Top 9 Pet Insurance Misconceptions

Pet Insurance  •   Mary Shaughney  •   Feb 15, 2019

 

Pet insurance is increasing in popularity in the United States as pet owners begin to see a trend of rising costs along with improved veterinary care. Many pet owners are being introduced to the pet insurance industry through brochures in their veterinarian’s office or by word of mouth. Despite the abundance of information online regarding pet insurance, there are several misconceptions that turn pet owners away from choosing to protect their pet (and their bank account.) We’ve taken some time to explain the reality behind these misunderstandings to help make pet insurance easier to navigate!

  1. Nothing is covered.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that pet insurance companies will deny the majority of claims they receive. Fortunately, this isn’t true! With 1,828,126 pets insured in the United States in 2017, clearly claims are being paid and conditions are being covered or no one would be insuring their pets!

It’s important when creating a policy for your dog that you understand the coverage you’re purchasing. While you can read a general overview of what’s covered under the different plan options online, you can find more detailed coverage information in the . You can also contact a customer care specialist to ask questions regarding conditions that may be eligible under your policy.

 

  1. I can’t use my veterinarian.

Purchasing a pet insurance policy won’t lock you into a small network of veterinarians. You can choose any licensed veterinarian for your regular or emergency clinic, as pet insurance works on a reimbursement basis. Whether you’re at home or travelling across the United States, you can ensure your dog is always covered.

 

  1. I already have coverage through my veterinarian.

Many veterinarians are starting to offer wellness packages that will cover a dog’s vaccines and annual physical examination. This is not the same as pet insurance, as you often will be on your own to cover costs for accidents, illnesses and hereditary conditions. Consider adding wellness coverage onto your pet insurance policy so your dog is covered for everything he may encounter throughout the year. If you love your current wellness plan offered through your veterinarian, choose to enroll in a pet insurance policy to cover the other health issues that may crop up throughout your dog’s lifetime.

 

  1. Pet insurance is too expensive.

Considering the rising cost of wellness visits, emergency care, and exam fees, pet insurance can save you money in the long run. AKC Pet Insurance lets you create a policy that covers exactly what you need without paying for anything extra. Choose an accident and illness base plan and then customize your policy with add-ons to cover wellness items, hereditary conditions, final respects care, and exam fees. You can also choose your deductible, incident limit, and annual limits, so you determine exactly how much you want to pay for your pet’s insurance!

 

  1. Making a claim will increase my premium.

The idea that every time you make a claim the cost of your policy increases is incorrect. The number of claims that you submit doesn’t affect your premium in any way! Premiums are based on the coverage you choose, the age of your pet and the current market in your area at the time of policy enrollment/renewal.

 

  1. Submitting a claim is difficult.

You can submit a claim in three quick steps. First, pay your veterinarian as usual and pick up your itemized bill. Then, fill out the claim form with all the necessary information. Finally, submit your claim form, itemized bill and any relevant invoices by email, postal mail or fax.

Reimbursement for a claim shouldn’t take months! Claims are processed within 14 days of submission unless additional records are needed from a veterinarian. Ensure that you’ve included everything the claims team will need to speed up the process and get reimbursed quicker!

 

  1. Senior dogs won’t be covered.

We want to help protect dogs from puppyhood into their golden years! Dogs over the age of eight who are interested in enrolling in pet insurance are eligible for accident and injury coverage. If your dog is already enrolled before he turns nine with an accident and illness policy, he will be able to keep the coverage throughout his life if there is no gap in coverage.

 

  1. Pet insurance isn’t real insurance.

Pet insurance is similar to human health insurance, with the major differences being that it acts on a reimbursement basis, there’s no network of veterinarians and your premiums will be considerably less expensive! When you call the AKC Pet Insurance customer care team you are always speaking to a licensed insurance agent. Just like human insurance companies, pet insurance follows a strict set of rules established by each state’s department of insurance.

 

  1. It makes more sense to start a savings fund for pet care.

Some pet owners believe that they’ll save money by creating a savings account for veterinary bills that they can deposit money into every month. While this may be a viable solution for some, there are several flaws in this plan. The biggest being that emergencies can happen at any time, and the average cost of an emergency vet bill is $1,500. With one in three pets needing emergency veterinary treatment every year, you may not have enough time to contribute to a vet bill savings fund before an emergency arises. In addition, veterinary bills for long term illnesses can quickly add up and keep your savings fund from ever passing zero. If you have multiple pets, saving for each of them will be even trickier with a savings account. Pet insurance ensures you’re reimbursed for eligible conditions quickly and provides you with more money to spend should a medical emergency occur.

 

Is pet insurance worth it?

Pet insurance is a great way to ensure your dog is covered for unexpected accidents and illnesses. It can help you keep your dog healthy through preventative care, offer reimbursement of hereditary conditions and make your veterinary bills seem less menacing. Not to mention, you’ll feel more secure knowing you can make decisions for your pup based on his needs and not the amount of money you’ve saved up at the time of a major bill.

Creating a policy that meets your needs and understanding the terms and conditions of your policy are key in getting the most from pet insurance. Read through the plan options and get a quote today!

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Mary Shaughney

About the Author
Mary Shaughney

Mary comes to AKC Pet Insurance with an extensive background in animal care. As a lifelong animal lover, she has a passion for promoting pet health and wellness. Mary lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her orange kitty, "Cat" and her dog, " Wubbi".