How to Choose Pet Health Insurance

How to Choose Pet Health Insurance
Get Pet Health Insurance

Check online for pet health insurance providers. Two of the largest providers are VPI Pet Insurance, which has been insuring pet owners since 1982, and ASPCA, which offers policies through the Hartville Group. And if you're a member of the Automobile Club of America (AAA), your local club may also offer pet insurance. Yes, you can now insure your hybrid car and your hybrid pooch under one roof. There are about a dozen other companies, including Pets Best, that also provide pet health insurance.

Consider your pet's age and breed. Older pets are more expensive to insure than younger ones (or non-insurable) and certain breeds are at a higher risk of more frequent and costly health problems than others (therefore higher premiums). There may be other factors taken into consideration as well, including where you live and whether your pet lives indoors or outdoors.

Compare monthly premiums, deductibles, the reimbursement percentage and the benefit schedule. For instance, deductibles can range from 0 to $1,000 (a higher deductible means a lower monthly premium, but more out-of-pocket each time your pet begins a new treatment, and a lower deductible means a higher monthly premium), and certain policies will allow a limited amount per visit or incident, which means you would be responsible for anything over that allowed amount.

Know exactly what the plan covers; most policies just include illness and injury. Check whether routine care such as annual exams, vaccinations, teeth cleaning and blood and urine testing may be added options.

Check with other pet owners you know that have pet insurance and with your vet for a possible recommendation. When it comes to insurance, it's always helpful to learn from others' personal experiences.