Between food, training, and socialization, you're making critical decisions for your pet on a daily basis. One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make as a pet owner is how to budget for your pet’s health care.
No pet owner should ever have to choose between their financial security and their pet’s health needs. Investing in pet insurance can be a great way to prepare for the inevitable without going overbudget or causing undue stress.
Before you decide on a plan, let us separate fact from fiction by looking at 10 common pet insurance myths.
Myth #1: Pet insurance is just for sick pets
If your pet isn't sick or injured, how is pet insurance supposed to help them? Luckily, your pet doesn't need to be ill to benefit from having pet insurance coverage. AKC Pet Insurance (underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company) offers policy add-ons that provide coverage for eligible wellness expenses, so you may receive reimbursement for a portion of costs related to everyday items like heartworm prevention and the rabies vaccine.
Myth #2: My pet is too young to need pet insurance
If your pet is young, it might be difficult to picture them needing insurance. Still, accidents and illnesses can happen at any age. Also, if you choose to buy a policy for your pet when they’re older or sick, your coverage options might be limited and not meet your pet’s needs.
Myth #3: I can't keep my vet with pet insurance
You shouldn’t have to choose between your insurance provider and your veterinarian. Since pet insurance operates using the reimbursement model, you can choose any licensed vet in the United States and Canada as long as the vet is not you or a member of your household.
Myth #4: Pet insurance covers EVERYTHING
It would be great if pet insurance covered every expense related to your pet's care, but most pet insurance providers don't offer coverage for day-to-day items in their base policies. Think of it like your car insurance: It's there for when an emergency occurs, but won’t help with the cost of an oil change. Luckily, AKC Pet Insurance offers customization to add coverage for hereditary conditions, wellness, and other pet health needs!
Myth #5: It’s impossible to know what’s really covered
Worried that you won't know if your pet’s illness or injury is covered? Luckily, policies with AKC Pet Insurance are exclusions-based, meaning that the terms and conditions tell you exactly what conditions and services are ineligible for reimbursement.
Myth #6: Vet bills take too long to be reimbursed
If you're like most people, you want your reimbursement as soon as possible. When shopping for pet insurance, make sure to choose a company that has a short turnaround time for claims processing. When you submit a claim for your pet, we recommend sending the medical records for your pet along with the claim. If they're not submitted with your claim, processing will be delayed since the pet insurer will need to reach out to your vet for additional information. Having direct deposit set up for your policy also speeds up the process.
Myth #7: Pet insurance is only for emergencies
Pet insurance can be critical if you hope to save money on emergency vet bills. But not every accident or illness has to be life-threatening. Smaller-scale events like ear infections, upset tummies, and allergies may be eligible under your policy.
Myth #8: Pre-Existing Conditions aren't covered with pet insurance
Good news: AKC Pet Insurance is the only major pet insurance company to offer coverage for pre-existing conditions*. As long as your pet has had a policy with us for a full policy term (365 days) with continuous coverage, after policy renewal, your pet will have satisfied the waiting period for pre-existing coverage.
Myth #9: Pet food is covered with pet insurance
Depending on your pet's condition, your veterinarian may prescribe or recommend a specific pet food to treat their symptoms. Unfortunately, many people don't realize that prescription pet food is usually not eligible for reimbursement, unless it is the sole treatment available for the condition. Check out AKC Pet Insurance’s sample terms and conditions for more information.
Myth #10: Pet insurance isn't worth it
You’re probably asking, is pet insurance worth it?
If you're lucky, you will never need to use it. However, since 1 in 3 pets are likely to experience a medical emergency each year, planning for the unexpected may come in handy. You may also wonder if it's just as easy to save what you would be paying a pet insurance company for a monthly or annual premium. But, just like with human insurance, if a major medical emergency happens, you may spend far less on medical bills with insurance than you would otherwise.
Take a look at an actual claim** we received this year from the owner of a 6-month-old Bernese Mountain Dog. Even though the puppy was young, their owner chose a policy with an unlimited annual limit and 20% coinsurance. Only 5 days after their policy became active, the puppy ate a hat, causing an obstruction and leading to an emergency hospital visit. The puppy's final bill for their treatment was $27,762.21. But, since they had chosen a policy that provided 80% reimbursement, they received back $22,009.76 towards their diagnostics and treatment.
If you're interested in learning more about our policies, check out our enrollment tool or call a member of our Customer Care team at 1-866-725-2747.
* Not available in all states. Pre-existing condition coverage requires a 12-month waiting period.
**Results may vary.