Most people who purchase pet insurance have positive experiences. Some even describe their experience as amazing!
But, after looking at some negative reviews that policyholders have given companies, I found at least 3 themes that should be addressed. And these negative reviews were for companies that overall rated very high with the vast majority of policyholders. Here are 3 common frustrations policyholders had when dealing with the company they had chosen to insure their pet and how you can avoid them:
1) Premium increases. Expect your premium to increase at least a little every year. Consider yourself pleasantly surprised when the premium doesn’t go up or actually decreases at renewal (which does happen sometimes). When your premium increases, it’s better that it does so in small increments rather than suddenly having a huge increase one year (which does happen sometimes). Every pet owner should be aware of how pet insurance companies set premiums (before and/or after buying a policy). Check out the following to learn more:
Yikes! My Premium Just Increased 50%!
What Can Be Done About Rising Pet Insurance Premiums
Why Pet Insurance Premiums Increase (audio)
2) Always ask for a medical record review a few days after signing up for a policy. Some companies like Embrace are very transparent and even encourage you to do this. They will let you know after reviewing the medical records on your pet what is considered pre-existing and not covered. If you don’t like what they say, you can drop your policy and sometimes receive a full refund of the premium you paid if you haven’t filed any claims.
Denial of claims due to pre-existing conditions is perhaps the most frequent reason pet insurance companies receive negative reviews. Generally, a company won’t ask for your pet’s medical records until you file your first claim - especially if it is for an illness. Some people have paid premiums for a year or more before filing a claim only to find out that the condition treated is considered pre-existing by the insurance company. It’s better to find this out sooner rather than later. In my opinion, if a company won’t agree to a medical record review and let you know up front what is considered pre-existing, I’d be wary.
3) Read a sample policy before you buy insurance and also read the actual policy you receive from the company after you buy. There will usually be a “Declaration Page” where a summary of your coverage is listed along with any exclusions based on the answers you provided to the questions about your pet’s health when you applied for a policy or as a result of a medical record review if you requested one. If you have any questions or concerns, call and talk with a company representative or email the company so you have a record of their responses in an email. A common reason for policyholder frustrations with pet insurance is sometimes found in the “fine print” that they never read. Know and understand what you bought.
Knowing about these 3 potential frustrations and how to deal with them will go a long way toward making sure you have a positive experience with pet insurance.