Pet Insurance: Does Your Policy Actually Cover Emergency Care In Real Time?

An unexpected injury can happen to your pet in a matter of seconds, and leave lasting damage to the body. This is why many individuals choose to get pet insurance for their animals. Veterinarian care can be extremely expensive, particularly if it involves emergency care and surgery. 

Depending on the type of insurance company that you choose, even if you have coverage for your animal, you will still be responsible for paying the total cost associated with the necessary veterinary care and then you will need to submit your claim before reimbursement occurs. This may not be a huge issue for those with several thousand dollars on hand in savings or on a credit card, but what happens to those who can not pay out of pocket for emergency care?

It is very important to do a thorough investigation into what your pet insurance actually covers, and how long you will have to wait before you are reimbursed. 

Insurance Companies That Reimburse Claims 

Dog knee injuries happen suddenly, and very often require urgent care and/or even surgery from a veterinarian. If you have pet insurance that only reimburses claims after you pay out of pocket, but are not able to pay upwards of $5000 in order to obtain the reimbursement, you may be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Unfortunately, many individuals end up paying for pet insurance that does not actually meet their needs as a pet owner. 

We’ll take Spot Accident and Wellness insurance as an example, they very clearly state that the process for receiving coverage is as follows: 

  1. Visit Any Licensed Vet, Emergency Clinic or Specialist. Get the care your pet needs and pay your bill.
  2. Submit Your Claim. Send it in through our app online, by mail, or by fax.
  3. Get Reimbursed. We can send a direct deposit or mail a check. (1)

If this particular system does not work for your financial situation, then this is not the kind of pet insurance that you would want to pay for. Furthermore, it is unclear how long it takes to get reimbursed, and you may be better off finding pet insurance coverage that will help you in your immediate moment of need. 

Another example of a pet insurance company that offers a wide variety of plans is Embrace Pet Insurance, similar to Spot Wellness Insurance, Embrace Pet Insurance will cover some percentage of the cost of pet care, but only after the treatment has been received. This means that the owner will still be out of pocket for whatever veterinarian care they need. Embrace Pet Insurance states that they provide reimbursement 15-20 days after the submission of your veterinarian invoice. Again, this type of veterinarian care may not work for those individuals who do not have a large savings available to cover the medical care their animal needs. 

So, what should you do if you cannot pay out of pocket for your pet’s emergency medical needs?

Credit Cards For Veterinary Care & Clinics That Offer Payment Options

Selecting the right pet insurance plan for you before emergency strikes is of the utmost importance. If you know that you do not have the financial structure to cover high cost medical procedures upfront while awaiting reimbursement, you will want to be prepared with a method to take care of these immediate costs. 

A pet care credit card that can be used at the time when payment is due could be a good fit to cover the upfront costs associated with your pet’s care, and then you can pay the card back once they process your claim. By pairing these two methods together your pet can receive the medical care it needs without you having to pay directly out of pocket. 

An example of a pet care credit card is Care Credit, and many veterinary offices can help you get set up with their system. You can also apply for the card and sign up online as well.

It is also possible to find a veterinarian clinic that allows for payment plan options. Again, you will want to find a clinic that can help serve your financial needs before an accident or injury occurs. 

Given the nature of the pet insurance industry, it is best to pair several solutions together so that you are not stuck between having to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket or your pet’s health care needs. 

Take Time To Set Up A Financial Safety Net For All Of Your Pet Care Needs

Dogs can bring so much joy and comfort into the lives of their owners, but this does not always come at a low cost. If you want to be prepared with a financial cushion in case of a medical emergency for your pet, you will want to do due diligence in finding a pet insurance company that will serve your needs. 

In addition to pet insurance, if you do not have a pet care credit card already, you may want to pair this with pet insurance, or find a veterinarian clinic that will offer payment plans

No one wants to be put into a position of being unable to offer the medical care their pet needs in real time, so it is important to establish a financial plan ahead of time. Not everyone has $6000 ready to pay for a dog emergency, and if this is true for you, create a financial plan now to care for your pet in case of a medical emergency.

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