What Does Pet Insurance Exclude?

Although every insurance policy is different, when it comes to pet insurance there are some universal things that are normally not covered. Pet insurance is a lot like health insurance for humans, it covers medical expenses related to illness and/or injury. In many cases, it also covers things like annual checkups and vaccinations. However, as mentioned certain things are not covered.

Pre-existing conditions are rarely covered under pet insurance policies. A pre-existing condition is one your pet already had when you got the insurance. This is no different from insurance for you or I. And like insurance for us, pet insurance sometimes will cover these conditions after a waiting period of six months to one year, depending on your policy. Another thing that pet insurance may not cover is elective surgery. Examples of this include having an animal's ears or tail docked for cosmetic purposes or in some cases having the animal neutered or spayed (although some policies DO cover this particular procedure.)

Congenital conditions are also often not covered. These are conditions that the animal has had since birth. They may or may not be genetic in nature, in other words you could call them birth defects. Pet supplies are also not covered under the average insurance policy. This may include pet food, treats, toys, training aids, grooming supplies and other items. Grooming is not covered, just as a person's insurance policy would not cover a trip to the salon. In most cases unless specified otherwise, psychological problems are not covered under pet insurance.

Of course, these are only examples of things that are most likely not going to be covered under a pet insurance policy. To get a full list you will first need to find an insurance company. There are quite a few out there, more than you might think. This can make it hard to know which one to choose. The best strategy is to ask for free quotes on different policies then compare the prices, features and companies. When you have the field narrowed down to your top favorites, you may want to contact an agent and ask any questions you may have. This is a great way to get a feel for the type of service a company will provide.

After you know what the policy you can afford covers and excludes, you are ready to complete a formal application. This will ask you questions about your pet and his/her health history. The underwriting department will go over the application and either approve or deny the policy. From there if the policy is approved, you can pay monthly, a couple times a year or yearly. Sometimes paying yearly can save you money. A final word of wisdom on pet insurance is to find out if your veterinarian accepts it, and if so, if there are certain policies or companies they don't accept.

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