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6 points to ponder about pet insurance

Each insurance company differs in coverage details, co-pays and deductibles, so be sure you have what you need before you invest in a policy for your pet.

Pet insurance is a good way to protect your pet and your pocketbook from unforeseen vet bills in the future. As many companies offer pet insurance, you need to consider the options available and weigh the pros and cons of each package.

hen researching pet insurance, make sure to read the company’s entire sample policy to ensure you understand the service fees, limitations, cost-sharing, deductibles and co-pays. Look for coverage that has simple percentage-based payouts and doesn’t rely on determining what is reasonable in terms of coverage. Make sure to understand what’s excluded, too. Ultimately, no pet insurance covers pre-existing conditions.

Some insurers also exclude newly diagnosed issues when a policy is renewed, upping the cost of the premiums. A maximum limit on treatment for illnesses might be imposed as well.

Six points you need to watch for include:

1. Policy variations

Insurance companies can greatly differ on what they offer. Some will cover accidents but not illnesses. Some won't cover cancer, while others will.

2. Price considerations

heaper is not necessarily the best way to go. Make sure your policy will actually pay out in case of an accident.

3. Which vets take insurance

It doesn't matter because all insurance companies will allow claims from any veterinarian.

4. Pay out of pocket

The reason all vets are covered is because you pay the veterinarian first, then file a claim with your insurance company.

5. No pre-existing conditions

If your pet is already sick with something, or has already been in an accident, pet insurance purchased after the fact will not cover those expenses.

6. Is it worth it?

Pet insurance is for large, unexpected vet bills. If you don't want to ever have to choose between putting your pet down or going into debt, then you need pet insurance. Prices range from $8 to $80 a month, depending on your needs. Each differs in coverage details, co-pays and deductibles, so be sure you have what you need before you invest in a policy for your pet.

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