What you think you know about pet insurance is probably wrong - Dr. Marty Becker

What you think you know about pet insurance is probably wrong

Tuesday, Sep 9th, 2014 | By Dr. Marty Becker

DDAre you risking unexpected veterinary expenses because of misconceptions about how pet insurance works?

When I partnered with Embrace Pet Insurance in an educational campaign to end economic euthanasia, I heard from a lot of pet owners and veterinary colleagues about their problems with pet insurance, most of which were based on outdated or incorrect beliefs.

I’m glad to see Embrace has tackled nine of those misconceptions head-on in a recent article on their website. It includes:

1. Pet health insurance doesn’t get in the way of your relationship with your pet’s veterinarian; it removes a financial barrier that’s already there. With a good pet insurance plan, you and your veterinarian can make decisions based primarily on the best interest of the pet and your vet’s medical advice, rather than money. Your pet insurance company won’t be involved with treatment decisions in any way.

2. There’s nothing to gain, and plenty to lose, by waiting to get insurance for your pet. Just like you can’t get covered for a wrecked car after it’s already been in an accident, or buy flood insurance when your house is already four-feet deep in mud and water, you can’t buy insurance to pay for an illness your pet already has. You have to have active coverage when the issue first becomes apparent in order to receive benefits. You can understand my heartbreak when friends call me from the emergency vet looking to sign up for pet insurance—by this point, it’s too late to get covered for that condition.

3. Pets who have had past illnesses or injuries can still be insured. Pet insurance companies will cover your pet in spite of a prior health issue. For example, if your dog has a history of fatty lipoma tumors, we won’t cover any additional lipoma treatments. However, if your dog develops cancer, it’s covered! If you’re not sure about what’s pre-existing or related to a pre-existing condition, ask one of our agents about a medical history review of your pet’s records.

4. Genetic conditions are covered. While not all pet insurance companies have the same policy, Embrace doesn’t view genetic conditions as pre-existing as long as they have not been diagnosed or shown clinical signs/symptoms before the policy was purchased or during the waiting period.

Read the rest here.