What is Pet Insurance?

Providing pets with the veterinary care they need is important but can be expensive. Pet insurance helps Massachusetts residents who have dogs and cats pay for the care that their four-legged friends require.

Pet insurance policies are highly specialized policies developed for four-legged friends. Policies typically are bought as stand-alone policies, and pet owners can usually select from several plan levels, deductibles and reimbursement rates when getting a policy.

What Massachusetts Residents Need a Pet Policy?

Many Massachusetts residents who have pets may want a policy for their pet’s veterinary care.

Having a policy not only makes covered treatments and surgeries easier to afford, but it also can help reduce the emotional stress that pet owners face when deciding whether to provide their pet with veterinary care. When insurance pays for a large portion of a treatment’s cost, owners are less likely to face a situation where they have to decide between caring for their beloved pet or paying for another expense. 

What Kinds of Pets Do Pet Policies Cover?

Most pet policies are designed for dogs and cats, with policies available for many different breeds of each. There are policies available for most established breeds, as well as mixed breeds.

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What Does a Pet Policy Cover?

Just like other types of insurance policies, pet policies come with terms and conditions that define what they’ll cover. Coverages can and do vary from one policy to the next.

Some of the items that, depending on its terms, a policy might cover are:

  • Veterinary Exam Fees and Emergency Hospitalizations

  • Surgeries and Cancer Treatments

  • Specialized Veterinary Care and Holistic Care

  • Orthopedics and Prosthetics

  • CAT Scans, MRIs, Ultrasounds and X-Rays

Some of the conditions that may fall within a policy’s coverages include:

  • Illnesses

  • Accidents

  • Chronic Conditions

  • Congenital Conditions

  • Hip Dysplasia

  • Knee Issues

  • Cancer

For help understanding exactly what a specific pet policy will cover, pet owners should contact an insurance agent who specializes in this type of insurance. A specialized agent will be able to review a policy and explain how it compares to other policies that are available.

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How Are Pet Policies’ Premiums Calculated?

Pet policy premiums are based on many different factors, some of which a pet owner can’t control and others that they can. Any of the following might impact how much a policy costs:

  • The species and breed of the pet

  • The gender and age of the pet

  • The coverages and limits selected

  • The deductible and reimbursement rate selected

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What is the Difference Between an Annual and Per-Condition Deductible?

A deductible is generally the amount that a policyholder must pay out of pocket before their insurance policy will begin paying on a covered claim. Many insurance policies have deductibles, including many pet policies.

An annual deductible is normally a single deductible that must be met within a policy’s effective period of a year before the policy will begin paying on covered claims. Any qualifying expenses that are paid out of pocket within the year typically count toward the deductible.

A per-condition deductible normally applies to each condition separately. The deductible must be met for each condition, with valid expenses usually only counting toward a single condition.

As the following example illustrates, pet policies with annual deductibles usually provide more robust protection than those with per-condition condition deductibles.

Consider a dog who in the same year is diagnosed with hip dysplasia, suffers an unrelated leg injury and gets sick from eating a dead animal all within the same year. Assume these are all covered by two pet policies, but one policy has a $500 annual deductible and the other has a $500 per-condition deductible. With the first policy, the pet’s owner would likely pay $500 before the policy began issuing reimbursements. With the second policy, the pet’s owner would probably pay $1,500 in deductibles since the $500 deductible must be reached for each condition.

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How Can Pet Owners in Massachusetts Get Pet Insurance?

For help finding pet insurance to cover your cat or dog, contact the independent insurance agents at Haberman Insurance Group. Our agents have helped many pet owners in Massachusetts find policies that offer good protection for their four-legged friends, and we’d be happy to assist you.

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