Having any of the various pet insurance options offered today can help pay for medical emergencies your covered dog, cat, or any other pet may have. Now that you’ve bought a pet policy, you’ve minimized the financial risk that comes with owning these lovely animal companions. However, what’s the next step after your pet insurance becomes effective? Can you immediately file a claim?
Here’s how pet insurance works, from the day of purchase to when you file your first claim.
Understanding Pet Insurance
After getting your pet insurance coverage, there’s going to be a waiting period before you can file a claim. Most health plans include this waiting period that must expire before the insured can be eligible for compensation. The waiting period may vary from provider to provider, but it can be as few as 2 days for medical emergencies such as an accident. It could also be 14 days for illnesses or months for severe injury.
However, some providers may offer pet insurance with immediate coverage (meaning no waiting period) if you’re simply changing insurers. Provided that there’s no coverage gap between your old and new policies, your pet may be immediately eligible for reimbursement after incurring medical costs.
Your Pet’s Medical Records
Your pet’s medical record will play a crucial role in fast-tracking the processing of your first claim. Most insurers will require information on a pet’s vet visits, medical exams, and treatments for a certain period before the pet insurance policy’s effective date. Your vet has the pet health data your insurer requires to speed up the claims process.
If you’re insuring a little puppy or kitten with no medical history, you can take them to the vet for a medical screening. However, if you’ve had the pet for a while now, your current vet should be able to give you the required medical records. If you adopted the pet from another owner, such as a shelter, this previous owner should provide copies of the necessary files so that you can hand them over to your new vet.
Pre-existing conditions are illnesses or injuries that the pet had before the expiration of the policy waiting period. Without properly understanding pet insurance, a policyholder may mistakenly file a claim for such conditions. However, pet insurance doesn’t usually cover complications or any other health issue that the new owner knew or should have known existed. If your pet was infected or had any other insurable health problem before coverage, its medical records can help reveal it.
Paying Your Pet Insurance Premiums
The payment schedule typically varies from insurer to insurer. However, you’ll most likely be paying monthly premiums for your pet insurance coverage. Keep in mind that most pet policies are up for renewal every 12 months. You can ask your insurance agent to explain such details and help you satisfy coverage requirements.
Do you have more questions about personal or commercial insurance? For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact an insurance professional at Westwood Insurance Agency today.