What is Pet Insurance?
As veterinary medicine is increasingly employing expensive medical techniques and drugs, and owners have higher expectations for their pets' health care and standard of living than previously, the market for pet insurance has increased.
How Pet Insurance Policies Work
Many pet owners believe pet insurance is a variation of human health insurance; however, pet insurance is actually a form of property insurance. As such, pet insurance reimburses the owner after the pet has received care and the owner submits a claim to the insurance company. Pet insurance policies primarily cover dogs, cats and horses though more exotic species of animal can obtain coverage.
Policies in the United States and Canada either pay off a benefit schedule or pay a percentage of the vet costs (70-100%), after reaching a deductible, depending on the company and the policy. The owner usually pays the amount due to the veterinarian and then sends in the claim form and receives reimbursement, which some companies and policies limit according to their own schedules of necessary and usual charges. For very high bills, some veterinarians allow the owner to put off payment until the insurance claim is processed. Some insurers pay veterinarians directly on behalf of customers. Most American and Canadian policies require the pet owner to submit a request for fees incurred.
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