Here's what's next
First, read your policy, beginning to end. Thankfully, pet insurance policies are not as complicated as other types of insurance policies like health insurance or homeowners insurance. So, you should be able to get through it (and you can use our resources to help you understand the jargon in the contract).
Pay particular attention to any sections called “Requirements” or “Terms and Conditions.” These sections will describe things you must do to remain insured. Such requirements might include: getting your pet a full medical exam within a certain amount of time after getting the policy or submitting their medical records and following the plan’s vaccination recommendations. Understand these requirements and follow them or else your policy will be cancelled.
Second, keep enjoying the companionship of your pet!
Third, if your pet needs to go to the vet for medical treatment, then you’ll make a claim for reimbursement of eligible expenses. Here’s what you should know about the claims process:
You can go to any licensed veterinarian. Unlike health insurance, pet insurance doesn’t require you to stick to a network.
You have to pay all vet bills upfront. Unlike health insurance, the vet doesn’t bill the insurance company. You pay first, then file a claim with the pet insurance company.
Your pet insurance company will have a short form for you to fill out and submit (via fax, mail or email), along with the itemized invoice from your vet. The form usually asks for your information about: your vet, the diagnosis, and the treatment provided for your pet.
If it’s your first claim, you’ll have to submit your pet’s complete medical records, along with the claim form
Then you wait on the decision from the company. If you’ve been a careful shopper, and read through the policy when you bought it, you should not be surprised by the claim reimbursement. This check will usually arrive in the mail (processing times will vary).
Colin Lalley is the Associate Director of SEO Content at Policygenius in New York City. His writing on insurance and personal finance has appeared on Betterment, Inc, Credit Sesame, and the Council for Disability Awareness.