Your pet’s health is everything to you but is there pet insurance that covers everything? A solid, comprehensive pet insurance policy can cover a wide range of events and issues, ranging from total freak accidents to illnesses that your pet is predisposed to. There are plenty of pet insurance policies that you can select from but to find the best for your pet, you have to take a fine-tooth comb through the policy to ensure that you get the coverage your pet needs.
There are basic pet insurance plans that cover accidents and illnesses but there are more comprehensive plans that can cover even specialist care and rehabilitative treatments. Below, we provide an overview of what the best comprehensive policies include (including some coverage you probably haven’t even thought of). We also address exclusions and share our top pet insurance company pick that has the most comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive Coverage: What’s Included?
Comprehensive coverage means that nearly everything you can imagine is included as part of your policy. However, even the most comprehensive policy does have some exclusions, which we explain toward the end of this article. Below, we provide an overview of the different coverage included in a comprehensive pet insurance plan. From veterinary care related to chronic conditions to unforeseeable accidents and required prescriptions, we explain what you can expect when you purchase comprehensive coverage from a pet insurance company.
A comprehensive pet insurance policy covers both minor and major illnesses. Whether you notice that your pet has been vomiting and showing signs of stomach upset or you discover ragged breathing, when you take your pet to the vet’s office, any diagnostic tests and treatments are covered by a comprehensive pet insurance policy. Similarly, if you take your pet to an animal hospital where they require observation that may lead to an overnight stay, your pet insurance policy covers all those treatments as well. How much they pay the vet directly or how much they reimburse you depends on the type of policy you select.
Accidents are the most unpredictable events that can happen to your pet. When there’s an accident, you have to rush to your vet and if it’s after hours, you have to rush to the nearest animal hospital. Once your pet is under veterinary care, you have to let the professionals do what they do best. Sometimes, that means an overnight stay. Quickly, these costs add up, and because accidents are inherently unpredictable, having pet insurance that covers your favorite companion animal can put you in the best position to sign off on their best care.
If your pet has teeth, he needs dental care. Although there are dental treats that help to remove tartar and prevent plaque buildup and there are special toothpaste and toothbrushes for different types of pets, your little love bug still needs professional dental care. Some comprehensive plans have the option to add wellness coverage, which would take care of routine dental care. Routine care would be like regular cleanings every six months or every year. However, even if you don’t purchase an additional dental plan, your comprehensive pet insurance policy should cover illnesses and any required procedures. For example, if your pet develops gingivitis, and requires a root canal, or an extraction, a comprehensive pet insurance policy would cover each of these scenarios.
Breed-Specific and Genetic Conditions
Certain breeds are prone to developing a variety of diseases and health conditions. Comprehensive pet insurance covers the diagnostic testing and the treatment of any of these genetic conditions. For example, many large breed dogs are prone to developing hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia would be covered under a comprehensive insurance policy, so long as a policy takes effect before the official diagnosis.
Major diagnoses like cancer can be absolutely devastating. It’s even worse when you don’t have a pet insurance policy in place to cover your pet’s best care. However, with a comprehensive pet insurance policy, you can get coverage for consultation visits, chemotherapy, radiation, and any required prescription medications. Your pet may require surgery and hospitalization along with rehabilitative and complementary treatments. After your pet has spent some time in the hospital, he may also require some follow-up care. A comprehensive pet insurance policy ensures that you have all the coverage needed to provide your best babe with the best care.
Chronic conditions refer to those illnesses or injuries that require long-term care. These aren’t curable, rather, they require either regular vet checkups and treatments or prescription medications. For example, diabetes is considered a chronic condition. So is arthritis. A comprehensive pet insurance policy covers chronic conditions so that your pets can get the treatments and medications required throughout their life span.
Just because a medical condition is preventable doesn’t mean that a comprehensive pet insurance policy won’t cover it. Examples of preventable conditions include parasites or even Lyme disease. These are considered preventable because pets can be provided with flea and tick treatments to protect them in environments where fleas and ticks are prevalent. If you choose to forgo these preventative treatments and your pet ends up developing a health condition, your comprehensive policy will still cover the diagnostic tests and treatments for those preventable conditions.
