Why Pet Health Insurance Matters to Your Newly Adopted Pet and You Angela MarcusGuest Bloggers, What is pet insurance? Most pet owners plan for vaccines, annual checkups, and spay/neuter costs, but those aren’t the only veterinary expenses you may face throughout your pet’s life. Pet health insurance can give you financial coverage for any unexpected veterinary bills if your pet has a cough, develops a limp, or isn’t feeling well. As your new pet adjusts to your home, you can rest assured you have the financial backing to keep your pet protected. That way, if something happens, you can focus on your new pet—not your finances. What does it cover? Insurance can cover a portion of your unexpected veterinary bill if your pet is sick or injured. This could be anything from broken nail to cancer and includes hospital stays, diagnostic tests, medications, supplements, surgeries, and other treatments. This may not include exam fees, wellness care, or coverage for pre-existing conditions— anything that shows signs or symptoms before you enroll. Insurance is there for the unexpected, so it’s important to understand what you’re signing up for. How does pet insurance work? Using your pet’s health insurance is simple. When your pet is sick or injured, you can take them to the veterinarian and file the claim with your insurance company. Insurance will cover a portion of your veterinary bill, sometimes 90%, and you are responsible for any non-eligible expenses, your deductible, and the remaining co-pay. Sometimes you file a claim and wait for reimbursement. However, some veterinary hospitals have vet-direct pay, which means that the insurance provider pays the hospital directly, and you’re only left to cover the co-pay at checkout. This means that for a $1,000 veterinary treatment you could just pay $100 at the end of the visit. With medical insurance for pets, you don’t have to worry about which veterinarians are “in network.” You can take them to any veterinary hospital or specialty center in the country. Can I get insurance for my rescue dog or cat? When you enroll in insurance, you’ll need to provide your pet’s species, breed, gender, and age. If you file a claim, you will need to provide details about your pet’s medical history. When you adopt a pet from Get Your Pet, you may have the luxury of knowing their breed and age and having a full medical history from their previous guardian. If not, you can still protect your pet. These details can be difficult to pin down when you adopt an adult dog or cat, but your veterinarian can give you a good estimate of your new pet’s age and you can submit any medical history you do have. When can I get it? The best time to enroll your pet in insurance is as soon as possible. Young pets often have the most affordable premiums and are less likely to have pre-existing health concerns. However, that doesn’t mean your adult dog can’t benefit from coverage. When you adopt through Get Your Pet, you receive a 30-day certificate from Trupanion. By activating this certificate, you can waive waiting periods and give your new family member coverage as soon as you bring them home. Thank you to guest blogger, Kathryn Clappison, a member of the team at Trupanion, medical insurance for cats and dogs, for providing this information.