Pet Insurance FAQs

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What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance is coverage designed to provide pet owners with financial protection to be used toward professional veterinary care and some related medical costs. By helping you deal with unexpected costs of care, pet insurance means that you will be in a better position to make decisions about your pet’s medical care without putting cost first.

What kinds of pets are covered?
What is a deductible?

The annual amount that you are responsible for paying before we make a reimbursement under your policy. All Pets Plus Us coverage options include an annual deductible that only applies if you need to make a claim. 

What is a co-pay?

The co-pay is a percentage of what you pay vs what we pay, before your deductible. We call it “your share”. With Pets Plus Us Accident coverage, your share is 20% of costs before the annual deductible. With Accident & Illness, you can choose your share -  10%, 20%, or 30% -  as well as your deductible, allowing you to set the terms of your plan to meet your needs and budget.

Here’s an example:

Dave had an inquisitive chocolate lab named Winston. Once, Dave had to travel out of town, and his wife forgot to lock the cupboard where five bags of dry dog food treats were stored. Winston devoured all the food and had to be rushed to the vet for emergency treatment.

Dave chose 20% as his “Share” option. He had also selected Option B—a $200 annual deductible because Winston was four at the last policy anniversary. When Winston got sick, there was $2,000 in veterinary expenses and Dave made his first claim of the year. Pets Plus Us reimbursed Dave $1,400 which represented 80% of the vet bill, less the deductible.

Example: Dave’s reimbursement request

Veterinary bill

$2,000 (including taxes)

Less Dave’s share

-$400

Less Dave’s selected annual deductible

-$200

Pets Plus Us reimburses Dave

$1,400

A few months later, Winston had a minor accident that required overnight hospitalization. This time Dave’s bills totaled $1,500. Because Dave had already paid an annual deductible, this time there was no deductible. So his share was $300 and Pets Plus Us paid him $1,200.

Example: Dave’s reimbursement request

Veterinary bill

$1,500 (including taxes)

Less Dave’s share

-$300

Less Dave’s selected annual deductible

$0

Pets Plus Us reimburses Dave

$1,200

 

What is accident protection?

Accident Coverage provides you with financial support in the event that your pet has an unforeseen and unplanned traumatic event. Common accidents include falling from a balcony, cutting a paw, or being hit by a car. 

What is accident and illness protection?

Accident and illness pet insurance covers treatment required due to illness, injuries and accidents. Expenses incurred due to hospitalization, surgery and more are covered under this plan. With Pets Plus Us Accident & Illness Coverage, you can choose the level of coverage and the co-pay that best fits your budget. With Pets Plus Us, all coverage is underwritten at time of application. That means that you know exactly what your pet is covered for, and what exclusions apply. There should be no surprises when you make a claim. 

Can I use my own veterinarian?

You can take your pet to any licensed veterinarian — even specialists and emergency care providers. Pets Plus Us also covers the cost of care from a licensed veterinarian in the US should something happen while you are travelling.

How much does pet insurance cost?

The cost of pet insurance depends on a number of things. First, there's level of coverage. Some people want to cover just the basic wellness issues, like vaccinations and check-ups, others want more comprehensive services for accidents or illnesses. Other factors include age, your location in Canada, and species.

With Pets Plus Us insurance coverage, we’ll only raise the cost of your premiums due to veterinary inflation and only on your anniversary date with 30 days notice, if at all. We don't raise premiums based on claims or the pet's age. As well, we guarantee coverage for your pet for as long as your premiums are up-to-date. Get a Free Pet Insurance Quote Today.

Couldn’t I just put money aside every month to save for unexpected veterinary costs?

On the surface, this type of savings plan might seem to have more value over insurance, but there can be some challenges along the way. Because the standards of veterinary medicine are so high, so are the costs that accompany the delivery of this care. If a new pet owner puts aside the monthly premium into a puppy/kitten savings account and the new family member gets ill a few months (or even a few years) later, it is highly probable that there won’t be nearly enough in the savings account to cover the required care.

The other challenge is that if your roof starts to leak or some other crisis arises, your pet’s saving account will most likely be one of the first accounts you dip into to cover the costs. Premiums for Pets Plus Us pet health insurance are very affordable and provide you with protection against significant veterinary costs quickly and easily.

Is pet health insurance the same thing as provincial medical care?

