What Is An Annual Deductible For Pet Insurance
An annual deductible is the fixed amount per policy period that needs to be met before we would begin to pay benefits for covered claims, at the elected reimbursement amount. Only covered claims will be applied to your annual deductible. Your deductible will reset when your policy renews each year.
Jun 29, 2020 / 5: 14pm CDT
No one is permitted to sell, solicit or negotiate an insurance policy without a producer license in the state in which the plan is sold, and all prospects should be directed to Figo Pet Insurance. The information contained in this website is for illustrative purposes only and coverage under any pet insurance policy is expressly subject to the conditions, restrictions, limitations, exclusions , and terms of the policy documentation issued by the insurer. Availability of this program is subject to each states approval and coverage may vary by state. Coverage underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company , a Delaware Insurance Company, 485 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022 Markel American Insurance Company or Markel Insurance Company. Plans administered by Figo Pet Insurance, LLC., 540 N Dearborn Street #10873, Chicago, IL 60610. Live Vet and the Figo Pet Cloud are separate non-insurance services unaffiliated with IAIC.
What Is Pet Insurance
Pet insurance is a health insurance policy for your pet that pays for medical expenses and sometimes other costs. Pet insurance plans are typically reimbursement-based, meaning you pay up-front for the pets vet bills and submit a claim to the insurance company.
Theres usually a deductible to pay before coverage starts. For example, you might pay the first $500 in vet bills before the pet insurance starts to pay.
Even after your deductible, the pet insurance may not pay 100% of vet bills. You can typically choose your reimbursement level. Common reimbursement options are 70%, 80% or 90% of your vet bills.
What Is Covered By Pet Insurance
Unlike health insurance for humans, pet insurance doesnt cover preventative care, such as routine exams, dental work, or vaccinations. Buying pet insurance makes sense only for the things you cant predict, like ear infections, broken bones, and chronic illnesses.
For wellness care, including annual checkups and booster shots, youre better served by setting aside money each month, rather than going for a more-expansive insurance policy that may cover those things. Some companies do offer wellness benefits, but the higher costs of those plans can offset any savings. And if you miss a checkup, you forfeit the services youve already paid for .
Insurance plans also exclude preexisting conditions, as well as treatment for animals suffering from abuse or neglect, including for preventable diseases if an owner skipped the vaccine for that disease. So if your dog gets Bordetella , and you didnt keep the Bordetella shot up to date, insurers wont cover the cost of treatment. If you really dig into the fine print, youll find a range of other exclusions, such as the effects of war, radiation from nuclear weapons, biological attacks, mutant flu, and zombie outbreak.
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Here’s How The Different Deductible Types Apply For Roxy’s Conditions
As in Roxy’s case, lifetime per condition deductibles are especially good at saving pet owners money for chronic and related conditions over a pet’s lifetime. Veterinarian, Andrea Crabtree, likes lifetime per condition deductibles, precisely because “a chronic disease needs coverage for life, not for a short amount of time.”
Why I Chose To Buy Pet Insurance
We decided to buy pet insurance for my Miniature Poodle Jäger when he was a puppy. The first three years, he had a major illness or injury each year, which more than made the insurance worthwhile. In his fourth year, we made no claims, but when Jäger was 5 years old, he broke a tooth and needed a root canal .
All in all, the insurance was worthwhile for us. Jäger is 7 now, and we probably wont be renewing his policy when it expires. The premium has gone up over the years, and at this point it seems to make more sense to just put that money in a savings account for him every year.
Actually, thats exactly what many dog owners choose to do instead of buying insurance. If you put $300 or $400 a year into a savings account specially set aside for your dog, you can grow that into a nice little sum that will be waiting in case your dog ever has a major illness or injury. Of course, a major veterinary issue can cost into the thousands $300 a year might not cut it if your dog is hit by a car when hes 4 years old and needs a $3,000 surgery.
On the other hand, you could buy an insurance policy for your puppy and never have to use it beyond a random claim for diarrhea or an ear infection. Whether youre buying it for yourself, your dog, or even your iPhone, insurance is a gamble. You might never need it, but if you do, you will be glad you have it.
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Demystifying Pet Insurance Coverages
Lets face it, pet insurance terminology can be pretty tricky. Find yourself curious and you might just end up searching through hundreds of policy pages, only to find your answer buried beneath insurance jargon engineered for you not to understand.
At that rate, its almost easier to just sit back and pay your insurance bill, no questions asked. After all,theyre the experts, and what you dont know wont hurt you.right?
Wrong. Your pet insurance premium isnt just another bill you pay every month. Were talking about coverage for your old pal hereyour best buddy, your baby.
