Pet Plan Insurance 101 – The Good, Bad and the Ugly Truths

More and more, pets are taking on roles as family members. They are not just animals that live outside and are fed once or twice a day. They belong in our homes, they run errands with us, and some even wear clothes. So why not insure them with pet insurance to protect them and help ensure they have a longer, happier life? Petplan is the largest pet insurance provider in the world and it may be just the right one for your animal family.

However, how do you decide on the right pet insurance policy? When it comes to pet insurance, there are many options and plans to consider. You only want what is absolutely the best for your pets, and this is the main reason to choose PetPlan pet insurance.

What is Petplan?

Petplan is a Philadelphia based pet insurance company and since 1976 has been a leader in pet insurance with over a million worldwide policyholders. Petplan’s mission is to improve the quality of life for American pets by offering complete comprehensive coverage. This company covers dogs and cats with complete, customizable plans for both.

What are the different plans that are offered for pets?

For both dogs and cats, customizable plans are available in three levels—gold, silver and bronze. The higher the plan, the more extensive is the coverage. Petplan covers veterinary fees, which include treatments by a licensed veterinarian for injuries and illness. This type of plan covers most hospitalization, surgery, referrals, testing, medications, cancer treatment, non-routine dental treatment, and even alternative therapy (which are becoming more and more popular with pet owners).

The higher end plans also cover the price of the pet in case of loss or death, and the cost of advertising if the pet is lost. At the highest level, Petplan will also pay boarding fees in case of human hospitalization if no one is available to care for your pet and vacation cancellation in case your covered pet becomes sick. Customization also includes selecting the coinsurance percentage and the deductible.

Why should I bother to insure my pet?

Pet insurance is expensive, but so is your pet’s treatment. With the advent of more advanced treatments available for many dog and cat conditions, pets can have longer, healthier lives. However, treatment is costly and pet owners often have to make painful decisions based on finances alone. Many beloved pets have been destroyed simply because the prices of treatments for chronic conditions or serious injuries have been more than an owner can afford. With pet plan insurance, this heartbreaking decision is no longer a necessity. On Petplan’s website, a sample quote can be generated by giving some general information.

How much will it cost to insure my pet?

Petplan’s website can generate a sample quote for you based on the information you supply. For instance, a sample Silver policy with 100% reimbursement and a $100 deductible for a six-year-old Yellow Labrador Retriever would be approximately $72.26 a month. If the reimbursement drops to 80% and the deductible increases to $200, the monthly fee drops to $40.77. Quarterly and annual premiums are available as well for a slightly discounted price.

For the same policy with a Tabby cat, the price is much lower with a $23.98 monthly fee for a Silver policy and $14.20 for the higher deductable plan. Remember, cat fees at the vet’s office will be much lower than the office will charge for a large breed dog. This is why the premium for cats can be much less that those for dogs. At Petplan, discounts are available for multiple pet households, but plan prices are often dependent upon your geographic location.

The prices of Petplan’s premiums are often higher than the premiums charged by other pet insurance companies. Unfortunately, most pet insurance companies are unable or unwilling to offer the types of coverage offered be Petplan. The peace of mind offered by Petplan is well worth the higher price.

It is easy to accrue thousands of dollars in vet bills when there is something wrong with your pet. Chronic conditions, an acute episode of a serious illness or an injury can turn into huge veterinary charges in no time at all. Americans are reported to pay over $9.4 billion annually on pet healthcare. Reviews of insurance policies have all stated that only one company covers most conditions that can cost a pet owner many thousands of dollars, and that company is Petplan.

What about pre-existing conditions?

Pre-existing conditions can get quite confusing, and the Petplan website states that they are excluded. However, it is debatable if some conditions are pre-existing or not. For instance, allergies in your pet are considered pre-existing and treatment will not be covered. Nevertheless, something like ear infections that may or may not be caused by the allergies will be covered after a 24-month exclusion (or waiting) period.

This means, if your pet goes that long with no recurrence, the next occurrence will be covered. Other pet insurance plans have shorter waits, such as 12 months and this is definitely an important issue to discuss with a representative before making a decision. It is also important to understand that if your pet has been diagnosed with serious chronic or reoccurring illnesses, before you purchase an insurance policy, these conditions will not be covered.

What is the service level of Petplan?

The Petplan service representatives are easy to contact and are pleasant and helpful over the phone. They will answer your questions in an informative and friendly manner and they will not pressure you to buy a policy or ask for personal information; they will simply answer your questions and provide you with the needed information to help you make an informed decision on pet healthcare. Customer reviews state that, for the most part, representatives are easy to contact and very helpful when policyholders need to make a claim.

What are the Reimbursement Policies?

When a claim is made, the customer must fill out all paperwork, have the vet sign it and then send it to Petplan. The customer must pay the vet upfront and the money will be reimbursed to the customer, usually within 2–4 weeks. Customers do state that they would like to see the insurance company deal directly with the veterinarian, so only the copayment and deductible would need to be paid. Apparently, this is being done in the UK but not yet in the States.

Customer Feedback

The general customer reviews speak very highly of Petplan insurance. With helpful customer service, easy website navigation and quick claim reimbursement, along with sound piece of mind, customers seem very happy with the pet insurance they offer. Though it is quite a bit more expensive than other companies are, customers state that most ailments are covered and turnaround time is good.

With the high cost of veterinary care, pet bills can add up even with a healthy pet. You never know what will happen to your pet; another dog may attack your dog and stitches needed, or your cat could ingest something she should not and need surgery or a round of medication. Cancer diagnosis is common among older animals, and while treatment is often successful, the high price is out of the question for many pet owners. Not everyone has the means to afford today’s high tech treatments that can be necessary to save your pet’s life. With a good pet insurance policy, the cost is taken care of, and pet owners have one less thing to worry about.

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