Just like its name suggests, dog health insurance caters for veterinary expenses. This means that you spend very little money when you take your canine to the hospital. There are actually some cases where you will not pay even a single cent. Covering your dog with health insurance is essential because diseases come without a warning. The worst is that such situations can strike when you are broke as a church mouse. Just like human health insurance, dog insurance also has six elements that include deductibles, co-pays, maximum payouts, premiums, waiting periods and no coverage for pre-existing illnesses.
Deductible refers to the amount of cash that you must pay to the insurance service provider so that the company can cater for your medical expenses. For instance, if the company’s deductible is $1000, you will have to spend your own money to pay for your dog’s medical bills until your monthly contributions reach this specified amount. Deductibles can be paid either monthly or annually. As a matter of fact, insurance companies are very strict on deductibles. They usually insist on checking whether you have paid your deductibles before they cater for your canine’s treatment fees.
Co-pay refers to the amount of money, expressed in percentage that the dog owner has to pay. Although the insurance company will pay more than half the bill, the dog owner is expected to clear the remaining balance. Since the purpose of investing in dog health insurance is to soften the financial impact of medical bills on your pockets, the company is not under any obligation to pay the entire amount. If co-pay is 10%, the insurance company will be paying 90% of the expenses.
This is defined as the total amount of cash the company will use to offset your dog’s medical expenses. There are different categories of maximum payout that include:
- Maximum payout per incident: This refers to the amount of money that the insurance company is ready to spend in one incident. If your dog gets sick, the insurance company will not spend even a single cent less or more of what is defined as total payout per incident. This means that you will have to foot the extra costs on your own.
- Maximum annual payout: This is the money that the company dedicates to covering your dog every year. If the whole amount is spent before the year ends, the dog owner will have to pay all health expenses without any assistance from the insurance company.
- Maximum lifetime payout: This is the cash that the insurance company has dedicated to covering your dog throughout its lifespan. If the money is exhausted, the dog owner will have to renew the insurance policy.
Insurance premium refers to the amount of money that you are required to pay each month. As a matter of fact, these premiums vary from one insurance company to the other. There is actually a deadline for paying your monthly premium. If you pay after the lapse of the deadline, you will pay more due to fine. If you delay for several months, you will be required to pay the fine of each month. It’s therefore advisable to pay on time to avoid being fined.
When you pay for dog health insurance today, it doesn’t become active instantly. The waiting period can be several weeks or months. The disadvantage is that the insurance company will not help you in clearing any medical bills before the lapse of the waiting period.
Most insurance companies don’t cover dogs that have terminal illnesses especially if they are known to be there before the client applied for the cover. If your dog is suffering from a terminal disease such as cancer and diabetes among others, you should indicate so in the application form so that the company can make an informed decision. If you hide this information from the start, the company will eventually find out and they will just cancel the cover.