Thats why knowing what goes into your policy is so crucial to selecting the best coverage for your fur familys needs. A Lemonade pet health insurance policy starts at $10/month, but its not one-size-fits-all. A policy for a 7-year-old Beagle in Brooklyn will probably cost more than one for a two-year-old Poodle in Potomac. Thats because the breed, age of your pet, and the cost of veterinary care where you live can all impact your monthly premium.
Want to add on more coverage for preventative care to help prevent your pet from developing an illness? Thatll increase your premium, too.
Did we lose you with some of that jargon? Dont worry, were here to explain everything you need to know in plain English.
Heres some of what well cover:
Issue : Deductibles: Low Vs High And Annual Vs Lifetime Per Problem
Most companies offer you a range of deductibles to choose from when selecting your plan, from as low as $0 to up to $1000. Generally, the lower the deductible, the higher your monthly premium will be since you’re paying less out of pocket before your insurance company starts reimbursing you for your pet’s medical expenses. Most companies offer an annual deductible with their plans, but there are some who offer a “lifetime per problem” deductible. Both are good options, but one may be a better than the other depending on what youre looking for.
If you choose a plan with an annual deductible, you will not be reimbursed for any of your costs until you have reached that deductible for the current year. Any new illnesses or accidents that your pet visits the vet for will contribute to that single deductible for the year.
If you choose a plan with a lifetime per problem deductible, it means that you will have to pay your deductible for each separate problem your pet has, but you only have to pay that deductible once in your pet’s whole life. This benefits the owners of pets with ongoing or chronic issues, because you dont have to reach your deductible every year. Once you reach your deductible for an issue once, your costs related to that problem will be reimbursed for the rest of your pet’s life.
If I have a plan with an annual deductible of $500 and 90% reimbursement, I will be reimbursed $2,250 each year.
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Older Pets Are More Expensive To Insure
A pets age is another piece of the pet insurance pricing puzzle. As your pet gets older, the chances of illness increase, which typically results in higher pet insurance premiums. We analyzed age rating factors for a Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. policy and found that the best prices were after a pets first birthday until around age six. By the pets ninth birthday, you can expect its age rating factor to more than double.
Some pet insurance companies might decline coverage when your pet reaches a certain age. For example, we analyzed a Trupanion policy that requires you to enroll the pet before its 14th birthday. If you purchase a policy before the pet turns 14, your pet will have lifelong coverage, as long as you dont cancel the policy. But if you wait until after the pets 14th birthday, you wont be able to buy the policy.
Heres a look at an example of age-based rating factors from a Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. policy in California.
Is A Deductible And A Copayment The Same
Similar to human insurance, pet policies come in a variety of deductibles, copayments and premiums. The key difference is when you have to pay.
Your copay is the percentage you are responsible for paying before your deductible is applied to a covered loss.
Your premium is simply the amount you pay monthly, quarterly or annually to be insured.Keep in mind only charges related to new accidents and illnesses can be applied towards your deductible.
Regardless of the pet insurance provider you choose, expenses from pre-existing conditions will not be covered.
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Whats An Annual Deductible
The deductible on your pet health insurance policy is an annual deductible, which means it isnt something youll have to pay for every claim. Its a flat fee you select when signing up for your pet policy that spans the entire year, and can be changed upon policy renewal.
Because this part of your payment participation is not claim-specific, it can be exhausted in just one single claim or spread out between multiple claims made within the same year.
How, exactly? Lets say you chose a $250 annual deductible with a co-insurance of 80%. You take your cat to the vet and the bill is $100. Out of this total, $40 are for the standard vet visit fees, which youll pay out-of-pocket since those arent covered by your pet insurance . Note that those vet visit fees will not be applied toward your plans deductible.
Now that leaves you and your cat with a remaining $60 fee for eligible services. Your deductible isnt met yet, so youll be responsible for paying this full $60. But how much will it take off your deductible? Its not a full $60. Wed calculate $60 x your co-insurance of 80%, which comes to $48thats how much your deductible will be lowered.
Next time you and your cat go to the vet, your remaining deductible will be $202. This process would repeat until youve met your full deductible. After that, Lemonade would reimburse you for 80% of all eligible services, and youd pay the remaining 20%, until you hit your plans annual limit.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover
Multiple types of pet insurance are available, and the type of policy you choose will determine when you can use your insurance benefits. Youll have the option to purchase the following types of coverage with most insurers offering pet insurance options.
Every individual pet insurance provider gets to decide which specific injuries and illnesses will be covered under each plan option. For example, while some pet insurance providers will offer coverage for common genetics-related health issues others will exclude these conditions from coverage. This is why its important to review your plan and know which types of illness are common among the breed of pet you have before you sign up for coverage.
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By Step: Navigating A Pet Insurance Claim
Ready to get pet insurance? Here’s how it works.
