An Owner’s Guide: Pet Insurance Terms Explained

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Pet insurance is often more confusing than insurance for humans. Since we keep a whole bunch of furry friends in our household, not just limited to dogs and cats, insurance has to be explicitly picked for breed and health. Some animals, like German Shepards, are more prone to hip problems, while common pet rats are prone to pneumonia. Let’s look at some insurance terms that can help you pick the best plans for your fur babies.

Accident Only

The most commonly used pet insurance plan, accident only is as the name implies: it only covers accident coverage, like an unexplained or sudden injury. This is the lowest cost option and covers multiple minor health issues.

Time-Limited

Pet owners would claim for an eligible health condition, and this condition will be covered up to 12-months, or up until a specific amount of money – whichever comes first. When the time-limited claim is up, the health problem becomes “pre-existing” and is no longer covered.

Maximum Benefits

A mid-budget option, maximum benefit implies your insurance will cover each new health problem up to a specific limit. There is no limit on your claim so that you can cover more than one health condition every year. Maximum benefits are great for animals who are likely to experience problems early on like growth conditions, or a congenital disability. 

Older pets almost always have to pay more, and if the limit is reached, the condition either won’t be covered or will need to come out of pocket until the end of the calendar year. Find Reviews does a great job comparing different pet insurance plans, including maximum benefits. Some policies, like Pets Best, have no age limit on pets.

Lifetime

The most comprehensive option, this insurance covers your pet for the rest of their life. All new health problems are covered up until a limit. Keep in mind that not all lifetime policies are the same; some actually cover your pet for their entire life, while others only cover them until they’re old or unhealthy. 

  • Always read the terms and conditions before you accept any insurance plan.
  • Most policies won’t cover your pet until 14 days after you sign up.
  • They may require regular treatments to keep your plan.
  • You must declare any pre-existing health conditions, or your plan may void.

Other Plans to Consider

Insurance may or may not cover the following things.

  • Medical Bills: Get a plan that covers the bare-bones medical coverage – or there’s really no point. Having your vet visits included will save you a lot of money in the long run, so check your insurance plan to make sure check-ups are covered.
  • Injury and Accidents: Your pet could damage someone else’s property, or hurt someone else over the course of their life. If your dog injures someone – especially a child – you could be sued and forced to go into court. Injury and accidents will cover some of your insurance costs. Cats and dogs can be included, but both insurance policies will be completely different depending on if your cat likes to run outdoors.
  • Death and Cremation: Although this is difficult to talk about, it happens to us all. Putting down your animal and cremating them can cost quite a lot of money. Even pets that die from accidents or illness can cost a lot of money, and being insured can be a breath of fresh air in a difficult time. Most basic insurance companies won’t cover death, cremation, or both, so you’ll need to add this on the majority of the time.
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Britt Hysen

Britt Hysen

Britt Hysen is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of MiLLENNiAL. In response to the branded ad campaigns absorbed by the media platform, Britt launched Kreativ Ctrl, a full-service marketing agency specializing in experiential programming and strategic partnerships.

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