pet insurance: plan basics
Scratching your head over pet insurance? You’re not alone. Even after researching pet insurance, many pet parents still find themselves with questions. Here’s a primer on some common pet insurance puzzlers.
Can pet insurance policies be transferred?
Though we love them dearly, sometimes it’s necessary to re-home our pets. But if that happens, what about their pet insurance policies? In most cases, it is possible to transfer a policy to the pet’s new owner without dropping coverage. To do this, the original owner will need to call the pet insurance provider and supply proof of the transfer of ownership. The new owner will also have to submit their payment details. Once the provider has all the necessary information, the transfer can be processed at the time of the policy’s annual renewal.
It’s very important to follow these steps carefully and not let the pet insurance policy lapse. If any loss of coverage occurs, the pet will essentially need to start over with a brand new policy — meaning that any claims or medical issues the pet experienced under the past policy will now be considered pre-existing conditions and will not be coverable.
Can pet insurance policies be changed?
Pet parents have many reasons for reconsidering their policy details. Perhaps they did not fully understand the coverage they were purchasing, or their budget changed. As long as claims have not been submitted for the pet, the policyholder can usually call their pet insurance provider and adjust their plan details, including the deductible amount, level of reimbursement, and annual coverage limit. The requested changes typically will go into effect when the policy renews.
If claims have already been submitted for the pet, the policyholder is often limited in the changes they can make. They can opt for less coverage (for example, a higher deductible or lower reimbursement level) to lower premiums, but may not be able to increase coverage. For this reason, it’s important to carefully consider the level of coverage you want for your pet when you first enroll in a policy. You can always lower your coverage level later if you wish, but you may not be able to increase it if you need to submit claims for your pet during the policy period.
How do you cancel a pet insurance policy?
If you’ve decided that the policy isn’t for you, simply call your pet insurance provider and request to cancel it. Cancellations within the first 30 days of policy inception may be eligible for a full refund. Of course, cancellation is not a decision to be taken lightly. Even if you haven’t made any claims with your policy, it’s impossible to predict when you’ll need it. As pets age, their risk of becoming injured or ill increases steadily. The last thing you want is to find yourself without coverage when you need it most!
Additionally, if your pet has experienced any medical issues during the life of the policy and coverage is cancelled, those medical issues will be considered pre-existing conditions and will not be coverable should you decide to re-enroll in the future.