- Research pet health insurance policies before or soon after you obtain a pet.
- Understand when and how you will be reimbursed
- Know what the policy covers before you enroll. (Does it cover pre-existing conditions? overall hereditary conditions? Conditions common to your pet’s species or breed? How much coverage is provided for these conditions?)
- Get second, third, and fourth opinions about the company before you enroll.
- Make sure the providers you consider are licensed to operate in your state.
- Ask if specific conditions common to your pet’s species or breed are covered.
- Look for independent websites that include customer reviews of providers and policies.
- Ask if the provider has a fee schedule or reimburses you based on actual fees charged. A fee schedule lists how much the insurer will reimburse you for various services; if your veterinarian charges more than the fee schedule indicates for a particular services or treatment, say, setting a broken bone, you will not be reimbursed for the difference.
- Ask if you can revise your policy before the renewal date and, if so, whether you will be charges for the change.
- Choose a policy that has a deductible and required co-pay you can afford.
- Make a decision solely on advertising.
- Delay selecting a provider until your pet needs medical care.
- Base your purchase decision on cost alone.