2 Little-Known Perks of Pet Insurance

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  • Pet insurance can help shield your pets from sickness and injury.
  • Preventive insurance has no waiting period.
  • Some insurers cover pre-existing conditions.

Pet insurance is more than disaster coverage.

Winnie couldn't eat. She had trouble sleeping. We rushed her to the vet. She had swallowed a piece of her bone, which meant surgery. The following week, the bill arrived -- and hoo boy, was it a big one. Winnie isn't insured, so we were forced to pay out of pocket.

It's a familiar story. Pet insurance typically covers pets when they get sick or injured. But pet insurance does more than that -- it can help keep your pets from getting sick or injured in the first place. It can even cover your pet for pre-existing health conditions.

1. Preventive insurance kicks in immediately

Typically, insurance comes with a waiting period before you can file claims. If a dog breaks her leg and needs surgery, her owner can't buy her insurance on the spot to cover surgery fees. Waiting periods for accidents and illnesses can be days or weeks. However, one kind of coverage does kick in immediately: preventive insurance.

Preventive insurance typically covers the cost of vaccinations, flea medication, and routine exams -- kind of like those yearly wellness checkups we humans regularly forget to schedule, much to our doctors' disappointment. There's no waiting period. You're covered if you book your doggie a regular checkup the day after your purchase.

2. Pre-existing conditions may be covered

Insurers offer limited coverage for pre-existing conditions. These are health issues your animals have before pet insurance kicks in. Some insurers do cover pre-existing conditions that meet the following requirements:

  • The condition is curable.
  • The pet shows no sign of the condition for 12-24 months.

Winnie had stomach issues long before her surgery. She's a sensitive pup. Because it's on her medical record, her stomach issue likely qualifies as a pre-existing condition. But suppose her condition is curable, and she stops having symptoms for a year or so. In that case, some insurers might consider her condition "cured" and cover further expenses.

The best insurance for pre-existing conditions gives pet owners the flexibility to cover pets with existing medical issues. Even if a condition isn't curable, veterinary discount plans like Pet Assure offer enrollees discounts on vet care for their pets, including pre-existing conditions.

Ideally, owners purchase their pet insurance when pets are young and healthy. Had Winnie been covered by preventive health insurance from day one, her recurring medical issues might have been identified and prevented before they became a wallet-bleeding issue.

Regardless, there are options for pet owners who missed the boat. Unlike humans, pets can be covered at any age. The best pet insurance companies offer owners affordable prices and unparalleled peace of mind. Shop around to find pet insurance that meets you and your pet's needs.

Our Research Expert

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