Pet Health Care Insurance For Your Dog - Answers To Frequently Asked Questions

By: Gen Wright

Are you considering getting pet health care insurance for your dog?

We all want to give our pets the best care possible. And we all know that pet health care costs are rising dramatically - just like ours are.

But does it really make sense to purchase pet health care insurance?

Let's take a look. Here are answers to frequently asked question on pet health care insurance for dogs.

What Types Of Insurance Are Available?

There are essentially four types of pet health care insurance coverage for dogs. They are:

1. Routine and wellness coverage. This coverage typically includes things such as annual checkups, flea and heartworm control, spaying and neutering, dental scaling and polishing, and vaccinations.

2. Illness and chronic condition coverage. This type of policy covers illnesses and common chronic conditions such as allergies, osteoarthritis, diabetes, thyroid problems, and Addison's disease. Continuing treatment of chronic conditions or long-term illnesses, such as cancer, beyond the first policy year when it occurred may have a reduced payout or may require a rider. Be sure to understand the coverage for chronic and long-term illnesses before signing up.

Coverage typically includes hospitalization, lab tests, diagnostic tests (x-ray, ultrasound, etc.), prescription drugs, non-elective surgery, dental services, and follow-up veterinary care related to the illness. Some policies also include euthanasia in case the dog does not survive.

3. Major medical coverage. This is the coverage used to protect against catastrophic events such as accidents and emergencies. Major medical usually has low monthly premiums and high deductibles.

The coverage includes essentially the same items as listed above for illness and chronic conditions, but would be limited to only those conditions resulting from the accident or emergency. Also, any conditions from the accident or emergency that carry into subsequent policy years may have a reduced payout or may require a rider.

4. Genetic condition coverage. This is one of the most expensive types of coverage and only a few companies offer it. However, some companies offer riders for specific conditions. The cost and coverage depend largely on the breed of dog.

There are hundreds of genetic conditions that affect dogs and some breeds are much more prone to them than others. If you are still searching for your pet, genetic conditions are something you should take into consideration when making your selection. It could save you a lot of heartache and a lot of money down the road.

Can Coverage Be Customized To My Individual Needs?

Most insurance companies can customize policies, combining elements from two or more of the general types of insurance. Riders are also usually available for specific elements of coverage not contained in the general policies.

When Is The Best Time To Purchase Insurance For My Dog?

If you are planning to get health insurance for your dog, it is best to start when the dog is young. The premiums are lower then and you shouldn't have trouble getting coverage. Many companies won't issue new policies for older dogs and, if a dog already has an illness or genetic problem, it often will not be covered.

Will I have To Change Vets?

Most companies will allow you to choose any licensed vet in your area, so you normally don't have to worry about changing vets. However, this is something to verify before committing to a policy.

How Are Claims Processed?

You are responsible for paying the vet bill in full. You then mail a claims form and a copy of your receipt to the insurance company. Reimbursement is usually received in 2 - 3 weeks.

Typically, you are reimbursed for 80% of the cost, after meeting the deductable. However, there may also be per-claim, annual, or total-policy reimbursement limits. Be sure to understand these, as they will differ from policy to policy.

What Will The Insurance Cost?

The premiums are based on multiple factors, but the biggest ones are the age and breed of your dog. Premiums can start as low as $10 per month, but will typically run $20 - $40 per month. These latter rates equate to $240 - $480 per year and $2,880 - $5,760 over the life of a dog, assuming a nominal 12-year life span.

Most companies offer discounts if you insure more than one pet.

Where Do You Purchase Insurance?

Some of the most popular and best rated insurance plans are offered by:

- Pet Plan US (GoPetPlan-dot-com)
- Embrace Pet Insurance (EmbracePetInsurance-dot-com)
- PurinaCare Pet Health Insurance (PurinaCare-dot-com)
- Trupanion (TrupanionPetInsurance-dot-com)

Independent reviews of the different companies and their plans, along with customer comments on their satisfaction levels, can be found at PetInsuranceReviews-dot-com.

Summing Up:

The final decision whether or not to purchase pet health care insurance for your dog is one only you can make.

If you have an expensive dog, such as one used for breeding, a guide dog, a search and rescue dog, or a certified guard dog, then the choice is easy - get the very best insurance you can find.

On the other hand, for your typical family pet, the choice is a little more difficult. Here, the most important thing is to make an informed decision.

First, get more information. Learn as much as you can about your breed of dog and the medical conditions they are prone to, especially the genetic ones. Decide exactly what you want included in your coverage and then shop around and get quotes from a number of the top-ranked companies.

Only make a decision after you have detailed information for your specific dog and for the specific coverage that you want. And then, make the decision that is best for you, your family, and your pet.

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In this age of rising costs, pet health care insurance can often make a lot of sense. However, always remember that prevention is the best cure. All natural pet health care products and supplements are a great way to keep your pets happy and healthy in all stages of their lives. To learn more about these great products, visit our site at

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