What Impacts Your Pet Insurance Premium? (And What Doesn’t)

We’re all pretty clear on what can impact your car insurance premiums (speeding, causing an accident, or driving under the influence) or health insurance premiums (smoking, obesity, and age). But, when it comes to your cat or dog’s Embrace premium, a lot of factors are considered to determine the cost. What you pay for your Lab likely won’t be the same as what your neighbor pays for her Pomeranian, or even what your in-laws pay for their Labrador in another state. Some of the factors are things you can control. Some aren’t.

Pet Insurance PremiumFirstly, I’d like to rule out a few common assumptions about things that some people think affect their premium. Contrary to popular belief, these items do not directly impact premium:

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Guest Post: “Why should I get pet health insurance?”

“Why should I get pet health insurance?” I hear that from clients all the time. My answer….”Why wouldn’t you get pet health insurance?” What is the downside?

There are many misunderstandings about what pet health insurance is. It is not like our health insurance. It is not managed care. Pet health insurance is more like car insurance. Car insurance is there when you need it, so you do not have a big out-of-pocket cost if something happens to your car. The same goes for your pet with pet health insurance. They are both indemnity insurance, which by definition is “protection or insurance against future loss or damage.”

Vet Pet InsuranceI do think some of the hesitation about pet health insurance among vets comes from their experiences with the earliest companies. They were horrible. They were poor payers of claims and customer service was dismal. The clients would get mad at the company and also at the vet for recommending such a terrible thing! Those companies are still out there, so you still need to research the company you are going to use. A great resource is petinsurancereview.com. This site is similar to Angie’s List. They use customer reviews to rate the various companies. You can tell by the ratings which companies to avoid. It just so happens that Embrace is one of the highest rated!

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September is Pet Health Insurance Month

Ah, it’s that time of year again, Pet Health Insurance Month. (What, did you think I was excited for - back to school and all things pumpkin spice?) It’s a time when us pet insurance geeks are allowed to be a little extra giddy about things like diminishing deductibles and multiple pet discounts. I mean, sure, here at Embrace HQ we’re passionate about pet insurance 365 days a year. But Pet Health Insurance Month is when we get to let our fiscal freak flags fly, if you will.

NAPHIA BannerWe’re pulling out all the stops to celebrate too. This month we’ll hear from Dr. Rex Riggs about how pet insurance prevents financial euthanasia in his practice. I’ll have exciting details about our new and improved age guidelines. We’ll also take a look at some common misconceptions about what pet insurance is and how it works.

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The Danger in Dog Shaming

Dog shaming has become a part of our online culture, and sure, why not. Dogs do some downright shady, shameful things. Snacking in the cat box, chewing up valuables, rolling in nastiness. Some dogs haven’t received the memo that part of domestication means not chewing up mom’s undies or peeing down a forced air duct.

So when we come home and find that our dog has done some shameful thing, we react. Because we’re humans, not dogs, and it doesn’t make sense to us why they chewed up the remote control. And, after a time or two seeing our reactions, most dogs start to have their own reciprocal reactions. (I say “most” because my “sweet, but dumb” Rottie girl would gladly lie down next to the evidence and wait for you to catch her with the smoking gun.) But, your average dog will hide or approach you with their head down if they’ve been caught being naughty.

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Guest Post: Behavior Problems Require Behavior Counseling, Not Training

We live in a fast paced, do-it-now, society and our pets live there right with us. We are stressed out, running around, trying to meet deadlines, both at work and in our lives. Our animals sense our stress. They are so in-tune with us. Think about it, we are their world, so anything that stresses us out, stresses them out. No wonder we see more behavior problems in our pets than ever before. Throw in the indiscriminate breeding practices that are rampant in our country and you can get some pretty messed up pets.

Behavior ProblemsOur society is also one in which we want the quick and easy fix for our pet’s behavior problems but, alas, there is no panacea. It often takes a combination of behavior counseling and drugs, just like in people. Notice I did not say behavior training, because training is NOT behavior counseling. This is a problem I see often. This is a very important point. No shock or pronged collars have ever cured a behavioral issue. They often make things worse and I have seen it happen way too many times. Trainers do a fantastic job at training your dog in obedience and manners. Thank god we have them, but behavior counseling is a whole different beast.

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