Though some form of pet insurance has been around for a while, it has not taken off until recently, when the costs of pet care have risen dramatically due to an increased number of procedures available.
Since then, though there are many reputable pet insurance companies, there are also a number of pet insurance scams that have occurred by companies trying to take advantage of the new craze. It is important that you stay protected against these scams and find an insurer that is right for your pet’s needs.
Spotting a Pet Health Insurance Scam:
• Read Reviews
The best way to spot any type of pet insurance scam is to simply read online reviews of the company. If you find a number of reviews that claim they were cheated by their pet insurance company, chances are that company is not reputable. You don’t need to go overboard with one or two claims of fraud, but if you see a persistent amount of fraud claims it is a good idea to stay away from that provider.
• Obscene Costs/Too Low Costs
Pet insurance should not be that expensive. If you look at a provider that is trying to charge you a ridiculous amount of money, chances are they are simply trying to get every penny from you that they can. The same is true in the opposite way. If you find an insurance company that is willing to give you extremely discounted insurance, there is a good chance they won’t cover the costs of most health care and are simply trying to win your money.
• Strange Fine Print
Some companies have find print that can vastly affect your plan and your ability to get health insurance for your pet. For example, check to see how your pet insurance company handles “previous conditions.” Most reputable companies only assume a pre-existing condition when it occurred before they received the insurance. However, some companies view pre-existing conditions as anything that has occurred within the past year. That means if you have a pet insurance company for 10 years, and in year 5 your pet has a serious accident, that accident will no longer be covered through years 6-10.
• Many Procedures Not Covered
Good pet insurance should cover almost every procedure, if not every procedure. Some companies pick and choose the procedures they want to cover. You will receive a list of procedures, and it may seem like a lot, but check with your vet to see if any common procedures amongst pets are not listed. That may show you that the insurance company is trying to avoid paying most costs. Make sure your vet gives it a thorough check before you decide to use the service.
• Secretive/Poor Customer Service
The signs of a good pet insurance company are open and friendly customer service. You should have clear contact information like phone numbers, email addresses, and a physical location. If they are not friendly or do not provide you with answers that help you make a decision, there is a good chance that they are a scam. In fact, even if they are not a scam, it is best to avoid any insurers with poor customer service, because you want to have the best experience with your insurance company.
Be Careful Before You Buy
As you can see, there are a variety of signs that your insurance might be a scam. You should make sure that you choose a pet insurance company that is trustworthy, covers the costs of most or all pet procedures, is friendly and has a history of providing better than adequate support for pet owners that require health care for their pets. The last thing you want is to rely on a company that fails to cover your pet when you need it most. Do your research up front and your pet will have the protection you require.