Recently Pets Best Insurance conducted another set of focus groups on pet owners to determine if we were addressing what pet owners really wanted, and to see if they understood the value concept of pet insurance. The results of the study confirmed observations stemming from years of prior experience in veterinary medicine and pet insurance. However, the results also showed that many pet owners believe myths about pet insurance born of misconceptions and incorrect information. Below are the myths we encountered and takeaways from our focus group.
"Pet Insurance Is Only For Sick Pets"
Actually, you must purchase insurance before your pet is sick, the same as you would buy auto or homeowners insurance before you have an accident or catastrophe. Although Pets Best provides a small amount towards a pre-existing condition insurance is really for future risk (loss).
"Insurance Is a Hassle"
Pets Best pet insurance plans are simple. You just pay your veterinary bills and submit the bills to us. We reimburse you directly in less than a week (unlike some plans which are complicated and utilize schedules which may be substantially less than your actual veterinary expenses). Check out the 'plans' section on their site.
With Pets Best 80% payment after the deductible, it is easy to figure out how much we will reimburse you for your claims. Since pet owners typically pay out of pocket for their pet's medical expenses, the turnaround time for payment is shorter, unlike human health care where hospitals and doctors bill the insurance company.
"We Could Not Choose Our Own Vet"
Fortunately with most pet insurance plans there are no Managed Care principals, Pet HMOs or Veterinary PPOs to contend with. At Pets Best you can always select the veterinarian of your choice. Pet insurance is not typically involved in the decision process for treatments, care or cost. The only exceptions are plans that utilize a benefit schedule (which will affect your out-of-pocket costs) and one that is trying to set up a network of veterinarians.
"Pet Insurance Must Be Expensive"
Although premiums vary by company, plan type, age of pet, and species of pet (cat or dog), in most instances pet insurance is very affordable and the monthly cost is about what you would pay for a dinner for two. Pet owners can choose a less costly plan with lower limits and a higher deductible or a higher cost plan with lower deductible and higher limits. Prices will vary from company to company, but most are reasonable. See an overview of Pets Best insurance plans by visiting the 'plans' section on their site.
"Pet Insurance Has Too Many Exclusions Or Does Not Cover What I Need"
When it comes to accidents or illness, pet insurance actually has very few exclusions. Pet insurance is designed to transfer the risk of your pet's future unknown health cost to the insurer. Close inspection will see that it truly does.
When it comes to protecting your pet's health and the many thousands of accidents and illnesses that can happen to pets (other than hereditary, congenital and pre-existing conditions) all accidents and most illnesses are covered.
With Pets Best many of the typical exclusions are limitations, where the payment, although smaller, does provide some coverage and value. Ask your veterinarian or their staff how many times a pet's illness can present financial hardship and hard decisions.
Pet insurance is like your own health insurance; it is designed to pay for your pet's medical needs, whether it is a simple skin rash, a virus, an ear infection or severe cancer.
As a pet owner, your decisions surrounding pet insurance speak to your understanding the myths and facts about the real value pet insurance can provide. In addition to granting peace of mind and protecting your pocketbook, most pet owners still do not understand the benefits.
As a doctor of veterinary medicine and an animal lover, I will not rest until every pet owner is at least aware that pet insurance coverage exists. It can be budgeted at a reasonable cost so pet lovers never have to be concerned with their pet family member's health costs.
Curious about what it would cost to insure your pet? Pets Best is happy to provide a free quote for pet insurance. Still have questions about pet insurance? Visit the Pets Best frequently asked questions about pet insurance forum.