Busting the Top 9 Misconceptions about Pet Health Insurance

Pet Insurance Misconceptions

It’s almost National Pet Insurance Month, and while pet insurance is mainstream enough to have its own recognized month, plenty of pet parents still have some misconceptions about what pet insurance can do and how it works. Here are the facts:

1. Pet health insurance doesn't get in the way of your relationship with your pet's veterinarian; it removes a financial barrier that's already there. With a good pet insurance plan, you and your veterinarian can make decisions based primarily on the best interest of the pet and your vet's medical advice, rather than money. Your pet insurance company won't be involved with treatment decisions in any way.

2. There's nothing to gain, and plenty to lose, by waiting to get insurance for your pet. Just like you can't get covered for a wrecked car after it's already been in an accident, or buy flood insurance when your house is already four-feet deep in mud and water, you can't buy insurance to pay for an illness your pet already has. You have to have active coverage when the issue first becomes apparent in order to receive benefits. You can understand my heartbreak when friends call me from the emergency vet looking to sign up for pet insurance—by this point, it’s too late to get covered for that condition.

3. Pets who have had past illnesses or injuries can still be insured. Pet insurance companies will cover your pet in spite of a prior health issue. For example, if your dog has a history of fatty lipoma tumors, we won’t cover any additional lipoma treatments. However, if your dog develops cancer, it’s covered! If you’re not sure about what’s pre-existing or related to a pre-existing condition, ask one of our agents about a medical history review of your pet’s records.

4. Genetic conditions are covered. While not all pet insurance companies have the same policy, Embrace doesn’t view genetic conditions as pre-existing as long as they have not been diagnosed or shown clinical signs/symptoms before the policy was purchased or during the waiting period

5. Pet insurance will be there for you when your pet gets sick or old. It may not be true for every company, but Embrace has a soft spot for seniors. We’ll never drop your pet due to age or health status. That means even when your 17 year old Golden Retriever develops cancer, it’s covered. Your 23 year old cat needs pain management? Covered. That’s the entire point of insurance. Purchase it when your pet is healthy, and we'll be here when you need us the most.

6. It's easy to know what's covered and what isn't. If your pet insurance company has terms and conditions that are hard to understand, they're going to have a lot of unhappy customers. Before making a purchase decision, talk to an agent and discuss your concerns, get clarification, and get things in writing, like the Embrace medical history review mentioned above. Reasonable companies should show you their policy terms and conditions upfront before you even enroll. Not only that, but pet insurance policies include a money-back trial period to account for buyer’s remorse, so you’re not stuck if you start to feel icky about something.

7. Pet insurance premiums cost less than major vet bills. Financial challenges do exist, but that's the very reason why pet insurance is important to get if you can find a way to fit the premiums into your budget. After all, it's easier to find a small amount each month than thousands of dollars in an emergency. So if you’re the type of person who would take a second job or sell plasma to save your pet, it’s better to pay a small premium for even a basic policy to help keep your pet alive.

8. There's no "network" of covered veterinarians. Pet health insurance doesn't work like a human HMO; there's no “network” of providers for pet insurance. Because we reimburse you directly, you’re free to take your pet to any vet. They just have to complete your claim form. The reimbursement works sort of like a rebate. We’ll cut you a check for our portion of the care. Most people put the bill on a credit card and pay it off with the reimbursement funds.

9. Some veterinarians will accept payment directly from the insurance company. If you don't have credit available, more and more veterinarians are willing to work with pet parents who have insurance. If they're willing to accept a contract with Embrace to be reimbursed directly, we'll be happy to set that up. Be sure to discuss this option with your vet!

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Copyright © 2005-2018 

Pet health insurance is administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency, LLC and underwritten by one of the licensed insurers of American Modern Insurance Group, Inc., including American Modern Home Insurance Company d/b/a in CA as American Modern Insurance Company (Lic. No 2222-8), and American Southern Home Insurance Company. Coverage is subject to policy terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions, underwriting review, and approval, and may not be available for all risks or in all states. Rates and discounts vary, are determined by many factors, and are subject to change. Wellness Rewards is offered as a supplementary, non-insurance benefit administered by Embrace Pet Insurance Agency in the United States. © 2016 American Modern Insurance Group, Inc.