Regulators caution that pet medical insurance really isn’t medical insurance, it’s property insurance

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Published: 8/28/2022 3:09:07 PM

Modified: 8/28/2022 3:08:54 PM

As southern Recent Hampshire dog owners face a significant outbreak of a mysterious respiratory ailment, the Recent Hampshire Insurance Department is reminding people to watch out when buying medical insurance for his or her pets.

“The regulatory framework around it … is fairly light. Consumers have to keep that in mind,” said Deputy Commissioner D.J. Bettencourt during a half-hour online discussion about pet insurance that was released recently by the department.

The webinar was not connected to the outbreak of the canine respiratory disease, which has been the subject of online discussion by Recent Hampshire veterinarians and pet owners for a few weeks. In Recent Hampshire the outbreak is generally limited to Hillsborough County in the meanwhile but little is thought about it, aside from the incontrovertible fact that it is commonly more serious than “kennel cough” and other common infectious dog diseases.

Experts are cautioning dog owners to limit mixing with other dogs and to isolate their pet and phone their veterinarian if there are signs of a cough, runny nose or difficulty respiration.

The Recent Hampshire Insurance Department webinar is an element of a program of monthly online discussions “focused on a consumer topic or an industry topic for regulatory entities” that the department has begun to place out, said Andrew Demers, department communications director.

Pet insurance was chosen partly since it is growing in popularity. Some 20 firms offer health coverage for pets in Recent Hampshire. Nationally, one study estimated that 27% of pets within the U.S. have insurance – that’s about 3.5 million animals – and that in 2020 premiums totaled roughly $2 billion.

The massive source of potential confusion by consumers is that in Recent Hampshire, like many places, the law regards pets as property somewhat than individuals. Because of this, pet insurance “is just not a health product – it is a property and casualty product,” said Bettencourt.

That seems like a minor difference nevertheless it means insurance regulators have much less oversight on what is obtainable and the way much is charged, in comparison with medical insurance. Things comparable to coverage of pre-existing conditions, reimbursement, deductibles and co-pays are entirely as much as the corporate.

James Fox, director of property and casualty, gave an example. “In a one-year contract; if an illness is roofed in a single 12 months, watch out whether it’s covered in the following 12 months.”

Consumers should approach it like buying fire insurance for his or her home, the webinar emphasized.

“Please, please, please read your policy and understand your coverage,” said Bettencourt. “We within the insurance department understand the natural human mentality that you just don’t need to take into consideration your insurance policy since it normally involves something bad.”

The webinar could be seen online at: youtube.com/watch?v=lIrk9ziLGQo.

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