Thinking about getting medical coverage for your pup? Pet insurance for dogs can be a complex topic! I won’t lie, it’s almost as tricky as finding good people insurance! So, below, I’ve covered 14 of the most common frequently asked questions (FAQs) to make things easier for you. Let’s begin!
FAQs About Pet Insurance For Dogs You Need to Know
Here’s the good news: there are many companies that offer some sort of pet insurance. The bad news: shopping for the right plan can be super complicated! Not all companies offer the same coverage. Plus, they all have an array of different rules when it comes to who they insure and who they won’t.
These FAQs below will help you figure out what you need to know. In cases where only some insurance companies offer a benefit or option, I’ve included their names to help make it easier for you to shop around for the right plan for you.
1. Do all vets accept pet insurance? How will I know if they do or don’t?
Unlike health insurance for people where you have to choose a doctor within their network, the majority of veterinarians accept all pet insurance plans. The main reason for this is that the claims process is different. With health insurance, your doctor submits a claim to your insurance company for you. In order to do that, your doctor’s office needs to have a relationship with the insurance company.
However, with pet insurance, you typically submit the claims yourself, which brings us to the next question…
2. Will my dog’s insurance pay the vet directly or do I have to wait for them to reimburse me?
As I just mentioned, most pet insurance companies require you to pay your vet bill up front. Then you need to submit a claim for reimbursement. This can be a problem if you don’t have the money up front to pay your vet bill.
The good news is there are a few companies that will pay your vet directly. Of course, you’ll still need to pay any co-payment or deductible you may have. The pet insurance companies that pay vets directly are Companion Protect, Fetch by the Dodo, Healthy Paw Pet Insurance, Pets Best Pet Insurance, and Trupanion Pet Insurance.
The drawback is that not every vet works with these brands, or vice-versa. So, if you choose one, you’ll need to ask for a list of vets in your area that they partner with.
3. What are pre-existing conditions and aren’t they covered?
In general, most pet insurance companies do not cover all pre-existing conditions, especially incurable conditions. Pre-existing conditions in pets are diagnosed or undiagnosed conditions that your dog experienced or was diagnosed with or was treated for before you enrolled in a pet insurance plan. In other words, issues that existed prior to starting the insurance.
Pet insurance policies specify which conditions the company considers pre-existing, and some may make distinctions between curable and incurable conditions. Curable conditions are ones that go away with or without treatment, including diarrhea, ear infections, upper respiratory infections, and urinary tract infections. Incurable conditions are chronic diseases such as allergies, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and heart disease.
The reason most pet insurance companies don’t cover pre-existing conditions is that if they were, some people would just wait until their dog became sick with a costly condition and then sign up for a policy so they could have some or all of their costs covered.
4. Which dog insurance covers acupuncture for anxiety and behavioral issues?
A lot of dogs suffer from all sorts of behavioral issues like excessive licking, hyperactivity, separation anxiety, territorial aggressive display, and thunderstorm phobia. Acupuncture can have a soothing effect on your dog’s nervous system. This, in turn, can help to modify and reduce these behaviors.
Most pet insurance companies consider acupuncture an alternative therapy, which also includes aromatherapy, chiropractic care, and hydrotherapy. Pet insurance companies that cover acupuncture include Embrace Pet Insurance, MetLife Pet Insurance, Nationwide Pet Insurance, and Pets Best Pet Insurance.
5. I am low-income. Is there an affordable pet insurance company?
Being a pet owner means that you need to make decisions about which pet insurance company to choose. Pet insurance can help you reduce the costs of vet visits. So, what is the most affordable pet insurance company in 2022?
Well, according to Money Geek, the answer is Figo Pet Insurance. Overall, a policy from Figo, with a $10,000 coverage limit, a $250 deductible, and an 80% reimbursement, has a monthly premium of $41.28. Figo is also the cheapest in 28 states and 120 cities. For more information, check out our article on the cheapest insurance for low-income dog owners.
6. What is the most reasonable pet insurance for multiple dogs?
Multi-pet insurance plans allow you to insure more than one pet under the same policy. The best deal seems to be the companies that offer a 10% discount when you add more than one pet. Not all companies offer a discount, though.
The pet insurance companies that offer a 10% discount include ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, Embrace Pet Insurance, Hartville Pet Insurance, Prudent Pet Insurance, and Spot Pet Insurance. Nationwide Pet Insurance offers a 10% discount on 4+ pets and a 5% discount for 2 or 3 pets.
7. Can a company cancel your policy without notifying you?
In the majority of states, your pet insurance company cannot cancel your policy without giving you written notice at least 30 days prior to canceling your policy. Of course, this varies from company to company.
The 2 main reasons your policy can be canceled are non-payment of your monthly premiums and if you were not honest when you first applied for the policy, such as not being upfront about your dog’s age, breed, and/or health.
