Seattle, WA (PRWEB) April 11, 2014
Last year over 500,000 pooch parenting Americans turned to the most popular consumer authority on pet insurance, Consumers Advocate, before buying a pet health plan for their furry four-legged friends.
This year, with the popularity of pet insurance steady on the rise, over 1,000,000 consumers will use the free editorial service for helpful information & up-to-date ratings on the best providers.
With Consumer Advocate’s 2014 editorial update, the top companies remain largely the same. However, editors now place even greater emphasis on payout schedules & policy limitations.
Most notably, as a result of these ranking modifications, companies without payout caps are now rated more favorably, while companies with excessive per incident, per year & other “red flag” policy limitations, have seen drops in overall quality ratings.
The 5 most impactful variables that influence the 2014 pet insurance rankings are:
Reimbursement Policy – When a claim gets submitted, most pet insurance companies will determine the amount they’re willing to pay based on the actual vet bill. However, some companies pay out on their own pre-defined benefit schedule. Top-rated pet insurance companies have reimbursement policies based on the actual cost of pet care. Lower ranked companies tend to pay fixed amounts based on what they think each treatment should cost, which can result in much lower payouts for consumers.
Deductible Type – The two most common types of deductible are annual and per-condition. Annual deductibles give pet parents a better sense of how much they’re going to pay. Per-condition on the other hand is more costly, but preferable if pets develop chronic conditions.
Maximum Payout – Higher payouts mean better protection against unexpected expenses. Although the amount of payout largely depends on the plan’s premium, adding a few more dollars could translate to hundreds of dollars in unexpected expenses.
As one frustrated consumer from New York reminded us last month, “Most people don’t realize that pet Insurance isn’t like car insurance where finding the cheapest plan doesn’t change your coverage. It does. It takes only a single $3,400 non-covered vet bill for us to realize the difference. Cheap plans mean worse coverage & lower reimbursements. It’s that simple.” So make sure you know what you’re buying before you pull the trigger on your pet’s policy.
Consumer Reviews – There are dozens of review sites out there with thousands of individual reviews. To help make sense of all the noise, Consumers Advocate editors put together the most authoritative review sites - like PetInsuranceReview.com & Better Business Bureau (BBB) - in order to generate an aggregated consumer review score.
Research - The Seattle Times’ article remains one of the most comprehensive reports on pet insurance. The 4 part in-depth analysis examines the policies of 10 insurance providers & includes feedback from lawyers, consumers & veterinarians.
Ultimately, there are as many factors that influence what policy is best for someone as there are dog breeds. Buying pet insurance gets confusing quickly – especially for anyone who has never owned pet insurance before. Helping alleviate this confusion is why ConsumersAdvocate.org exists.
However, with the release of 2014’s pet insurance rankings, Consumers Advocate, who encourages consumers to do their homework & get multiple quotes from multiple providers before purchasing a plan, now has updated & even more comprehensive ratings.
Media Contact: Sam Niccolls, ConsumersAdvocate.org, into(at)consumersadvocate(dot)org