Step 1 Purchase the pet insurance
Once the first premium is paid, your pet is covered. Depending on the policy, there might be a waiting period before the policy actually kicks in. The typical waiting period is a few days for injuries and 14 days for illnesses. For certain animals and types of conditions, the waiting period can be several months.
Step 2 Waiting period is over and full coverage begins
Your pet is covered to the full extent of the pet insurance policy. You continue to pay your monthly premiums, even though your pet is healthier than you are.
Step 3 Your pet has a medical issue
You take your pet in for a medical exam. Most insurance policies allow you to take the pet to any veterinarian you want, as long as the vet is licensed. After an initial look-over, the veterinarian orders some tests to identify the problem and prescribe treatment.
Step 4: Paying the vet bill
You get a summary of the cost of the visit and treatment in your bill. You will likely have to pay this amount upfront, out of pocket. Some pet insurance companies will work directly with veterinarians to pay the bill, but these plans must be set up ahead of time and the veterinarian will have to agree to the arrangement.
Step 5 Filing a pet insurance claimStep 6 Getting reimbursed for the veterinarian bill
How Do I Choose The Right Deductible
Compare providers and do your research to determine what works best for your pet and budget. If itâs common for your petâs breed to deal with hereditary issues or you just want the peace of mind, a lower deductible may help.
If youâre reserving your coverage for those large, expensive catastrophic incidents that may occur, a higher deductible may be for you.
To learn more about your pet insurance deductible options, get a quote from Petplan pet insurance.
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What Doesnt Pet Insurance Cover
Like any type of insurance, there are some things that no pet insurance provider is likely to provide coverage for. Some of the most common exclusions include the following:
- Preexisting conditions: A preexisting condition is any type of injury or illness your pet already has when you enroll them in coverage. Most pet insurance providers will offer no coverage for preexisting conditions.
- Cosmetic procedures: You cannot use your pet insurance policy to cover the cost of elective procedures like ear docking or declawing for cats.
- Breeding costs: Most pet insurance providers will not cover procedures and costs associated with breeding or pregnancy.
Deductible Reimbursement And Payout Levels
When you purchase a pet insurance policy, youll select a deductible and reimbursement level. The deductible is the amount of money youll pay out of pocket every year to your veterinarian before your pet insurance coverage kicks in. Trupanion, however, offers a unique lifetime per-condition deductible: Youll pay a deductible once for every new condition, without a reset every year.
Choosing a higher deductible will lower your monthly pet insurance bill.
- Typical deductible choices are $100, $250 and $500.
Once your deductible is met, you can submit vet bills to your pet insurance company for reimbursement. Youll choose a reimbursement level when you buy the plan, and the lower your reimbursement level, the less youll pay in pet insurance premiums.
- The most common reimbursement choices are 70%, 80% or 90%.
Youll also often have a choice of an annual maximum payout level. This is the cap on how much the pet insurance plan will pay. Many pet insurance plans offer choices between $5,000 and an unlimited payout. Of course, choosing an unlimited payout will raise the premium price.
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How Annual Deductibles Work
An annual deductible is decided by which pet insurance plan you choose. For example, suppose you have an annual deductible of $500. In that case, you will need to pay $500 in veterinary costs out-of-pocket every year before you can begin getting reimbursed for veterinary costs by your pet insurance provider. Depending on your budget, a lower or higher annual deductible can work well in your favor based on how it affects your monthly premium or how much coverage you want for your pet.
How Does Pet Insurance Work
There can be differences depending on the plan, but most pet insurance works in the same basic way:
When youre comparing plans, be sure to read up on whats covered and whats not so there are no surprises later. For instance, not all providers cover veterinary exam fees, which are part of nearly every veterinary bill. Some providers also have vaccine or other pet care requirements that youll need to follow or risk having your claims rejected.
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Some Things Are Not Covered
Before purchasing a pet insurance policy, carefully review it so you know what is covered and what is not. If you are unclear about what is covered, call the company and ask them to clarify. Some policies exclude major issues like cancer or hip dysplasia others cover these types of events. Some insurance plans exclude or limit the benefits for cancer treatment, but offer cancer riders you can add on to your policy for an additional fee.
Accidents And Injuries Coverage
Accident and injury coverage is a type of pet insurance that only provides coverage for traumatic accidents that hurt your pet. For example, an accident and injury policy will help you pay for bills you receive after your dog is injured by a car but it will not cover bills associated with cancer care.
What it covers:
There are many situations that constitute an accident or injury. Some examples of common coverages found on accident and injury plans include:
- Getting hit by a car
- Torn cruciate ligament
What it doesnt cover:
- Any percentage of veterinary care costs after an accident or injury
- Flea, tick and heartworm preventatives
- Supplements and wellness products that are not prescribed by a veterinarian