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What Is The Underwriting Process

Pet Insurance: What it costs, what it covers, and how to find the best

Policy underwriting is the process of evaluating your pets medical history and collecting general information such as breed, age, and size, to determine if your pet is applicable for insurance coverage. Most pet insurance providers do this health assessment at the time of the first claim, which is called post-claim underwriting. So, an upfront medical exam is not required when you first enrol for pet insurance, but an exam is performed when you make your first insurance claim for reimbursement. In contrast, some providers offer whats called upfront underwriting, where your pet is evaluated at the time of enrolment subject to a full medical exam. The benefit of this option is to identify upfront what conditions will be considered pre-existing and will not be covered by your policy, so you dont have any surprises later on. Lastly, some companies will offer both options upon request, meaning that you could choose to have the health assessment at the time of enrolment. However, the company may still request additional medical records at the time of your claim.

Pet parents are encouraged to enrol in pet insurance when your pet is still young and healthy. Not only are premiums cheaper, but if you enrol before any medical conditions arise, those conditions should be covered by your plan. If you wait too long, such conditions could be considered pre-existing and you will have to pay out-of-pocket to treat your pet.

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Accidents Or Surprise Illness

The real benefit of pet insurance is to help pay for the unexpected medical costs of taking care of a pet. A general idea of how much unexpected medical care can cost includes:

  • Emergency visit to a veterinary clinic or hospital $100-$400

  • X-ray $100-$300

  • Anesthesia $200-$400 per hour

  • One full day of hospitalization $300-$1,000

  • Abdominal ultrasound $200-$500

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Youve heard Bob Barker say it a thousand times on The Price Is Right:

Help control the pet population have your pets spayed or neutered.

Have you ever considered it?

If your life is blessed with furry companions, you may have.

Spay procedures can be somewhat costly. Perhaps you wondered, maybe pet insurance pays for it?

But does pet insurance cover spay?

Heres more info about how pet insurance covers neutering and spaying and a few situations when pet insurance makes the most sense.

  • Pet Insurance Saves You from Unexpected Vet Bills
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    If My Pet Is Involved In An Accident Will Pet Health Insurance Cover My Vet Bills

    Your insurance policy will come in handy if your pet gets a broken bone or is hurt by a car, or if they accidentally eat toxic foods or something dangerous they shouldnt have. Lemonades accident and illness policy covers diagnostics , procedures , and medication if your dog or cat gets into an accident or comes down with an illness.

    Your pet health insurance covers surgery that might result if your dog or cat ingests a toy. The only exception here is if your pet has a history of eating similar toys multiple times in the past. Being a good pet parent means watching out for your fur fam! If your cat chows down on a box of laundry detergent one day, and the vet manages to save herthats reason to celebrate. But its your responsibility after that to make sure your loved one isnt able to get into that detergent.

    Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre

    What does Pet Health Insurance Cover and Cost?

    All our policies cover conditions that ended at least two years ago and we have a policy that can cover more recent conditions. Its called Pre-existing and is available for pets under 9 and covers conditions that ended at least three months before your policy starts. Most other companies do not cover pre-existing conditions.

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    How Do You Prepare Your Pet For An Mri

    MRIs can help detect some of the underlying medical conditions in your pets such as cancer or cysts. Due to its importance of detecting medical maladies, this is a test you shouldnt skip. That’s why it’s important to find best dog and cat health insurance that covers it now- before you need it.

    Also, you should prep yourself and your pet prior to undergoing an MRI procedure by following these recommendations:

    – Consult with your vet regarding why your pet needs an MRI, and make sure you understand the implications of anesthesia for your pet.

    – Make an appointment with neurology consultation at a speciality hospital.

    – Plan for blood work prior to the MRI.

    – Free up an entire day for the procedure as it can take a significant amount of time and your pet may need hospitalization.

    – Also, if you have a pet insurance plan, submit a pre-authorization request to verify the coverage before the MRI is performed. This way you can avoid any surprises in the coverage afterwards.

    Whats Not Covered By Pet Insurance

    Here are some common pet insurance exclusions:

    • Pre-existing conditions. This is an injury or illness that your pet had before your coverage started. Some plans may not permanently exclude pre-existing conditions. For example, Nationwide may extend coverage if you have medical records that show your pet has been cured of a condition for at least six months.
    • Experimental treatment. This includes diagnosis and treatments that are considered experimental, investigational or not within the standard of care accepted by your states veterinary medical board.
    • Grooming. Pet insurance typically doesnt cover grooming services such as baths, dips, shampoos or nail trims.
    • Behavioral training such as pet obedience training.
    • Food, dietary and nutritional supplements. Your pets dietary expenses are typically not covered, even if prescribed by a veterinarian.
    • Non-veterinary expenses. This includes expenses for waste disposal services, record access or copying, any license or certification and compliance with a government rule or regulation .