8. Can a dog breeder require a buyer to get insurance on the dog they are selling?
If you are considering getting your dog from a breeder, you may or may not need to have pet insurance beforehand, depending on the breeder. Most reputable breeders will require all buyers to sign a contract. These contracts not only act as a bill of sale but also provide the breeder with the opportunity to share, with the buyer, their advice, expectations, and philosophy about the dog.
Be sure to read the contract to see if it requires pet insurance. Other items the contract may include are a health guarantee, a return-to-breeder clause, a spay/neuter clause, microchipping information and the dog’s diet up until adoption day.
9. Are there any pet insurance companies that cover routine visits and vaccinations?
Most accident and illness pet insurance policies don’t cover routine vet visits. However, some pet insurance companies offer optional wellness plans that you can add to your primary policy. Pet wellness plans help cover the costs of routine preventative care to ensure your dog has a happy and healthy life.
While they vary, typically these plans cover things like blood tests, deworming, fecal tests, flea and tick prevention, heartworm tests and prevention, microchipping, spay and neutering, urinalysis, and vaccinations.
The most affordable pet insurance companies that offer wellness plans include 24 Pet Watch Pet Insurance, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, Figo Pet Insurance, and Spot Pet Insurance. 24 Pet Watch has 2 wellness plans: Routine ($10 a month) and Advanced ($25 a month).
ASPCA has 2 preventative care plans: Basic ($9.95 a month) and Prime ($24.95 a month). Figo offers 2 wellness plans: Basic ($9.50 per month) and Plus ($16.50 per month). Lastly, Spot offers 2 preventative care plans: Gold ($9.95 per month) and Platinum ($24.95 per month).
10. Can you get pet insurance if your dog isn’t licensed?
Every pet insurance company is different in what they require in order to get a policy with them. However, when it comes to requiring your dog to be licensed in order to get a policy, most companies assume dog owners are complying with the laws in their area. So, if your state or city/town requires dog owners to get their dog licensed, then assume you’ll need to have that license to get pet insurance.
11. How can I use my wellness pet insurance for my dog?
A pet wellness plan is an add-on plan to a primary pet insurance policy. It provides reimbursement to help pet owners afford routine and preventative care at their vet’s office. Normally, these wellness plans follow a standardized process for submitting claims and receiving reimbursement. This process varies by the pet insurance company.
12. When reinstating pet insurance is there a period of no coverage? Does coverage start on the day of reinstatement or is coverage uninterrupted?
When your pet insurance policy is canceled, most companies will reinstate your policy with no change in your coverage. Basically, you can have your policy reinstated within 30 days from the day it is canceled without interruption.
After the 30 days, you may need to submit a new application for a policy. You’ll then need to wait the standard waiting period for your coverage to begin. This is usually 2 days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, and 6 months for orthopedic conditions. In order for a new policy to be issued, your account must be up-to-date with payments.
13. Is there any pet insurance that covers sedation?
Whether or not pet insurance plans cover sedation will depend on the reason for the sedation and the pet insurance company itself.
For example, say your veterinarian prescribes a sedative, for your dog, to treat an unexpected injury. It is likely your pet insurance policy will cover the sedative. The same holds true if your dog needs anesthesia for an unexpected surgery.
However, if your dog needs sedation for routine vet visits, you will likely need to add a wellness plan to your current policy.
14. Why is pet insurance more expensive for pure breeds versus mixed breed dogs?
It is no secret that purebred dogs are more expensive to insure than dogs that are mixed breed. The main reason for this is that purebreds have an increased incidence of heightened health issues and inherited diseases.
For instance, according to Sound Dollar, the 5 most expensive purebreds to insure are Rottweilers, Great Danes, Bernese Mountain Dogs, English Bulldogs, and French Bulldogs.
- Rottweilers (Monthly premiums range from $88.76 to $128.38) are known for having hip dysplasia.
- Great Danes (Monthly premiums range from $84.83 to $122.45) are at higher risk for bone and joint disorders because of their large body frame.
- Bernese Mountain Dogs (Monthly premiums range from $85.45 to $122.30) are often prone to heatstroke because of their thick fur coats.
- English Bulldogs (Monthly premiums range from $86.69 to $118.62) often suffer from breathing problems because of their compressed skulls and short snouts.
- Lastly, French Bulldogs (Monthly premiums range from $86.70 to $110.52) are likely to get ear infections because of their large, upright ears.
These are the most common FAQs that I’ve come across, been asked, or asked myself regarding pet insurance for dogs. They’ll help you get started on your search. However, if you have other more specific questions your best bet is to ask the company directly.
Just make sure you do so before you sign up and start a plan. The last thing you need when you’re dealing with a pet emergency is to find out that the plan you’ve been paying for over the last six months doesn’t cover what you need! Pet insurance is absolutely worth it, but only if you go with the right one for your dog.
Do you have any other questions about pet insurance for dogs? Share below!