What is puppy insurance?
If your puppy gets sick, you can quickly rack up hundreds or even thousands of dollars in treatment costs. Basic pet insurance coverage typically includes accidents and illness, but most companies offer the option to add wellness protection, which covers things like spaying and neutering, microchipping, vaccinations, and other types of preventative care.
Most pet insurance plans require you to pay your vet out of pocket at the time of service and then file your claim. But once your claim is approved, you could be reimbursed for up to 100% of your bill, depending on your plan.
Pet health insurance plans and vet costs typically get more expensive as your dog ages, so it’s a good idea to enroll your puppy in a policy as soon as it’s eligible. Most pet insurance companies accept puppies as young as 8 weeks old, making it easy to start coverage early.
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How does puppy insurance work?
Most pet insurance policies work similarly, though there may be some variation between insurers. The following elements are present in most policies and are something to consider before deciding on a plan for your puppy:
Waiting period: You’ll usually have to wait a certain amount of time before your pup is eligible for coverage. Typical waiting periods are 36 or 48 hours for accidents and anywhere from 14 to 21 days for illnesses. Your plan may also have longer waiting periods for specific conditions, like orthopedic issues.
Policy limits: You may have limits on your coverage, depending on your plan. These can be overall annual limits or limits for specific types of injuries, illnesses, or treatments.
Deductible: You’ll need to meet your deductible before your insurer will pay toward your claim.
Claim filing: You’ll typically have to pay the vet at the time of treatment, and then your insurer will reimburse you for some or all of the cost. Once you submit your claim and it’s been reviewed, you’ll be sent a reimbursement via direct deposit or check, minus any deductible amount you owe.
Be sure to read your puppy insurance documents carefully to understand exactly what your plan covers. And if you’re not sure, check with your provider to clarify.
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Do you need puppy insurance?
Puppy insurance isn’t something you’re required to have as a pet owner. But if your puppy gets sick or has an accident, pet insurance can help ensure your pet gets the veterinary care it needs. If you don’t have an emergency fund saved, pet insurance can also help protect you financially if your pet needs expensive surgery or medical treatment.
Ultimately, the decision to get puppy insurance is a personal choice. It’s a good idea to check with your vet, who can help you understand what you can expect to pay for treatments over the life of your dog and how pet insurance may be beneficial.
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