    Your pet insurance plan may have other exclusions. For example, if you bought a pet insurance policy that covers only accidents, you wont be covered for any illness-related medical expenses.

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    Resources For Individual Policyholders Employees And Members Who Receive Coverage Through Their Employer

    1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company , a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company , a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGens policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC , MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC , and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

    2 Approximately 80% of claims are processed within 10 days or less.

    4 For policies issued by IAIC, coverage for these conditions is subject to a 6-month wait period. Please review your policy for complete details.

    5 Can be purchased at an additional cost.

    How Do I File A Claim With Pet Assure Pet Insurance

    How does pet insurance work?

    Interestingly, Pet Assure doesn’t require customers to file claims atall instead, the vet applies the discount at the time of service. Thiscompany states it has thousands of participating clinics and that thecoverage network spans the entire US and some territories too.

    Like traditional pet health insurance companies, the Pet Assure discount won’t apply to groomingservices, doggy daycare, house calls, or dog food. Additionally, thisplan doesn’t cover diagnostic tests sent to labs or any medication.

    Providers that aren’t in the Pet Assure Network won’t offer the 25%discount, which means some new customers must switch vets to reap thebenefits of this plan. The website has a provider location tool where you can find local vetsin their network. Don’t feel like switching vets? This program is freefor providers to join, and you can send your vet an invitation to jointhe Pet Assure Program at no cost to them.

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    Comparing Pet Insurance Coverage

    Coverage
    Accident-only Physical accidents: surgery, broken bones, swallowing poisonous or inedible objects, cuts, bloating, torn ligaments, pet hit by a car, bee stings, animal bites, ultrasounds, MRI, and sometimes burial or cremation for pets that die from an accidental cause
    Accident and illness Physical accidents, sudden illnesses including digestive issues, allergies, cancer, diabetes, asthma, surgeries, related medications, congenital and hereditary conditions and sometimes alternative treatments, such as hydrotherapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic care
    Wellness Spaying and neutering, vaccines, teeth cleanings, and routine care, including exams and labs

    Pet Insurance Plan Exclusions

    We’re all about helping protect your pet from unexpected accidents and illnesses and you from the financial burdens of their treatment.

    The Healthy Paws plan does not cover the following:

    • Pre-existing conditions
    • The examination fee
    • Pre-existing cruciate ligament injury has a bilateral exclusion. If the cruciate ligament on one leg is injured prior to enrollment or during the 15-day waiting period, then the cruciate ligament on the other leg is excluded from coverage. This is the only bilateral exclusion.
    • Preventative care
    • Preventive healthcare including vaccinations or titer test, flea control, heartworm medication, de-worming, nail trim, and grooming.
    • Parasite control including but not limited to internal and external parasites for which readily available prophylactic treatments are available.
    • Dental health care, however if injury to teeth is caused by an accident, the plan does cover the cost of extraction and/or reconstruction of damaged teeth.
    • Spaying and neutering.
    • Anal gland expression.

    The plan does not reimburse the costs, fees or expenses associated for elective procedures, boarding, behavioral modification, training, therapy or medications for behavioral modification. Please see for more information on exclusions.

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    Whats Covered By Pet Insurance

    Pet insurance is a health insurance policy that pays a portion of a pets medical bills. You can purchase a comprehensive nose-to-tail policy that covers a wide range of health-related problems. For example, if you want coverage for accidents, illnesses and wellness care, Nationwides Whole Pet with Wellness plan covers these type of health-related problems:

    • Accidents and injuries, such as poisonings, sprains and ACL ruptures
    • Chronic illnesses such as allergies, arthritis and skin conditions
    • Common illnesses such as ear infections, vomiting and diarrhea
    • Serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes
    • Hereditary conditions such as hip dysplasia, eye disorders and blood disorders
    • Testing and diagnostics such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, blood tests and ultrasounds
    • Procedures such as surgeries, hospitalizations, nursing care, endoscopies and chemotherapy
    • Holistic and alternative procedures such as acupuncture, chiropractic and laser therapy
    • Wellness procedures such as vaccinations, flea/heartworm and spay/neuter

    Comprehensive pet insurance policies will be the most expensive plans. If you dont want a policy that covers all of the above, you can buy a policy with fewer benefits. For example, you can buy a policy that covers only accidents and illnesses, or a policy that covers only routine vet visits for checkups and vaccinations.

