6 Tips for Buying Pet Insurance

Becoming a pet insurance expert means asking the right questions. To help you we've prepared a list of the most important questions to ask when comparing pet insurance plans for your dog or cat.

Tip 01: Does the plan use a benefit schedule?

A benefit schedule is a list of diagnoses with the maximum amount that the pet insurance plan will pay if your pet requires treatment for that diagnosis.

In large metropolitan areas like Los Angeles the benefit schedule payout can be much less than the actual treatment costs. As a result, you may be left paying a large portion of the bill yourself even though you have pet insurance.

Plans that pay a percentage of the actual veterinary bill are easier for you to understand because the calculation method is transparent - you can usually figure out your reimbursement before you send the claim in.

Learn more about benefit schedules.

Tip 02: Does the plan cover genetic conditions?

Many people love purebred dogs and cats but purebreds can harbor genetic and hereditary illnesses. For example, Labrador Retrievers are more prone to getting hip dysplasia, Poodles to progressive retinal atrophy, and Chihuahuas to luxating patellas. Even mixed breed dogs and cats are susceptible to genetic conditions.

The surgery and treatment options for these genetic conditions can be very expensive and only a few pet insurance plans cover them. Make sure the plan you choose covers your pet.

Read about Embrace's genetic condition coverage.

Tip 03: What is and is not covered?

Is it clearly stated on the company's website exactly what you're getting? The last thing you want is to make a claim and find out afterwards that the company won't cover your pet's condition for one reason or another.

Read what our pet insurance plans cover in detail.

Tip 04: Are there per-incident limits?

An incident is any given accident or illness. Per-incident limits restrict the overall amount you can be reimbursed.

For example, let's say your dog is hit by a car and requires surgery and follow-ups that add up to $5,500 over the period of a year. If there is a per-incident limit of $3,000 then the pet insurance company will reimburse you only up to the per-incident limit. In this case you would have to pay $2,500 out of pocket (that is, $5,500 minus $3,000).

Embrace only has annual limits. If you pick a competing plan with per-incident limits, make sure you know exactly how they work so you won't be surprised when you make a claim.

Tip 05: What are the rules around pre-existing conditions?

Are they excluded permanently or temporarily? Some plans exclude all pre-existing conditions while others (including Embrace) differentiate between pre-existing conditions that are "curable" and "incurable" so that you may get coverage in the future for curable conditions.

Learn about Embrace's pre-existing condition guidelines.

Tip 06: What do customers say about them?

Visit PetInsuranceReview.com to read candid customer reviews of all the major pet insurance plans in one place.