***** ASPCA has come out with brand new polices since this blog post was written. I refer you to this post.
ASPCA pet insurance company recently unveiled their new policies. There are several improvements that allow pet owners more control over their coverages and therefore the premium they pay.
1) There isn't an annual maximum, only a per-incident maximum, therefore, there is no limit to the number of injury/illness claims you can file and receive reimbursement for during a policy term. However, remember that low per-incident maximums can increase your out-of-pocket expense. The company has raised the per-incident limits on all their plans and now offers a $7,000 per-incident limit (Level 4) which is an improvement. The per-incident limit is the maximum the company will pay for each new injury/illness that you file a claim for.
2) You now get to select among 3 deductibles ($100, $250, $500) for each policy. This gives pet owners some flexibility in manipulating the premium and still get the coverage that they want. Previously ASPCA had only a $100 deductible. Another good thing is that it is an annual deductible.
Remember, the 3 biggest factors that influence the premium is the annual/per-incident maximum, the deductible, and the copay (coinsurance). Some pet insurance companies offer pet owners the ability to change all 3 of these factors to their liking - essentially custom design their own policy. While ASPCA didn't go quite that far with their new policies, previous plans didn't allow any flexibility.
3) The copay decreased from 20% to 10%. Remember, you'll pay the copay on every claim - even after you've met the deductible. So, a 10% difference in the copay on a $500 claim and a $5000 claim is significant. So, ASPCA reimburses 90% of what is considered usual and customary for your region of the country.
4) Chronic conditions coverage is built into each plan instead of being optional. This coverage is limited and varies with each plan (e.g. Level 4 has higher coverage than Level 2, etc.).
5) While ASPCA previously didn't offer coverage for hereditary conditions, alternative or behavioral therapy, they do now with the Level 3 and Level 4 policies. Again, the coverage is limited, and higher for the Level 4 plan.
6) Wellness coverage is now optional for Level 3 and Level 4 plans. There are also two different levels of coverage - Routine and Advanced. Previously, the Routine coverage was built-into the Level 3 plan and the Advance coverage was built-into the Level 4 plan. Because these coverages weren't optional, if you wanted a policy with a higher per-incident maximum, you had to also purchase wellness care coverage whether you wanted it or not. Because of this, the premiums for the Level 3 and Level 4 plans were prohibitive for some pet owners. Consequently, many pet owners who bought policies from ASPCA bought the Level 2 plan which had a much lower per-incident maximum (only $1500) leaving them exposed to higher out-of-pocket costs if a large claim had to be filed.
It is not uncommon for pet insurance companies to "tweak" their policies from time to time in order to remain competitive. ASPCA has been around longer than many of the newer companies, and as such, their policies had become dated. Although you should be careful when selecting policies with per-incident limits and some coverages are limited, these policies are a significant improvement over their old policies.
You can get more information and a quote here.