Although our 2022 pet survey respondents named plan premiums as the most important factor when choosing a pet insurer, cost isn’t the only thing that separates one font on the other.
Each pet insurer and policy type has different prices, coverage options, and additional features, such as discounts, wellness plans, or customer service tools. It can therefore be difficult to determine which one best suits your needs and those of your pet.
Here’s how to buy pet insurance.
Choose the best type of pet insurance plan for your pet
Do you want full coverage for peace of mind in all possible situations, or are you happy with limited coverage at a cheaper rate? Maybe you want to smooth out routine care costs in addition to covering unexpected vet bills.
Not all providers offer all types of coverage. Deciding whether you want standard accident and sickness cover, minimum accident-only cover, or comprehensive wellness cover will narrow your options.
“There are a few key factors to consider when deciding whether wellness or preventative care plans are worth it for pets,” says Dr. Sophie Whoriskey, veterinarian and consultant at FloofyDoodles. “Puppies and kittens, for example, need more frequent vaccinations and dewormings than adult dogs and cats. They are also more susceptible to certain diseases. For this reason, wellness plans that cover these services can be especially great for young pets.
Review and select appropriate coverage limits
Each pet insurance plan includes a deductible and a coverage limit. Find out how these factors influence your pet’s health care below.
Annual coverage limits
Each pet insurer will include a annual coverage limit in your plan. This is the maximum refund you can receive in one year. For example, Lemonade offers between $5,000 and $10,000 of annual coverage, while Embrace offers a maximum of $30,000.
You’ll pay a higher monthly fee when you opt for an unlimited coverage cap, but you won’t have to worry about going over an annual limit.
A deductible is the amount of money you must exceed to qualify for coverage. You are responsible for paying your entire bill until you reach the deductible. After that, you can submit the vet bills to your pet insurance company for reimbursement.
Common deductible amounts include $100, $250, and $500. Some insurers have more options. For example, Trupanion’s deductibles range from $0 to $1,000 in $5 increments.
The deductible you choose influences your monthly cost. A lower deductible results in a higher monthly cost, but a higher deductible results in a lower monthly bill.
Look for available discounts
Pet insurance companies often offer discounts on annual, group, military, veterinary, or multi-pet payments. Below are the discounts offered by the best pet insurers: