how do pet insurance deductibles work?

how to choose a pet insurance deductible
Posted by fetch! blog editors on Aug 20 2019

If you're ever been to the doctor or had to file a claim for your car insurance, you've likely had to deal with deductibles. They are a common part of most insurance policies, including health insurance, car insurance and pet insurance.

What is a deductible on pet insurance?

It’s the fixed amount you must pay (usually per 12-month policy period) before you see reimbursement from your pet insurance provider.

Many providers offer customizable plans, allowing you to choose a deductible that suits your budget and your pet’s needs. Whether you choose one as low as $250 or as high as $1,000, it’s important to know how deductibles work before determining your pet insurance plan.

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How does a pet insurance deductible work?

While the cost of your pet’s coverage depends largely on your pet’s breed, age and where you live, the deductible you choose will also impact your monthly premium.

  • A lower deductible tends to result in a higher monthly premium, but you’ll reach the reimbursement level quicker.
  • A higher deductible works in the opposite fashion: lowering the amount due each month but possibly taking longer to meet the deductible limit.

What is an annual deductible?

With an annual deductible, the costs from protected conditions, accidents and illnesses collectively chip away at the deductible amount chosen. It does not matter how frequently you visit the vet or if your pet has multiple health issues, you only need to reach that amount once each policy period to qualify for reimbursement.

What is a per-condition deductible?

A per-condition deductible is applied each time your pet sees the vet for a new injury or illness. This means the deductible resets for each condition. If your pet visits the vet for a wound one day and allergies the next, your deductible would be applied for each claim.

Now, if you file multiple claims for the same condition, your deductible would only be applied once as long as the treatment occurred within the same policy period.

What is a co-payment on pet insurance? 

A co-payment, otherwise known as a co-pay, is the percentage of your pet insurance claim for which you the pet parent are required to pay before any deductible is applied. With most providers, this can vary between 10% and 30%, depending on your plan options at enrollment.

For example, if your plan reimburses you 90% of the vet bill, your co-payment would be 10%.

Is a deductible and a copayment the same?

Similar to human insurance, pet policies come in a variety of deductibles, copayments and premiums. The key difference is when you have to pay.

Your copay is the percentage you are responsible for paying before your deductible is applied to a covered loss.

Your premium is simply the amount you pay monthly, quarterly or annually to be insured.Keep in mind only charges related to new accidents and illnesses can be applied towards your deductible.

Regardless of the pet insurance provider you choose, expenses from pre-existing conditions will not be covered.

How do I choose the right deductible?

Compare providers and do your research to determine what works best for your pet and budget. If it’s common for your pet’s breed to deal with hereditary issues or you just want the peace of mind, a lower deductible may help.

If you’re reserving your coverage for those large, expensive catastrophic incidents that may occur, a higher deductible may be for you.

To learn more about your pet insurance deductible options, get a quote from Petplan pet insurance.

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