How to Negotiate Your Pet Insurance Costs

Pet insurance will not save every pet owner money. In fact, depending on the type of pet you have and other factors, you may be better off simply paying out of pocket for expenses. When it comes time to decide whether you should buy the coverage, it is important to budget your pet's health costs and negotiate your premiums.

Budgeting Health Costs

Instead of diving right into a pet health plan, take a look at past bills for your pet. Your veterinarian's office should be able to provide you with a record if you have not saved your receipts. Do not only consider the total amount you spent. It is also important to note the types of items you spent money on. For example, a bill to board your pet when you are on vacation should not be applied to the total because this will not be covered by insurance. You should factor in the cost of:

  • Visits
  • Emergency visits
  • Prescription medicines
  • Surgeries or special procedures

Once you determine the total amount you spent, you should also determine how much you would ideally have spent for these items. Consider a reasonable budget for yourself each month.

Researching Plans

Once you know the types of procedures and costs you incurred last year, you can begin researching pet insurance plans that will cover these items. Most insurance plans for pets are divided into general categories. These include large animal, domestic animal, rare or exotic pet and pocket pet. Large animals mostly include horses, but other farm animal pets may fall into this category.

Domestic animals are the most common and include dogs, cats and other small pets. Exotic pet plans cover birds, reptiles and animals with unique needs. Pocket pet plans cover small animals like guinea pigs, gerbils or other caged rodents.

Negotiating Premiums

Pet insurance plans are generally more straightforward than standard medical insurance for humans. You will typically see a quote before you even enter information about your pet. While many people will simply "buy" the plan at this quote, you will want to negotiate with the company for the best premium you can achieve. If you have a healthy pet who has already undergone necessary medical treatments, like a spay or neuter process, you can use this to reduce your premiums. You may also ask about bundling more than one pet on a plan to reduce the cost per pet.

Negotiating Coverage and Claims

It is more important to negotiate your claims than your premiums for most pet insurance plans. You will want to declare every claim for your pet because the cost of pet insurance is generally very low. Some people opt to pay car claims, for example, out of pocket; but this is not truly necessary with a pet plan. In order to make sure you are covered, submit your claim immediately and save all the documentation you need. If your insurance company denies the claim, speak with your vet about how it may be resubmitted in order to meet the demands of your plan.

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