A recent report by the US Department of Clinical Veterinary Science shows that only about 0.7% of pets in America has Pet Insurance coverage.
This is an indictment as far as we’re concerned, but we anticipate a change in this trend soon. Stats by Munich Re shows that as of 2015, the UK had 25% market penetration for pet insurance with a whopping $960M in premium volume. However, they still rank second behind Sweden who has a 40% market penetration with $124M premium volume.
How Pet Insurance policies work
First of all, pet insurance is unlike human health insurance; rather it is more like a form of property insurance. So your pet insurance company reimburses you after the pet receives care and you submit your claims. Most pet insurances only cover dogs, cats, and horses. However, owners of some exotictypes of animal can buy coverage for their pet.
In the US and Canada, the policies pay you off via an agreed benefit schedule or through paying a percentage of the Vet’s costs (70-100%). How it works is that; the owner usually pays off the vet’s fee then sends in the claim form for reimbursement. Some vets may hold off on collecting their pay until the insurance company pays off especially if the medical cost is very high.
Before now, the policies didn’t cover preventive care or elective procedures. This has since changed because now some of the insurance companies offer routine-care coverage known as comprehensive coverage.
They are two categories of insurance for pets; the non-lifetime and the lifetime plans. The difference is that the non-lifetime covers conditions suffered during the duration of the policy which is one year. On renewal, any condition(s) that has been claimed will be exempted. However, the lifetime policies cover the pet throughout its lifetime, and no condition(s) are exempted.
Top pet insurance companies
Lots of insurance companies are starting to offer this coverage, and they are also improving the policy options. We’ll try to briefly outline 7 of the top companies that offer pet coverage;
- Nationwide: the company is a leader in the US insurance market and one of the first to offer pet insurance. Nationwide offer three major coverage options including; Whole pet – this provides 90% back on vet bills and covers most major procedures. Major Medical – this covers most common medical needs. Then finally, the Pet Wellness plan – this covers routine medical needs for pets.
- Healthypaws: Healthypaws provides coverage for accidents and illness for pets. The company maintains an “A+” rating which is a very good sign. Healthypawsoffer unlimited lifetime benefits with no caps; however, it excludes pre-existing conditions and preventive care.
- PetPlan: PetPlan is a UK insurance company with a huge presence in the American market and covers all 50 US states. Their standard coverage plan includes all major medical needs for your pet.
- Trupanion: the company provides coverage for cats and dogs with unlimited payouts and no caps on coverage. Their payout plan offers 90% payment while you balance out the remaining 10%. Trupanion also let you choose your deductible according to your budget. However, this excludes some pre-existing conditions and preventive care. The company is also rated “A+.”
More Insurance companies offering Pet Insurance
- Embrace: the Embrace pet insurance is brought to you in partnership with GEICO. They cover pets for accidents and illness including genetic conditions. You are usually expected to wait for 14-days before your coverage kicks in, and you must have visited a vet with the last 12 months.
- Pets Best: Pets Best pays you off immediately you reach your deductible. However, you’ll need to submit your claim online. Progressive insurance company partners with Pets Best to offer pet insurance services.
- PetPremium: cats and dogs are the major species covered by PetPremium insurance company as underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company. Their plans start at a $10/month offer. The company offers a 3-level package; level one is for accidents and only has a $2,500 incident limit. The level two covers accidents and illnesses with $3,000 incident limit. Level three also covers accidents and illnesses with $3,500 incident limit. Each level has a 90% reimbursement plan.