One of the many advantages of living in Canada is our access to free universal health care. There are drawbacks, of course, in that it consumes over 33% of our tax dollars, can be slow and not very efficient. The one major drawback to being free is that we have no idea what the medical costs really are. Even if you wanted to know, you would be hard pressed to find out, but you would right in thinking the costs are extremely high. You would also be right in thinking that the medical system, as it presently exists, runs at massive losses.

However, inherent in the word “universal” is that any illness qualifies for coverage, although not necessarily any treatment. So, the word “pre-existing” does not exist for government funded health insurance.

Pet health insurance is NOT universal medical coverage, nor is it government funded. It is designed to provide financial coverage for the unknown and unexpected. In order to be successful, it has to be efficient. Because there are numerous companies providing coverage, the premiums have to be competitive relative to the coverage offered.

Because there is no bottomless pit to fund potential losses (a.k.a tax dollars), these private companies have to assess each patient in terms of risk. If a pet has had a particular medical problem before applying for insurance that will be chronic, like arthritis, then it is neither unknown or unexpected – it already exists. Because it is known, an exclusion would be placed on the policy indicating that the arthritis was “pre-existing.” In this example, because arthritis won’t miraculously disappear, the exclusion would be permanent. If it were a minor problem, the exclusion would likely be temporary.

At Pets Plus Us, we have a very liberal interpretation of what medical conditions will be considered for pre-existing exclusions. If the problem appears to be a one-time only event, we may ignore it all together or it will only be a temporary exclusion. The other distinguishing feature of Pets Plus Us is that we examine the pet’s medical records on Day 1, not at the time a claim is made. We are the only pet health insurance company in the world to do this! The huge benefit to the owner is that they know exactly what is and is not covered under their pet’s policy. 

If my pet is healthy, do I need pet insurance?

Insurance is designed to offer piece of mind against the unknown or unexpected. Like most things in life, what happened yesterday is no guarantee of what will happen tomorrow. If you have driven accident free for 2 years, your clean record wouldn’t give you any confidence to cancel your car insurance, because tomorrow is a new day.

Every pet owner wants their pet to be healthy and regular check-ups are the best way to make that happen. However, accidents can happen – in an instant. Whether it’s slipping while running in the park, innocently eating something toxic, or dashing across a road; accidents will happen to pets of even the most diligent of owners.

Pets are tough critters, having evolved to mask illness as a basic survival technique. Yet, illness unfortunately does occur with regular frequency and with few warning signs. Cancer, for example, affects over 25% of dogs and 40% of cats. Although a few lucky pets will live to a ripe old age having suffered no accidents or illnesses, the vast majority won’t be so fortunate. Luckily, the standards and quality of veterinary medicine are very high, which is a blessing for the pets themselves. That being said, this high quality of care comes with significant costs. Pet health insurance is designed to cover most of these costs ensuring that your pet returns to being healthy and happy as soon as possible.

Can I purchase Wellness Care on its own?

Yes, you can. You can purchase Wellness Care as a stand-alone plan, or you can combine it with an insurance product, like Accident or Accident & Illness coverage.

What happens if I don’t spend my full Wellness Care limit within 12 months?

You cannot carry over or get a refund on unclaimed funds for the year. However, Pets Plus Us will email you 90 days prior to the expiry date, to remind you of the unused balance available to you. 

Do I get a discount on Wellness Care services?

No, you don’t get a discount on services. However, this is a great tool to help you have the money on hand to take care of your pet.

Your Wellness Care plan does come with Blue Ribbon Benefits.

Why isn’t Wellness Care considered insurance?

Insurance is different in that you may claim much more than you pay into it. With Wellness Care coverage, the amount you pay in, and the amount you claim should be equal.

What is “underwriting upfront” and why does it matter?

When we say “underwriting upfront”, this means that we do a risk assessment on your pet before you start coverage. This allows you to know exactly what is or is not covered from the start.

Will you drop my coverage if my pet gets old or sick?

As long as your pet has Pets Plus Us coverage, we will never cancel their policy due to age or claims. We understand that pets can develop a chronic illness and need lots of care (just like humans), so all Pets Plus Us accident and illness coverage comes with our 4Life Guarantee. That means that once your pet is enrolled for coverage, his or her benefits are automatically guaranteed to renew each year. 

Can I purchase Blue Ribbon Benefits without pet insurance coverage?

Yes, Blue Ribbon Benefits are included with paid coverage, but you can buy this extra security for just $8.95, even if you don’t buy another Pets Plus Us product.

Is there a limit to the number of times I can use the Blue Ribbon Benefit services?

No, they are available to you as often as you need them.