How To Choose A Pet Insurance Provider

How To Choose A Pet Insurance Provider

There are lots of different pet insurance providers out there ready to offer pet owners the coverage they need for their beloved animals. That’s great because it means lots of opportunities to find a good deal and plenty of competition to offer the best price. However, with so many different companies out there, how can you be sure that you are signing up with the right one? The last thing you want is to pay an excessive amount for a plan with a company that’s hard to deal with. At the same time, you can’t go too cheap and end up missing out on important features.

The best thing to do is compare your options carefully before making a final decision. Look at the companies offering plans and then go deeper with a side-by-side comparison of their policies, reputation, and costs. Here are some important points to get you started.

The Costs

Let’s start with the financial side. How much do you have to pay per month? The prices can vary substantially between companies and will depend on the type of plan and other variable. This is where it pays to see if there are tiered plans in place. This can make it easier to get a more affordable deal. Still, you have to ask what would you lose out on by dropping down to a lower-grade plan.

You should also check their costs based on your pet’s breed and age. Some dog breeds have much higher premiums than others. Does the company have a clear indication of costs for your breed? Are they higher than expected or cheaper than competitors? Is your breed even acknowledged? As for their age, some plans may not cover senior dogs above a certain age, while others are happy to take on any pet.

The Premiums and Reimbursements

When dealing with the costs involved, you also need to look at the reimbursement policies. How do they pay out the money, and how much can you expect to see? Typically, the best providers will cover 90% percentage of the costs paid, and then you also have to factor in the deductibles. This should help when figuring out how much you will be out of pocket when you make a claim. In some cases, you can find that companies will pay the costs to the vets rather than reimburse you for it. This can be more convenient for those struggling with sudden bills but it’s also rare.

The Extra Coverage

The best pet insurance plans aren’t just about the money. It’s about getting full coverage and all the support you need to protect your pet. The basic plans and tiered system will give you an idea of what to expect. For example, the accident-only plans will be more minimal and unlikely to cover as much veterinary care. However, there are plenty of other features to look out for. Many companies will offer support for lost and stolen pets, as well as emergency boarding. Others will go even further out of their way to go beyond their competitors and offer things like dental work or help with pre-existing conditions.

This is why it’s so important to read all the fine print to see what is and isn’t there. There may be a lot of pleasant surprises in the way they handle claims and some of the bonus features. However, there may be just as many unpleasant surprises if they suddenly refuse to cover specific events.

The Customer-Focused Service

The details of the plan are just the start when finding the best pet insurance for your animal. It’s no fun having the perfect coverage in place but a team that’s a nightmare to deal with. The best providers are customer-friendly and willing to discuss any problems and concerns you might have. Is the affordable company you are looking at going to resolve issues efficiently, or will they leave you hanging around for a resolution? Some of the top providers have some form of 24/7 support for queries, whether that’s via a phone line or an online chat service.

Again, it helps to read through the fine print to learn more about their options. For example, some will go out of their way to offer a better service with intuitive online portals for patients or even online video calls with vets. Those portals are a great way for pet owners to see the status of their claims and remaining coverage.

The only problem is that it can be difficult to tell exactly what a company is like to deal with until you’re signed up. That is why is it so important to not only look at independent review sites but to read online testimonials from existing customers. These reviews can highlight potential flaws and red flags about the companies to avoid. No provider will have a perfect 5-star reputation on TrustPilot because there will always be one case that didn’t go a customer’s way. Still, anything over 4.5 is pretty reliable.

The Experience and Reputation

These customer reviews help give us a better idea of the reputation of these companies to see if they are worth the effort. In addition to highlighting the pros and cons of the service, they can give an idea of the number of people renewing their policy or going elsewhere. If 60% of people go to another provider after a year, why is that? Was the service that bad? Or was the plan really good for new customers, but then they lost some of their perks?

Beyond that, it helps to look deeper into the history and brand story of these companies. How long have they been in business, and are they accredited? Those with decades in the business and lots of seals of approval are clearly doing something right. Also, do they have any ties to animal charities and other causes? Companies set up by animal lovers may work to give something back, such as donating excess unclaimed money to shelters or environmental causes.

Getting The Right Policy For Your Pet

Finding the best pet insurance policy for your animal doesn’t have to be stressful and confusing. When you take the time to fully lay out the pros and cons of the providers side-by-side, one candidate should come out on top. As long as they offer fair coverage for your breed at a good rate, and aren’t going to be difficult to work with, you have a good starting point. Any bonus features and incentives will just make the experience even better. Place all your contenders side-by-side, go through the policies, company details, price plans, and reviews, and see which makes the most sense.

Lead Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash.

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