How does the deductible work?
Our deductibles are per-condition, lifetime deductibles. What that means is, rather than paying your deductible each year, you would only pay your deductible one time for each new condition that arises. After that, the deductible is met for that condition for the rest of your pet's life. So let's just take hip dysplasia, something that might require several treatments and could last far longer than a year: you would only pay your deductible once from thereon out for the rest of your pet's life.
Can I change my deductible?
Always, you can always, always change it. You can change it at any time, there's never any penalty. The only thing that happens is if you go down in deductible, let's say you go from $500 to $200, then you just have to go through the wait periods (5 days for accidents and 30 days for illness) before the new deductibles apply. [During that time, the previous deductible would apply if any conditions were to occur.] And if you increase your deductible, say you go from $400 to $500, and the dog has joint issues that you were claiming while you were at that lower deductible, all that happens is when you make a subsequent claim, you then just have to meet the difference between the two deductibles.
Claims: What if I don't have the money up front?
Traditionally with pet insurance, you would be required to pay the bill up-front. We have something called Claims Express. What that means, basically, is that we pay your vet directly. Let's just say your dog breaks a leg and needs an emergency surgery. You can call us and say, "I have this urgent situation, I'm at the doctor and I need this pre-approved," and as long as the vet's willing to accept the payment from us, we can pay them directly in lieu of you having to pay.
If that's the case, you would just call and ask for a pre-approval, meaning we approve the condition ahead of time, and then we could just write that check directly to your vet's office.
What is not covered?
What [our plan] doesn't cover is the routine or the wellness care. And just so you're aware, the other part we don't cover is pre-existing conditions. The other part that we don't cover is the office visits, so each time you go to the vet for whatever reason, they always charge you that initial fee to walk through the door, that's the other part that we don't cover.