Orthopedic conditions include anything from broken bones and ligament tears to osteosarcoma. Typically, these conditions are covered under a comprehensive policy but there’s usually a waiting period before coverage takes effect. However, there may be options to reduce that waiting period with your pet insurance company. Be sure to ask if there’s anything you can do to reduce the total amount of time you’re required to wait. You may be able to take your pet to a veterinarian for a full exam that records all findings related to your pet’s spine, joints, and bones.
Just like human doctors keep advancing their practices, so do veterinarians. Some veterinarians specialize in certain types of treatments. For example, your pet may require an orthopedic specialist to help with bone fractures or an oncologist to help with cancer treatment. There are internal medicine experts, physical therapy experts, and emergency care experts that are covered under a comprehensive pet insurance policy. That means you can get the best care for your pet from vets who have specialized knowledge.
Complementary Treatments, and Rehabilitation
Sometimes referred to as alternative therapies, complementary treatments (and rehabilitative care) are also covered by a comprehensive policy. This could include chiropractic care, physiotherapy, acupuncture, or even therapeutic laser treatment. These complementary treatments are a lot less invasive than traditional treatments and they help with different conditions to help your pet recover. Not all pet insurance companies offer coverage for these types of treatments, so it’s best to always read the fine print and ask when in doubt.
If your pet suffers an injury and requires prescription medication to manage pain or to treat the injuries, those prescription medications are also covered under your comprehensive policy. It could be anything from anxiety medication to eye and ear drops to antibiotics and allergy medication. Normally, prescription food and supplements are not covered under comprehensive plans, but you may be able to tack on a wellness coverage plan to enhance coverage for prescriptions.
- All-natural with no medication
- Contain olive oil, vitamin E, aloe vera, and other naturally soothing ingredients
- Anti-microbial and anti-bacterial ingredients
- Anti-inflammatory properties offer instant relief
A good pet insurance policy covers nearly everything you can think of but no matter how great the pet insurance company is, you should always review the policy’s terms and conditions. Here, you can discover what conditions and treatments may be excluded from your policy. It’s better to know upfront what you’re getting so that you never have to hesitate when it comes to your pet’s care.
You’ll see this with any pet insurance policy: pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions are not covered unless they’re curable and not every pet insurance company makes a distinction between incurable and curable conditions. However, if you purchase a comprehensive policy from a pet insurance company that does make this distinction, you may be able to get your pet’s condition covered, even if it is pre-existing, so long as they don’t present any symptoms or require treatments for at least a full year.
Other examples of what’s never covered include deliberate injuries to pets or injuries or illnesses that result from fighting, cruelty, or neglect. Although some pet insurance companies also offer a wellness coverage option, routine veterinary care is not usually covered under comprehensive plans. Cosmetic procedures are not included in insurance policies either unless they’re medically necessary. Each pet insurance company has its own specific list of exclusions, but this gives you an idea of what may be excluded when you purchase a pet insurance policy.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick for pet insurance that covers everything is Embrace Pet Insurance. This company has developed the most comprehensive policy we’ve seen, covering nearly everything, except incurable pre-existing conditions. All the conditions listed above are covered under Embrace’s policies, including all diagnostic testing, emergency care, hospitalization and surgery, specialist care, and prescription drugs. For routine care, they also offer an option for you to enroll in their wellness rewards, which is an optional, flexible plan that helps you budget for your pet’s preventative and routine care. Just add this to your insurance policy and you’ll be in a better position to afford all your pet’s care.
If you need more info, check out the Ultimate Guide to Pet Insurance.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/bahadir-yeniceri
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Does pet insurance cover all animals?
There are different types of policies that cover different types of animals. Some breeds and animal types may be harder to insure than others, like with exotic pets. Coverage is determined based on your pet’s age, medical history, and the type of policy you select.
What is usually covered under pet insurance?
Generally, pet insurance policies cover unexpected events like accidents and injuries as well as unexpected illnesses. Diagnostic exams and treatments are covered, as well as emergency care, hospitalization, and surgery. Some companies offer optional plans that cover routine care, which would cover regular vet checkups and vaccinations.
Is dog insurance accepted everywhere?
So long as your veterinarian is licensed to work in the state where you obtain care for your pet, your pet insurance takes care of reimbursing you directly. In some cases, your pet insurance policy may pay the vet directly (this usually requires a bit of extra paperwork).
How much is pet insurance?
The cost of pet insurance varies by pet type, pet age, health history, and policy type. On average, premiums range between $25 – $100 per month.
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