Before purchasing a policy for your pet, the coverage that it provides is the first thing you should consider as it can vary greatly between companies and even between insurance plans offered by a single provider. There are some conditions that most companies cover, while there are others that are only covered by a handful of providers. There are even treatments and procedures for which no company would pay for. If you are thinking of insuring your pet, it would be useful to check out what you will potentially get coverage for and be aware of those issues that no policy will include, no matter how much you pay or which plan you choose.
Common Pet Insurance Coverage
Illnesses developed after the effective date of an insurance policy are usually covered, although it is best to check for particular exclusions, just to be sure. Genetic and congenital diseases could be exceptions, for example, or the waiting periods pertaining to them could be longer than the basic coverage. It is important to note that if a condition has shown symptoms that could be related to it, then it is viewed as a preexisting condition despite the lack of diagnosis. Cured conditions are occasionally included in the coverage, but with strict terms attached.
An accident that happens after the effective date of the policy will be covered as long as it was not caused by a preexisting condition. To give an example, treatment of a torn ligament will be covered but only if the pet had not shown signs of a limp before the insurance came into effect.
Preventative care, which includes dental care, deworming, vaccinations, and the like as well as miscellaneous care such as grooming, microchip implantation, or tick removal are usually all grouped together and offered as part of a comprehensive wellness plan. Not all insurance companies provide this option, and when they do the plan functions more like a savings account than an insurance policy. However, if you enroll your pet anyway, a wellness add-on could be beneficial.
While this is usually offered only as part of a wellness plan, spaying or neutering deserves a category of its own. The procedure is only needed once, so it could be a good investment to opt for the most extensive coverage or pay for a wellness benefits package that includes this option if your pet is still young. Once the procedure has been completed and the year-long insurance cycle has passed, you can always downgrade to a different plan or cancel the wellness benefits if you wish.
There isn’t a single provider that will cover a condition that has either been diagnosed or already shown symptoms before submitting your claim, and this is the reason that companies require your pet’s medical history. The best you can ask for is a specific timeframe. Sometimes conditions are considered to be cured and will once again be included in the coverage if they have shown no symptoms for 12-18 months preceding the claim.
All insurance companies have waiting periods. More often than not, you will have to wait about 15 days after enrolling your pet for the policy to come into effect. During this time if any illnesses are discovered or accidents occur, then they will be considered preexisting conditions even though the contract with the provider has already been signed and the premium paid.
Breeding and Related Conditions
As with preexisting conditions, breeding and any related injuries or illnesses are never covered by insurance. What’s more, some companies even offer a discount if you enroll a pet that has been spayed or neutered.
Cosmetic procedures are unnecessary and can often be dangerous, and as such are therefore never covered by insurance. The risk is the owner’s responsibility.
Conditions Due to Neglect or Mistreatment
Injuries caused deliberately and conditions that develop due to neglect are never covered. Most pet insurance companies are founded and run by active supporters of animal welfare, and neither condone cruelty nor will they help owners that don’t take proper care of their pets.
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