Best Pet Insurance for College Students

best pet insurance for college students

Raising and caring for a pet can be exciting and fun, and having a pet while in college can teach responsibility and stem loneliness. Few things can be more upsetting than having to take your pet to the vet for an illness or accident. Veterinary care can be very expensive, particularly for college students, which is why so many pet owners purchase pet insurance. Choosing the best pet insurance can be difficult with so many on the market today. This article will provide you with information on pet insurance as well as how to choose the best pet insurance for your four-legged companion.

What is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is a type of health insurance policy that helps pay for veterinary expenses and similarly related expenses. In the same way that you purchase health insurance for your family, you can also purchase pet insurance for your pet. While pet insurance is usually purchased for dogs and cats, it may also be available for other pets. Pet insurance works in the same way as your health insurance.

There is a maximum amount the insurance company will pay on each claim. There is also usually a deductible the pet owner must pay before the insurance company will pay. Most pet insurance companies require that you pay the vet upfront, submit the bill, and get reimbursed by the insurance company.

Types of Pet Insurance Policies

Most insurance companies offer different levels of coverage for your pet. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, there are three basic types of pet insurance.

  • Accident Only –This insurance will pay covered expenses that result from an accident.
  • Accident and Illness – This insurance pays covered expenses resulting from an accident or an illness.
  • Wellness Coverage – This insurance pays for routine exams or annual wellness checks.

Each insurance policy is going to cost a different amount. They’re usually determined by the type of animal. For instance, cat insurance is usually cheaper than dog insurance. Some companies offer a comprehensive policy, which covers just about anything imaginable. These policies can be quite expensive. It’s very important to research different companies and make comparisons so you get the best policy for the best price.

What Pet Insurance Covers

Even with the best pet insurance policy, what they cover depends on the type of coverage the pet owner chooses. As stated above, there are three main types, and each is a little different.

The accident-only plan pays for accidental injuries, such as a sprain, broken bone, or similar accident injuries. The accident and illness play pays not just for accidental injuries but also for illnesses, such as cancer, congenital conditions, blood work, x-rays, hereditary illnesses, and more.

The wellness plan pays for preventative care, such as vaccinations, heartworm treatments, and other routine care designed to keep your pet healthy. Wellness plans can be purchased alone or as an add-on to your regular pet insurance. The one thing that is the same for all the types is that you will have to pay the deductible. All three types of pet insurance typically have a waiting period before the insurance will start paying on a claim. This is often 14 days.

What Pet Insurance Does Not Cover

In the same way that your own health insurance has exclusions or things that are not covered, there are also things that pet insurance will not cover.

  • Kennel and boarding fees
  • Exam costs
  • Breeding expenses
  • Grooming
  • Food and supplements
  • Expenses not related to vet care
  • Vaccinations
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Costs for lost or stolen animals
  • Preventative procedures such as ear cropping, claw removal, and others

Although there are some exclusions, there may be circumstances where the insurance company will pay. Exam fees may be covered if you have a wellness plan. The insurance company may also cover the cost of boarding if the pet owner is hospitalized. Food and supplements may also be covered if it’s prescription food or supplements needed for a medical condition.

When purchasing a pet insurance policy, it’s very important to ask questions and read the fine print so you know what is and is not covered. Although pet insurance may be relatively inexpensive, it can be a waste of money if you have the wrong type of coverage or are insufficiently covered.

Some pre-existing conditions may be covered if they’re curable and the animal is symptom-free for six months. The insurance company may require a pet owner to pay for procedures if they are designed to prevent a more serious issue.

How Does Pet Insurance Work?

Pet insurance works in the same way as your health insurance, but the coverage amount is much lower than with human health insurance.

You find a policy that offers the coverage you want. You choose the deductible. Deductibles typically range from $50 to $2,000. A lower deductible will require a higher premium but will also offer a higher amount of coverage. You can also choose the reimbursement amount, which is the amount the company will reimburse you after you’ve paid the claim.

Amounts include 90%, 80%, 75%, and 50%. You can also choose the maximum amount the insurance company will pay each year. Here is an example of a pet insurance policy and how it works. You purchase an accident and illness pet policy with a maximum amount of $5,000. You choose a $200 deductible and a 90% reimbursement rate.

Your pet becomes ill, and you take him to the vet for services. After services, your bill is $2,000. After the $200 deductible, you owe $1,800. Since your policy reimburses 90%, they will pay $1,620, which is 90% of $1,800. You pay the bill, and the insurance company will reimburse you. Some policies will pay the bill for you, but most require the pet owner to pay and seek reimbursement.

The cost of pet insurance is usually determined by these factors:

  • Type of animal
  • Breed
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Geographic location
  • Type of coverage chosen
  • Deductible chosen

Next Steps

Choosing a policy that best fits your needs for the life of your pet can be intimidating, but hopefully this guide has given you a good place to start. Get several quotes and pick the policy that best meets your needs.