    What Does The Accident & Illness Policy Cover

    What Does Pet Insurance Cover? Learn Before You Buy

    The more comprehensive policy is the Accident & Illness policy. With more coverage than Accident-Only, this policy covers your pet for any complications due to an accident or illness. Accident & Illness policies cover a wide breadth of maladies from broken bones to cancer and everything in-between . Sounds awesome, right?

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    How Much Does It Cost

    You can add a preventive care coverage option to your ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan for as low as $9.95 per month. Thatâs in addition to the cost of your overall plan. You can get a quote online now to see the coverage available for your pet, along with the costs.

    Itâs important to note that wellness plans are not the same as pet insurance plans. Purchasing a wellness plan means that you are prepaying for the preventive care services your pet may need, and you will not have coverage for accidents, illnesses, hereditary conditions, or behavioral issues.

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    Is Pet Insurance For Dogs Necessary Healthy Pets Can Be Expensive But If Something Goes Wrong The Costs Can Be Astronomical

    Providing your pet pup with routine care is part of being a pet owner. You go above and beyond to make sure that your pet’s wellnessis a priority. As a pet parent, have you considered getting pet insurance for your dog?

    Even a seemingly healthy dog can rack up expensive vet bills, which can happen unexpectedly. Emergency care like a snake bite or even getting hit by a car can end up costing you thousands of dollars in pet health care bills. Unexpected situations is where pet insurance for your dog can come in handy.

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    What Pet Insurance Covers Pre

    This is a highly relevant question, because most pet insurance companies dont provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is any health condition that is known to exist at the time an application for coverage is made.

    However, there are a very small number of companies that will cover pre-existing conditions. Even those have very specific definitions for the types of pre-existing conditions that will be included.

    For example, Pumpkin will cover conditions that are determined to be curable , and your pet has been symptom-free for at least 180 days. If they occur after that timeframe, the company will provide coverage.

    What Does Nationwide Pet Insurance Cover?

    Pet Insurance by Nationwide is a good example, because its one of the few major insurance companies to provide pet insurance coverage. They provide plans for both dogs and cats.

    Coverage includes:

    How Much is Pet Insurance and What Does it Cover?

    According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association , State of the Industry 2021, average premiums for dogs and cats for comprehensive coverage are as follows:

    • Dogs: $585.40 per year, or $48.78 per month
    • Cats: $349.93 per year, or $29.16 per month

    Its important to understand that these are just national averages. The premium youll pay for coverage for your own pet will depend on the following factors:

    What Sort Of Illnesses Are Covered By My Pet Health Insurance Policy

    is pet (dog) insurance really worth it? how does it actually work?

    Your pet health insurance policy will cover a wide range of things, from ear infections to diabetes. Youll also have coverage for a range of hereditary and congenital conditions, from elbow and hip dysplasia to hernias and eye disorders.

    But its important to note that many of these may fall under the category of pre-existing conditions. If your pet is diagnosed with such conditionslike cancer or diabetesafter their pet health insurance policys waiting period, theyll be covered. But if they suffer from those conditions, or show signs of them, before getting pet health insurance, treatment related to those specific conditions will not be covered.

    TL DR: The best thing you can do is get your furry friend covered with pet health insurance when theyre young, and keep them covered as they age.

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    You Might Be Interested In

    The best pet insuranceand the best Pet Advisors

    Pet insurance plans can be complicated even when youre dealing with a program like TrustedPals that puts you and your cat or dog first. Claims can be particularly challenging, which is why weve got a specially trained team of humans that can help you with the process.

    • Ear infections

    Hereditary and Congenital Conditions

    Hereditary and congenital conditions are the inherited birth defects or health conditions that can come in the latter years of your pet’s life. Comprehensive coverage plans offer protection against such health conditions.

    Alternative Therapies

    A comprehensive coverage plan covers the cost of alternative therapies that you might require in case your pets suffer from injury or illness.

    Prescription Food & Supplements

    There might be a chance that your pet needs special food supplements due to their health condition. In that case, you need the best pet insurance that provides coverage for the prescribed food and supplement. A comprehensive coverage plan offers you just that, and assists with the financial burden of owning and caring for a pet.

    What a complete coverage plan might not cover?

    Complete coverage might not cover the expenses for some conditions and situations. When deciding on an insurance plan for your pet, you should check the contract before signing so that there will no surprises for you later.

    Pre-Existing Conditions

    Cosmetic Procedures

    Other things that a pet insurance plan might not cover:

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