5 Things to Know About Pet Insurance
Choosing the Right Plan for You and Your Pet
With currently less than 2% of U.S. pets protected by pet insurance, it's no surprise that most Americans don't know much about this relatively new product and why having it may save you more than your bank account. It might just save your pet's life.
- There are three main factors that determine how much it will cost to cover your pet: the species and breed of your pet, its age, and where you live. These are universal factors among all pet insurance providers. Coverage for cats proves less expensive as compared to dogs because cats generally have less health risks. Yet, the type of dog or cat does contributes to the cost of your premium. That's because certain breeds are predisposed to health conditions that, if contracted, can prove costly over its lifetime. Check out Toto's Breed Health Calculator to assess the lifetime cost of your pet's breed. Generally speaking, as your pet ages, its risk of health conditions increases dramatically, which is why premium costs rise in the "senior years." Your location is also an important factor. The cost of veterinary care in San Francisco, CA, will be higher than in San Bonito, TX, and insurance premiums reflect those treatment cost differences. Other factors that influence your monthly premium are more specific to benefits included in your plan, which I will get to below.
- Pre-existing conditions are not covered...by any pet insurance provider. The reason? Pet parents may be inclined to enroll in pet insurance only when their pet becomes sick or injured. This is why you find waiting periods before your insurance coverage becomes active. At Toto, we think that once you've made the smart decision to protect your pet, you shouldn't have to wait long. That's why our waiting periods are among the shortest in the industry. Signing up your pets while they’re young will help them secure insurance for life, as well as before an emergency situation.
- That's where the similarities between brands end. Coverage varies significantly between pet insurance companies so make sure you look closely at what options are available before you sign up. For example, some providers don't offer wellness programs, while other do. Many brands offer a one-size-fits-all approach, limiting options for pet parents and forcing them to pay for benefits they might not want. We think choices are good, and you should have the ability to select the benefits that fit your pet's needs as well as your monthly budget.
- Customer service matters. Unlike human medical, nearly all pet insurance claims are paid by the pet parent at the time of treatment and then reimbursed after a claim is submitted. The vast veterinarian clinics don't have the resources to take on additional administrative tasks. Vets just want to spend their time caring for pets. We appreciate that, and therefore, we have simplified the claims process for vets and pet parents. Toto processes most claims in 3-4 business days, meaning you'll likely get paid before you receive your credit card statement.
- No matter what provider you select, pet insurance is a good thing to have. You don't have to go far to find someone who's experienced an unexpected vet bill costing several thousand dollars. Whether it's a dog consuming a poisonous plant, a cat with a prolapsed bladder or any number of accidents or illnesses, no pet parent should have to make the heart breaking decision of whether to provide the necessary medical treatment for their furry family member. At Toto, we think this even applies to pet parents who can't afford pet insurance, which is why we founded our TotoCares Vet Fund. When you choose Toto Pet Insurance, one in five dollars we earn from our insurance carrier goes to life-saving care for pets in need. Pet protection for all, that's what we're all about.