A small white dog with a stethoscope, perhaps thinking about an insurance comparison

9 Nasty Pitfalls to Avoid When Comparing Pet Insurance


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Getting pet insurance quotes for your fur kid? It’s natural to want the best deal – one that’s manageable financially AND will give your pet the best protection in case of an accident or emergency. But did you know there are some pet insurance comparison mistakes you can make?

Have no fear. We’ve rounded up nine pitfalls so that you can make the best possible decision for your pet and your pocket. Let’s pounce right in.

A man, vet, and dog - perhaps thinking about  an insurance comparison

#9 Pet insurance comparison pitfall – Skipping the fine print

This is one of the most common mistakes people make when doing a pet insurance comparison. Don’t skip the details! Carefully read through the policy terms and conditions. Look for exclusions, waiting periods, and limitations to understand what’s covered.

Here’s why:

  • The fine print contains all the nitty-gritty details about what’s covered and what’s not. If you don’t read it carefully, you might miss important information that could catch you off guard later.
  • Insurance policies often have lists of things they won’t cover. You’ll want to know if your pet’s specific health needs are on that list.
  • Sometimes, there are waiting periods before certain coverage kicks in. If you don’t know about these, you might think you’re protected when you’re not.
  • The fine print can also reveal limits on how much the insurance will pay out. If you don’t pay attention, you might find yourself responsible for hefty bills.
  • It might explain how to file a claim, and missing these instructions could delay getting reimbursed for vet bills.

#8 Pet insurance comparison pitfall – Only comparing premiums

When getting pet insurance quotes, it’s important to compare premiums – but it’s not the ONLY thing you should consider. The cheapest policy may not be the best policy for your pet’s needs.

It’s kind of like shopping for a new car and picking the cheapest one without checking if it has the features you need. Here’s why it’s important to think beyond just the price tag when doing your pet insurance comparison:

Limited coverage

Some super cheap pet insurance plans might not cover a lot. They could leave out important things like surgeries, prescriptions, or even cover for common health conditions.

Higher out-of-pocket costs

Cheaper plans’ deductibles can include higher excesses and co-payments. That means you have to pay more out of your own pocket when your pet needs medical attention.

Limited extras

If you want coverage for special things like pet dental insurance, the budget plans might not have you covered.

Claim hassles

Sometimes, low-cost plans have more complicated claim processes. It could be frustrating when you’re dealing with vet bills and paperwork.

A kitten looking up. Her pet parents may be thinking of pet insurance quotes

#7 Pet insurance comparison pitfall – Not considering your pet’s breed or age 

Some pet insurance companies charge higher premiums for certain breeds of dogs and cats. This is because some breeds are more prone to certain health conditions. For example, large dogs may be prone to joint problems, while certain cat breeds may have dental issues.

Insurers also charge higher premiums for older pets because they’re more likely to develop health problems. Just like humans, pets’ healthcare needs change as they get older and senior pets might require more attention for emerging conditions.

Not taking your pet’s age into account could leave you making insurance comparison mistakes due to being uninformed.

#6 Pet insurance comparison pitfall – Ignoring the claims process

Another pitfall to avoid is getting a plan with an unclear claims process or with an insurer who takes weeks or longer to reimburse you. When the going gets tough, you don’t want to have to worry about how and when your pet insurance claim is going to be paid back.

PD Insurance is its own underwriter via Pacific International Insurance, which means we turn claims around fast. For us, once you’ve submitted a claim, the idea is to get your money back as quickly as we possibly can. We aim to do so within two business days.

PS: Want to become even more pet insurance literate? Read these:

#5 Pet insurance comparison pitfall – Choosing a policy with a not so suitable excess

The excess is the amount of money you have to pay out of pocket in return for your insurance company paying the rest. When doing a pet insurance comparison, people may choose a lower monthly premium, but forget down the track that this comes with a high excess.

Also be aware that some insurance providers change a fixed amount excess and others change a percentage of the vet bill. Importantly, understand that some providers charge that excess per vet bill and others (like PD Insurance) charge it once for a claimable event, regardless of how many vet bills were involved. You can imagine the financial difference that can make.

Picking pet insurance without considering the excess is a bit like ordering a meal at a restaurant without checking the price on the menu – you might be in for a surprise when the bill arrives!

Here are other reasons why it’s crucial:

Emergency situations

In an emergency, you probably don’t want to be worrying about covering a hefty excess. Choosing an amount that fits your budget can provide peace of mind when your pet needs urgent care.

Claim frequency

Consider how often you might need to use your insurance. If you anticipate frequent vet visit for various health issues, a plan with a lower excess might be a better fit.

Lifetime costs

Over the life of your pet, the excess can add up. Make sure you’re comfortable with the potential long-term financial commitment.

One of our PD Insurance pet parents, for instance, had to take her cat Mittens for high-risk surgery due to feline urethral obstruction (a common feline health problem). Luckily, it was covered by us! Read their story here: Lovable Mittens’ Struggle: Handling Feline Urethral Obstruction.

A kitten looking up. Her pet parents may be thinking of pet insurance quotes

#4 Pet insurance comparison pitfall – Being unaware of co-payment potential

Another pitfall to avoid in your comparison of pet insurance quotes is ignoring the reimbursement rate. The reimbursement rate is how much of your vet bills the insurance will cover. If you choose a plan with a lower reimbursement rate, you’ll end up paying more out of your own pocket each time your pet needs medical care.

The money you’ll contribute is called a co-payment. It’s separate to an excess payment.

Plans with higher reimbursement rates may come with higher monthly premiums – or they may not; it depends on the insurer so do your research well. If your preferred plans all require co-payments, you’ll want to strike a balance between one payment that fits your budget and one where you’re not paying too much.

Different insurance companies have varying reimbursement processes. Some may reimburse based on the actual vet bill, while others have set fee schedules. Understanding how your plan handles reimbursements can prevent confusion when it’s time to make a claim.

PS: Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Pet Insurance Reimbursements.

#3 Pet insurance comparison pitfall – Buying a policy with lots of exclusions

Exclusions are a list of health situations that won’t be covered by your insurance. They could include specific medical conditions or treatments.

As mentioned, some policies exclude certain health issues that are common in specific breeds. For example, if you have a breed prone to hip dysplasia, you’ll want to make sure the insurance covers this condition.

PS: Since you’re shopping around for pet insurance quotes, we know you know pet insurance is important. But here’s why a vet it’s worth it:

#2 Pet insurance comparison pitfall – Not exploring discounts

When getting pet insurance quotes, remember that some insurers offer discounts – so inquire about potential savings. For instance, if you have more than one furry friend, PD offer discounts to eligible customers (depends on your policy) for insuring multiple pets.

We also pay up to a certain $ amount per pet (at the time of writing) towards any switching fees your current insurer charges and waive any waiting periods if your pet has been insured for 12 months or more. Nothing to lose, plenty to gain…

#1 Pet insurance comparison pitfall – Choosing other than PD Insurance

Okay, okay … we know we’re boasting a little. But the number one pet insurance comparison pitfall you can make is missing out on the value-rich, award-winning pet insurance PD Insurance offers.

Our pocket-friendly pet insurance will help ensure your fur kid can receive quality veterinary care without undue financial strain. It’s all part of our philosophy to provide a ‘Soft Landing’ for our customers when things get tough. 

When you sign up with us online, you stand to receive one or more months of coverage for your pet absolutely free. Yes, that’s right— fur babies deserve some freebies too. Join the PDPet community today and let’s stride toward a world where joyous pets and worry-free pet parents walk paw in paw! 🐾🌟

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