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The love, time and patience that breeders put into each litter is evident by the well-tempered, healthy puppies they send home with excited new puppy owners.

Breeders can help ensure the continued health and safety of their puppies by encouraging puppy buyers to activate the 30 days of pet health insurance included with their AKC registration.

New puppy owners may not be well informed about the benefits of pet insurance and turn to their breeder for advice. To help breeders best advise their puppy buyers, we’ve provided accurate answers to the top nine misconceptions people have about pet insurance.

“Nothing is covered.”

When creating a policy, pet owners should have a good understanding of the coverage they are purchasing. Websites and brochures can be very informative and provide a good overview of the coverage; however, they should do deeper research. Pet insurance websites provide links to their terms and conditions where shoppers can find the details of exactly what is, and isn’t, covered under the policy. Still have questions? Call them! They’d be more than happy to help.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that pet insurance companies deny most claims they receive. This is certainly a misconception! With more than 1.8 million pets insured in the United States, and with a growth rate of 17% in 2017, clearly claims must be being paid and pet owners are seeing the benefits.

“I can’t use my favorite veterinarian.” 

Purchasing a pet insurance policy will not lock you into a small network of veterinarians. Because pet insurance works on a reimbursement basis, you can select any licensed veterinarian of your choice — even emergency and specialty clinics. Whether you’re at home or traveling across the United States, you can ensure your dog is always covered.

“I already have coverage through my veterinarian.” 

Many veterinarians are offering wellness packages that offer discounts on various services like vaccinations, lab work, and even some x-rays. This is not the same as pet insurance. This type of “coverage” is not helpful when it comes to accidents, illnesses and chronic conditions that require long-term treatment. In addition, those services can only be redeemed at your veterinarian, which may not be helpful in the event of an emergency when you are out of town or if the emergency happens outside of normal veterinary clinic hours. Instead, choose to get a comprehensive pet insurance policy from an insurance provider that includes wellness coverage. If you love your current wellness plan offered through your vet, consider enrolling in a pet insurance policy without wellness so you have coverage for those unexpected health conditions.

“Pet insurance is too expensive.”  

In addition, discounts are available to help your pet insurance policy better fit your budget. Puppies coming from breeders participating in the AKC Breeder of Merit or Bred with H.E.A.R.T. programs will receive 10% off their full-term policies. There is an additional 5% multi-pet discount if you choose to enroll two or more pets under the same policy.

Considering the rising cost of wellness visits, emergency care, and exam fees, pet insurance can save you money in the long run. AKC Pet Insurance lets you create a policy that covers exactly what you need without paying for coverage that you won’t use or don’t want. Start with an accident and illness base plan and then customize your policy with add-ons to cover wellness items, hereditary conditions, and exam fees. You can also choose your deductible, coinsurance and annual limits so you determine exactly how much you want to pay for your pup’s insurance policy.

“Making a claim will increase my premium.” 

It is not correct that every time you make a claim, the cost of your policy increases. In regards to AKC Pet Insurance, the number of claims that you submit or the amount paid out in claims does not affect your premium in any way. Premiums are completely objective and based on the coverage you choose, the age of your pet, and your geographic location.

“Making a claim is difficult and it takes forever to get reimbursed.”

Reimbursement doesn’t take months. Most claims are processed within seven days of receiving the claim submission — usually less. Missing information or the need for additional medical records from your veterinarian can cause a delay in reimbursement. Ensure that you’ve included everything the claims team will need to speed up the process and get reimbursed quicker.

Filing a claim is easy and only takes minutes. First, pay your veterinarian as usual and pick up your itemized bill. Then, submit your claim form and itemized bill via email, fax or postal mail. No vet signatures are needed.

“My dog is too young or too old to get coverage.” 

We want to help protect dogs from puppyhood into their golden years. Dogs can enroll in a full-term policy starting from 8 weeks of age. AKC Pet Insurance offers coverage for senior dogs too. Dogs ages 9 and up can enroll in accident and injury coverage. A dog that is already enrolled in accident and illness coverage will not lose that coverage as he or she ages. They will retain their accident and illness coverage indefinitely if there is no gap in coverage.

“Pet insurance isn’t real insurance.” 

Pet insurance is like human health insurance, with the major difference being that it acts on a reimbursement basis. There’s no network of veterinarians and your premiums will be considerably less expensive. When you call the AKC Pet Insurance customer care team, you are always speaking to a licensed insurance agent. Just like human insurance companies, pet insurance follows a strict set of rules established by each state’s department of insurance.

“It makes more sense to start a savings fund for pet care.” 

Some pet owners believe that they’ll save money by creating a savings account for veterinary bills that they can deposit money into every month. While this may be a viable solution for some, there are several flaws in this plan. The biggest being that emergencies can happen at any time, and the average cost of an emergency vet bill is $1,500. With one in three pets needing emergency veterinary treatment every year, you may not have enough time to contribute to a vet bill savings fund before an emergency arises. In addition, veterinary bills for long-term illnesses can quickly add up and keep your savings fund from ever passing zero. If you have multiple pets, saving for each of them will be even trickier with a savings account. Pet insurance ensures you’re reimbursed for eligible conditions quickly and provides you with more money to spend should a medical emergency occur.

Is pet insurance worth it?

Pet insurance is a great way for puppy owners to ensure their puppy is covered for unexpected accidents and illnesses. It offers owners the ability to provide the best veterinary care for their puppy without worrying about the cost. Additionally, owners can keep their dog healthy with preventative care, receive reimbursement for exam fees, and feel better knowing their puppy is protected.

Providing your new puppy owners with the 30-Day Pet Insurance Certificate will give them the opportunity to try out 30 days of accident and illness pet insurance. Once your new owners have completed their registration with the AKC, they can activate the certificate to begin their 30 days of coverage at no additional cost.

Enrolling in a policy and understanding the terms and conditions are key to getting the most from pet insurance. Read through the plan options and get a quote for a full-term policy today!

Mary Shaughney comes to AKC Pet Insurance with an extensive background in animal care and as a lifelong animal lover. She has a passion for promoting pet health and wellness and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her orange kitty, “Cat.” She is currently searching for the right pup to join her family!

Disclaimer
30 days of pet health insurance through AKC Pet Insurance* for newly registered puppies. Details about this special benefit will be sent to you shortly after registration.

*The AKC Pet Insurance Certificate is administered by PetPartners, Inc. and is underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company, 6100 4th Ave S., Seattle WA 98108, or Independence American Insurance Company. Activation is required. Not available in all states and only available to U.S. residents. Eligibility restrictions apply. Visit www.akcpetinsurance.com/certificate or call 1-866-725-2747 for more information or to review terms and conditions.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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