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Pet insurance facts you may not have known

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Dogs are more expensive to insure than cats, for a variety of reasons. MARTINS RUDZITIS/Getty Images

If you have a cat or dog then you already know how expensive it can be to take care of them. From food and grooming to boarding expenses, the costs of having a pet can quickly add up. When you add medical treatments and vet visits to the list it can quickly become difficult to make ends meet. 

Fortunately, there are now multiple pet insurance providers on the market who can help alleviate many of the expenses tied to veterinary care. Some policies will even fully cover your pet, leaving you in a much better financial position than you would have been if you had to pay out of pocket.

While the advantages of pet insurance are substantial, there are some nuances to understand in order to get the most out of a plan. If you're considering pet insurance then start by getting a customized price quote.

Pet insurance facts you may not have known

Here are three facts to remember as you embark on the pet insurance process.

Pre-existing conditions may not be a deal-breaker

If you're already deep into the pet insurance application process then you already know that pre-existing medical conditions won't be covered. This is standard industry practice across providers. But did you know that it doesn't have to be a deal-breaker? In fact, depending on the provider, you may still be able to secure robust coverage once the issues in question have healed. 

Spot pet insurance, for example, won't cover pre-existing conditions but it may offer protections at a later date. 

"However, with plans provided by Spot, this doesn't mean the condition can't be covered in the future if the condition is curable," they explain. "An injury or illness that is curable, cured, and free of treatment and symptoms for 180 days will no longer be regarded as pre-existing, with the exception of knee and ligament conditions. If a knee or ligament condition occurs before the coverage effective date or during a waiting period, any future ones won't be covered."

Lemonade pet insurance has a similar approach.

"A cured condition is a temporary condition or injury that is resolved for at least 12 months and may be considered for coverage in eligible states (check with customer service to find out if curable conditions are covered in your state)," the pet insurer notes. "Knee or ligament conditions and chronic conditions such as allergies, asthma or cancer cannot be cured."

So, if your pet currently has a pre-existing condition and you want to get them insured, don't worry. You just may have to wait a little longer to set up a policy. Get a free price quote now so you know exactly what to expect.

It works on a reimbursement model

Many pet owners look forward to the day that a pet insurance company can cover the costs of a vet visit. And while that will be a welcome change just don't expect it to come immediately - or on the day of the visit. That's because pet insurance works on a reimbursement basis. You'll need to pay for service on the day of the visit but then can file a claim to get paid back. The terms of reimbursement and the time it takes to get your money back will depend on the policy type you have and the individual provider. So be sure to first shop around to find the best insurance company for your pet. You can use the table below to get started.

Cats are cheaper than dogs

If you already have a pet then this may not be a helpful fact. But if you're not sure of what kind of pet to get - or want to get a new one to add to the family - then understand that cats are cheaper to insure than dogs. 

"Cats are cheaper to insure than dogs because medical costs are generally cheaper for cats," Lemonade explains. "While cats live longer than dogs, and while both will require vaccinations and exam fees throughout their lives, cats tend to have fewer medical issues. Many cats stay inside, so they're less exposed to risks that could lead to an accident or an illness than a dog is. Dogs are also more prone to hereditary conditions like hip dysplasia or issues with a cruciate ligament."

How much cheaper are cats than dogs? It depends on your pet's unique features and breed but you can normally expect to pay $15 to $40 each month for a cat versus $30 to $70 for a dog.

The bottom line

Pet insurance is an effective way to combat looming and pricey medical care for dogs and cats. To get the greatest return on your investment understand that pre-existing conditions don't always have to be a deal-breaker. And do your homework so you know exactly how to get paid back for service. Finally, make sure you understand the intricacies of the pricing structure for cats and dogs and their specific breeds.

Have more questions? Get a customized pet insurance quote now and learn more! 

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