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7 pet insurance perks to know

There are more perks to pet insurance than you may have first realized. Getty Images/iStockphoto

If your pet falls ill or gets hurt in an accident, pet insurance can help to cover or reimburse you for the vet bills. But did you know the benefits of coverage can go much further? From 24/7 vet hotlines to coverage for wellness visits, below we will take a closer look at seven lesser-known pet insurance perks.  

If you're in the market for pet insurance then start by getting a customized price quote so you know exactly what to expect.

7 pet insurance perks to know

1. You may be eligible for a discount

First, many pet insurance providers offer a variety of discounts that can provide meaningful savings from 5% up to 25%. For example, Brian Jorgensen, CEO of MetLife Pet Insurance, says "MetLife Pet Insurance offers discounts (that can vary by state) for vets and shelter personnel, as well as serving military, veterans, first responders, healthcare workers, and more.

Not sure what pet insurance would cost you? You can get a free price quote from Spot pet insurance now.

2. You can visit any vet you want

If you already have a veterinarian you like, know, and trust, chances are you'll still be able to see them. "Unlike a human health insurance HMO, very few pet insurance plans limit their coverage to a 'network' of health care providers," explains Christie Ross, customer care manager at Pumpkin Pet Insurance.  

You'll often have the freedom to see the vet of your choice as long as they're licensed. Further, some insurers allow you to see vets beyond US borders (e.g. Trupanion allows vets in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico). 

3. Deductibles may diminish

Most pet insurance plans come with deductibles — the amount you have to pay towards an approved claim before your insurer will pay a portion of the costs. With diminishing deductibles, however, the amount you pay decreases each year that you don't have a claim. For example, Met Life automatically reduces your deductible by $25 to $50 for each policy year that passes without a claim reimbursement. 

4. Some plans cover preventative care

Typically, the costs to help pets stay healthy, like annual wellness visits, yearly dental cleanings, and vaccines for disease prevention, come out of pocket. That said, many insurers such as ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, Pets Best, and Progressive are now offering preventative care add-on packages so you can get reimbursed for those costs, too. 

You can get a free price quote from Pets Best now or you can use the table below to explore some top pet insurance providers on the market. 

5. Curable pre-existing conditions may qualify

Pet insurers are often upfront about the fact that they don't cover pre-existing conditions. What's lesser known is that some insurers will cover curable pre-existing conditions if a pet hasn't shown signs or symptoms for a certain amount of time. 

For example, Embrace pet insurance covers certain previously-diagnosed conditions in dogs and cats if the animals haven't had signs or symptoms for 12 months. A few of the conditions it considers curable are respiratory infections, urinary tract/bladder infections, and gastrointestinal disorders. On the other hand, allergies, cancer, diabetes, lipomas, and hyperthyroidism are considered incurable. 

6. There are no upper age limits for pets

As pets age, they often face more health issues and a greater need for insurance. If your pet is older, you may worry that it won't qualify for coverage. "While it's true some pet insurance providers don't allow new enrollments for dogs or cats ages 10 to 12+, others have no upper age limits for coverage or new enrollments," said Ross. 

7. Coverage may be available for miscellaneous pet expenses 

It's also worth noting that some insurers offer coverage for a variety of additional pet-related expenses. For example, with Figo Pet Insurance, you can add a package to your standard plan called the "Extra Care Pack" which covers:

  • Boarding fees
  • Vacation cancellation due to pet emergency
  • Pet theft or loss
  • Cremation or burial
  • Lost pet advertising/award

Additionally, Jorgensen says, "Beyond traditional financial benefits, consumers may not know that pet insurance can be a great tool to support the well-being of both pets and pet parents." Things like grief counseling and a 24/7 vet helpline may also be available, depending on the insurance provider. 

The bottom line

Nothing quite matches the joy that a pet can bring you, but caring for one will come with some costs. Luckily, pet insurance providers are offering more and more benefits, making it easier to keep your pet healthy without breaking the bank.  

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