The Five Things To Check When Comparing Pet Insurance Providers

Let’s be honest, shopping for the Best Pet Insurance Policy is no more fun than any other type of insurance shopping. There are lots of numbers, statistics, legal terminology and a whole new vocabulary most of us are not familiar with unless you work in the industry.

To help you get started and to cut through the jargon and marketing, we’ve boiled it down to the five criteria listed below you should first compare. If you’d like to skip all this you can see our results from The Review of the Top Seven Pet Insurance Providers and how they compare.

The Five Criteria

When evaluating an insurance policy for your pet, start with these checkpoints:

1. Coverage Type – Comprehensive vs. Non-comprehensive

    • Comprehensive is best since it will cover all accidents and illnesses, including congenital and hereditary issues.
    • Non-Comprehensive usually means it will cover all accidents and illnesses, which is good, but congenital or hereditary issues, which are quite common, will still leave you without coverage and can be costly.

Recommendation: Choose a policy with comprehensive coverage

2. Benefit Limits – Unlimited vs. Limited

    • Unlimited means what it says and is better. No matter what the cost you are reimbursed for the percentage of coverage you have selected. If the vet bill is $20,000, and you have 90% coverage, you get back $18,000. That simple.
    • Limited is also what it says. If you have a $10,000 limit, and the vet bill is $20,000, then the most you can get back is the $10,000, leaving you left to pay the remaining $10,000.

Recommendation: Choose a policy with unlimited benefits if the monthly costs are close

3. Deductible Type – Annual vs. Per Condition vs. Per Incident

    • Annual is best in the event you do have multiple claims in the same year. Once you’ve paid the deductible, any additional claims will not again include that deductible payment.
    • Per Condition means if you bring your dog in for allergy issues, you first pay the deductible. Any subsequent visits and treatments for that condition will not again require a deductible payment, but if you later have to bring your dog in for say an ear infection, you will again pay the deductible.
    • Per Incident is the same as Per Condition, just some companies use different terminology.

Recommendation: Choose a policy with an annual deductible

4. Payout Model – Actual Veterinary Bill vs. Benefits Schedule

    • Actual Veterinary Bill is best. This means whatever the veterinarian charges you is the number used to calculate the reimbursement.
    • Benefits Schedule. Costs for the same treatments can widely vary based on where you live and what veterinarian you use. With a benefits schedule your coverage may come up short if your veterinarian charges $5,000 for a procedure, but the benefits schedule says it will only pay $3,500 for that procedure, you are left to cover the $1,500 difference out of your pocket.

Recommendation: Choose a policy based on actual veterinary bill

5. Get a Quote!

To get started, we recommend you check out the list of seven Pet Insurance providers posted below. Some are better than others, and it is important to get the one that is right for you and your pets. No matter which you choose, a policy from any one of these providers is better than no policy at all.

If you prefer, we’ve already done the review work for you; check out our Review of the Top 7 Pet Insurance Providers.