Perhaps the most important step to take before purchasing pet insurance is to read and understand a company's policy. Understanding what you read is critical.
I recommend that you download and print the sample policy, highlight any sections/clauses that you have questions about and then call and talk with a company representative for clarification on these concerns.
In my experience talking with pet owners, most of them fail to do this, and therefore, don't really understand what they are purchasing. More often than not, this leads to surprises and regrets down the road when they file claims that are denied reimbursement.
Recently, I had a conversation with Jenna Mahan, the Claims Director at Embrace Pet Insurance. I had downloaded their sample policy and highlighted areas that I had concerns about or just didn't know how to interpret the words/phrases used. Even though I've been researching the pet insurance industry for a number of years, I learned some things I didn't know.
If you find anything that could potentially be a deal breaker for you, always call the company and ask about it because sometimes it doesn't mean what you think it does. This also gives you an opportunity to test the knowledge of the company representative and get a sense of their willingness to answer your concerns.
In the Pet Insurance Toolkit I designed, this is Step 2 in doing your research. Step 3 is a list of questions you should ask a company representative that are important from my perspective as a veterinarian. I recommend that you have this list of questions in front of you when you are reading a sample policy (Step 2). Many of the questions will be answered. This will cut down on the number of questions you'll need to ask a company representative when you call.
Every company's policy is different, but the major themes are consistent. My goal with the video below is to show you how to read a sample policy and pay attention to key sections that may vary somewhat from company to company. I don't know of anything like this available to pet owners and that's why I made the video. I hope this helps you!