Pet Insurance University
A Vet's Guide To Pet Insurance
Pet Insurance Guide
(Not All Pet Insurance Plans Are Created Equal)
Below are additional pieces of coverage that you may or may not want to include in your pet insurance plan.
Remember, if your plan does not have these pieces of coverage, you will be paying for them out of your own pocket.
Behavioral Therapy Coverage
Behavior Therapy is a discipline veterinary medicine related to treating behavioral issues such as separation anxiety, aggression towards people, aggression towards other animals, peeing inappropriately in the house, and excessive destructiveness.
The types of behavior problems covered vary from company to company, so it is very important that you ask the company what types of behavior problems are not covered. Also, make sure you understand any monetary limits regarding how much you will get reimbursed.
Alternative Therapy Coverage
Alternative Therapies are products and practices that are outside the practice of conventional medicine. These include but are not limited to chiropractics, herbalism, homeopathics, and acupuncture.
The type of Alternative Therapy that is covered will vary from company to company, make sure you ask the company what types of alternative therapy they cover. It should cover the basics of acupuncture, chiropractics, homeopathics and herbals.
Also, make sure you understand what the monetary limits are.
Wellness & Routine Care
Wellness & Routine Care refers to preventive procedures such as vaccinations, annual exams, heartworm testing/medications, spaying/neutering, dental cleanings as a prophylaxis, and routine diagnostic tests (CBC and Chemistry Panel).
These procedures are very important in maintaining the health of you pet, as they prevent disease or catch disease early. This helps keep your pet healthy and in turn reduces your veterinary bills.
Most companies offer Wellness & Routine Care as an optional add-on for an additional cost.
Sometimes the cost of adding Wellness & Routine Care to your plan ends up being more than it would cost you if you paid for these procedures out of your own pocket...so make sure you do the math before you buy. Ask your veterinarian for assistance if you need help determining your out of pocket costs for Wellness & Routine Care.
Pay attention to annual limits and allowances as this will cap how much you will be reimbursed.
Also, each company covers different types of Wellness & Routine Care, make sure you understand what types of Wellness & Routine Care are included before you buy.
Some people find that Wellness & Routine Care is something they can pay out of pocket, and they use their pet insurance for the unexpected hits only. If you find that you can't pay out of pocket and the numbers for a Wellness plan don't add up, consider using low cost spay/neuter clinics and low cost wellness clinics to help you with the cost as it is very important that your pet receives wellness services.
Dental Coverage (Accident and Illness)
Dental Coverage for accidents and illnesses refers to injuries and diseases of the teeth and gums.
Dental accidents refer to broken teeth, etc.
Dental illnesses refer to tooth abscesses, periodontal disease.
This coverage does not refer to routine dental cleanings for prophylaxis, which is part of Wellness & Routine Care.
If you get this coverage, you want the plan to cover both accidents AND illnesses. Some plans cover one but not the other. Some don't cover either.
If you decide to get this coverage make sure you know what the exclusions and monetary limits are. Exclusions may include: removal of baby teeth, root canals, crowns and periodontal disease.
Prescription Drug Coverage
This is coverage for drugs that you take with you to treat your pet at home.
Most companies include prescription drug coverage in their policy. Some provide it as an extra add-on that you must purchase.
If you decide to get this coverage, make sure you know what the exclusions and monetary limits are.
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