Evaluating and Comparing Options

These days there are a lot of options for pet insurance. Your goal will be to find the absolute best policy you can, for the lowest price possible.

When viewing policies, be sure to save the details from each quote that you receive and do your best to make sure your quotes are for the same benefits levels. Some companies allow you to customize deductibles and reimbursement rates and others do not.

Avoid the “Guaranteed Benefits Schedule”

If you see a policy that offers a guaranteed benefit schedule, run away as fast as you can. These plans are often not worth the paper they are printed on. These types of plans have a very limited number of services they cover, and they reimburse a pre-set amount for that service, regardless of what you paid for it. One example of this is from Nationwide Insurance, the “major medical” plan.

What is an ideal policy?

If money were not an option, the policy that would serve you best would have:

  • No deductible
  • 100% reimbursement
  • No incident limit/maximum
  • No yearly limit/maximum
  • No lifetime limit/maximum
  • No enrollment age limit
  • No breed-specific exclusions

A policy like that would be quite expensive though, so you are unlikely to find it. The only company I know of where you can craft that kind of policy is ASPCA.

If you are able to customize your policy, play around with different deductible and reimbursement levels to see what they do to your policy premium. In my own case, having a $250 deductible and 90% reimbursement on a policy for one of my cats was cheaper than a $100 deductible with 70% reimbursement.

Insurance Companies (USA)

There are quite a lot of pet insurance companies to choose from. There are also many home/auto insurance companies that have pet insurance policies available as well. Be sure to shop around and get quotes from each company before settling on a plan.

ASPCA has put together a brief list of questions to ask when evaluating policies at https://www.aspcapetinsurance.com/research-and-compare/compare-plans/know-before-you-buy/ that is worth reading and understanding.