment arise to show their ugly head and worry tends to extend beyond the perfect world of TV.

That’s why people invented things like cat pet insurance. It’s for happy cat owners who would like to remain happy cat owners. If you’re not a cat owner then there is no reason to read any further unless you know a cat owner and you’re reading this for them. In any case, let’s proceed.

Running out to your local pet insurance company and quickly grabbing a policy is one method, but not necessarily a good one when it comes to buying pet insurance. We all live different lives and so does your cat. You need to fit the pet insurance company and policy you choose to you and your pet’s lifestyle.

Getting the most comprehensive coverage with the lowest possible premiums and deductibles is not impossible providing you do your homework. Closely compare companies and plans and take your time to read all the fine print and ask lots of questions to make sure you’re well informed. Only when you’re completely satisfied should you buy a policy.

Besides getting the basic coverage for accidents and visits to the vet, there are other types of coverage you may not have considered that may be important to you.

Here is a list of a few lesser known pet insurance features and types of coverage that you may like to consider asking about for your policy. We’re not recommending you get all of these features. Instead select the coverage and features that will benefit you the most and fits best with your particular needs.

Little Known Types of Pet Insurance Coverage and Features

Animal Bites

Getting bitten is not on the top of my list and I’m sure it’s not on the top of your Cat’s list either. But if you have one or more outdoor cats there is the risk of them being attacked by another animal. Indoor Cats are at a much lower risk, unless you also own a nasty gerbil or two.

Seriously, residential areas offer less of a danger from wild animals but if you live in a highly wooded or desert area you may want to consider the everyday dangers your cats have to deal with when stepping out the door.

Here are some of the more common wild animals that offer a threat to your outdoor cat.

  • Snake
  • Coyote
  • Raccoon
  • Squirrel
  • Scorpion
  • Fox
  • Porcupine
  • Ground Hog
  • Skunk
  • Rat

If you feel the risk is significant for your cat, look for coverage of bite wounds, lacerations and the like. Treatment can run into hundreds if not thousands of dollars so ensuring you have the coverage for this type of incident is a smart move.

Car Accidents

We know your Cat doesn’t drive, but if they are injured in a car accident are they properly covered for treatment? If your Cat frequently travels in the car with you check with your Car insurance to see if they offer any special riders for pets. Even if your Cat doesn’t get into the car with you very often it’s something worth taking the time to look into just to be on the safe side.

Does your policy have a wellness plan?

A wellness plan is an essential part of any pet insurance policy. It’s designed to cover things like physical exams, vaccinations and other regular check-ups. Older pets can be excluded for pre-existing conditions. Getting a policy for your pet when they are young will lessen the chance of any health problems being excluded.

Always go with a well established company

Always closely examine the company you’re planning to buy a policy from. If they were recommended to you by a friend see if you can learn more about the company from them. Companies that have been in business for a long time are more stable and a better choice. Search for any reviews online and keep an eye out for any costumer complaints.

Lastly, visit the Better Business Bureau’s website at bbb.org. Search for the company and check their accreditation, rating and review.

Get coverage the day you buy it.

Some pet insurance companies will make you wait up to 30 days before certain aspects of you policy are covered. Try to get a pet insurance policy that begins the same day you buy it and has no needless delays associated with it.

Is your Cat covered when their away from Home

If you take you cat with you when you go places make sure your policy covers them when they are away from their home. If your cat normally stays home when you go out then it’s nothing to worry about although keep in mind that some insurance companies will slip in an exclusion that will not provide benefits for your cat when they are physically away from the premises.

Beware of quick repayment promises

Be weary of pet insurance companies that promise to process a claim ‘as quickly as possible’. Chances are you’ll never see you money. A reputable pet insurance company normally has a set period for repayments. Don’t rely on false promises.

Get actual steps you need to follow to processes a claim and the number of days you’ll have to wait for payment so you’ll know exactly when your money will arrive. This way you’ll know if it’s late or not and can follow up with the pet insurance company.

Cancellation Pet Insurance Penalties

If you decide to cancel your policy for what ever reason, there should be no penalties at all to worry about. In fact it would be a good idea to make sure the pet insurance company you’re planning to use doesn’t have something as ridiculous as a cancellation penalty. While you’re at it see if they offer the ability to put your policy on hold for a certain period of time as well as reduce or increase the coverage or make any other changes with a simple phone call.

Get your pets medications before you travel

To save you some time trying to claim the cost of meds purchased from atypical locations, make sure you’re stocked up on your pets meds before you go on any trips that your pet will be joining you on. Also plan ahead and make sure your cat is fully covered by your pet insurance if you’re planning to go away for an extended period of time.

Look for discounts on Vaccinations

You can sometimes find vaccination clinics in your area put on by the ASPCA and the Humane Society where you can have your cat vaccinated at a lower rate. This can actually cost you less than a visit to your primary vet where you are covered by your pet insurance.

Always get a second opinion

If your vet is suggesting some costly treatments for your cat it always helps to shop around, even though you trust them and respect their opinion. Talk to your insurance company about your options and ask if they can suggest any other vets in your area you can visit. You may ultimately end up sticking with your own vet but it never hurts to get a few other opinions before making a final decision.

Find out if any breed-specific illnesses are covered for your Cat

If the breed of your Cat has hereditary, pre-existing or breed-specific conditions they may not be covered and this may be the coverage you need the most. Check with the pet insurance company to see if they offer coverage and what percentage they will cover. Also check if treatments as well as prescriptions are included in the coverage.

Search for reviews on pet insurance companies

Search online for the pet insurance companies you’re interested in. The quickest way to find reviews is to enter the name of the company in the search box followed by the word ‘review’. You could also search on ‘Pet insurance review’ to find any review sites that may have a review on the company you’re looking for.

Look for reviews from pet owners for an unbiased review and see how happy or unhappy they are in getting their claims processed, whether they get their money in good time or if they have to deal with any rejections of all or parts of their claim.

Learn about the underwriters behind the policy

Underwriters determine the risk of each policy that is created. Underwriters who are too conservative can loose business for a company and those that are to lenient can loose money for the insurance company. Learning how an underwriter asses risk for the different policies can give you some insight into the ability of the pet insurance company to make payment on future claims.

Ask about any limits on coverage

Some policies will place a cap or maximum amount on certain items that are covered in the policy. These caps can be for each treatment, for a health issue or for a maximum amount for the year. It’s worth asking about any maximums in advance so you know you’ll have the coverage when you need it. Otherwise you may find yourself paying for something you thought was covered.

Can you use your own Vet

Some pet insurance companies have a specific list of Vets throughout the country that you can use. Other companies will let you choose the Vet you would like to use. Check to make sure your Vet is supported by the policy you’re interested in.

If not then ask if you can use your Vet. If the answer is no and you don’t want to switch to one of the insurance companies Vets then find another policy that will let you use the Vet you want.

In Closing

This list should give you some new ideas to add to whatever ‘must have’ list you’ve got going before setting out to find the optimum pet insurance policy for your cat. While you’re hunting around, take some time and review each policy very carefully.

Finding a policy with the features you want at a price you can afford will make you and your cat very happy.

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