The legislation creates a comprehensive legal framework by which pet insurance can be sold in the state.
During the 2023 Mississippi legislative session, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 2228 which established provisions for the sale and renewal of pet insurance policies.
Last month, Governor Tate Reeves (R) signed into law the legislation, making Mississippi the second state in the nation to establish such a measure.
The law comes into force on July 1, 2023.
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney (right) said pet owners must decide for themselves whether insurance is right for them. In some cases, this could save you money.
“If you have a question about pet insurance, call your insurance agent or call my office at 601-359-3569,” Commissioner Chaney said.
The number of insured pets is growing every year, Chaney notes, saying so is the number of companies offering these types of policies.
In a press release, the Mississippi Department of Insurance said pet insurance may seem like a joke to some, but it’s “big business.” In 2020, there were 3.1 million pets insured.
“It’s billions of dollars in bounty and this big business is coming to Mississippi,” Commissioner Chaney said.
Insurance Department staff say that pet insurance, like human health insurance, includes exclusions, varying levels of coverage, deductibles, and payment limits.
Some carriers have different levels of coverage for the customer to choose from, while other carriers have one-size-fits-all plans for all types, the ministry said. Most pet insurance companies exclude pre-existing conditions and hereditary or congenital conditions. Some insurance companies do not accept pets after a certain age and many companies have waiting periods before benefits begin.
The Mississippi Department of Insurance reminds citizens that insurance policies are generally broken down by type of pet insured and that some companies allow the owner to choose their veterinarian.
“The actual monthly cost of the policy will depend on many variables, including animal species, breed, sex, age, location, and the coverages and deductible chosen,” the Department’s advisory continues. “Most policies pay on a reimbursement basis and are not transferable to other pets, but with written approval and consent, some policies can be transferred to new owners.”
— Article credit to Anne Summerhays of the Magnolia Tribune —