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When a beloved pet is sick or injured, an owner may have to make tough decisions while under an enormous amount of emotional stress. Managing the finances of a pet’s sometimes-lifesaving-care makes a difficult situation that much harder. That’s where pet insurance for dogs can come in.

Why Purchase Pet Insurance?

Often, it takes only one unfortunate incident for a veterinary bill to go over the cumulative (total) premium payments, especially for a young pet. By purchasing a pet insurance plan, dog owners can rest assured that many of their unexpected veterinary bills will be reimbursed. It’s important to note, though, that most insurance companies require owners to pay upfront and submit a claim for reimbursement.

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cover?

Many providers offer a variety of plans with different levels of coverage, from emergency visits to regular (or wellness) veterinary care, like vaccinations. You may have to pay a deductible (the amount you have to pay before you’re eligible for reimbursement) and a co-pay (the percentage you will pay out-of-pocket after the deductible is met).

For instance, you may have a plan with a $200 deductible and a 20% co-pay. If you receive a veterinary bill for $1,200 that is eligible for repayment under the terms and conditions of your plan, you will likely be responsible for the first $200 and 20% of the remaining $1,000 — a total of $400. Your insurance company will reimburse you the additional $800. It’s important to know that some companies calculate this differently. They may instead first deduct the co-pay percentage and then the deductible, which could result in less reimbursement.

Mixed breed getting its teeth checked at the vet.
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Depending on your plan, you may have a “per incident maximum” (the maximum amount you can be reimbursed for one injury/illness) or an “annual maximum” (the maximum amount you can be reimbursed in a year).

What’s the Fine Print About Pet Insurance?

It’s important to look at all the little details of a dog health insurance plan before deciding if it’s the right one for you. Consider the following:

  • Some plans don’t cover certain genetic conditions. Most will not cover pre-existing conditions.
  • Your plan might cover only a portion of certain services, like specialist care.
  • It’s important to learn how renewals are completed. By understanding this, you’ll be able to avoid a gap in coverage and avoid possible disqualification for any ongoing medical issues.
  • Ask if your plan offers a “pre-approval” option for owners who have time to determine if a procedure will be covered, like a non-emergency surgery, by insurance.

How Financially Stable and Reliable Is the Pet Insurance Company?

This is very important. Imagine if you select a plan for your pet, who then develops a health condition that is covered under your plan. But five years later, your insurance company goes out of business. The next insurance company you choose would consider that condition pre-existing. Your premium payments are an investment in your pet’s health, so make sure you spend that money wisely.

Golden Retriever senior at the vet wearing a cone on its head.
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While researching plans, ask who underwrites the plan and look up that company’s rating. An A, A+, or A++ rating is ideal. Confirm the company is licensed in your state. Also, find out how long the company has been in business and the number of customers enrolled.

Finally, check to see if the company has any complaints against it with the Better Business Bureau. A number of review websites allow users to rate their insurance companies, which may give you insight into how reliable they are and how complicated the reimbursement process is.

Are Pet Insurance Discounts Available?

Some companies offer discounts for multiple pets. They may also offer discounts if a pet is microchipped or if they come from a certain breeder. Ask about these offers before finalizing your policy.

Lemonade pet insurance offers customizable policies for cats and dogs, so you can rest assured big-ticket vet bills won’t catch you by surprise. A base policy covers diagnostics, procedures, and medications for unexpected accidents and illnesses. Plus, you can opt for preventative care and add-ons, so you can tailor your pet’s perfect policy.

This article is intended solely as general guidance, and does not constitute health or other professional advice. Individual situations and applicable laws vary by jurisdiction, and you are encouraged to obtain appropriate advice from qualified professionals in the applicable jurisdictions. We make no representations or warranties concerning any course of action taken by any person following or otherwise using the information offered or provided in this article, including any such information associated with and provided in connection with third-party products, and we will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages that may result, including but not limited to economic loss, injury, illness or death.

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