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Pet Insurance for Exotic Pets

Currently residing in nearly 85 million households across the country, pets have become a major part of American society and culture. With the rising costs in veterinary care, pet insurance is quickly becoming a necessity to ensure proper medical care at a reasonable cost. While birds, cats, and dogs comprise the majority of pet veterinary care and insurance coverage, other kinds of pets, commonly referred to as "exotic" pets, also have coverage options available for them.

What is an "Exotic" Pet?

Exotic pets are generally considered exotic if they are not one of the 3 most common types of pets - birds, cats, and dogs. Examples of exotic pets would include several amphibians and reptiles including frogs, snakes, geckos, iguanas, and lizards, along with several types of animals including hedgehogs, gerbils, hamsters, mice, rats, rabbits, and guinea pigs. Because the immune systems of many exotic pets aren't typically strong as the immune systems of cats or dogs, they need to be treated as soon as sickness or disease sets in.


Availability of Exotic Pet Insurance

Exotic pet insurance plans are more difficult to find than insurance plans for more common pets but are starting to become more available. Currently, Nationwide Pet Insurance is considered the industry leader in providing the best exotic pet insurance plans on the market. They provide both standard and comprehensive plans, with comprehensive plans covering a wide range of medical procedures and treatment options such as x-rays, hospital care, medication, hereditary/congenital conditions, and all types of injuries, illnesses, and accidents. Other companies, including Pet Assure, PetPremium, and Petplan. provide good exotic pet insurance plans for customers as well. Pet Assure is known for containing no deductibles or age restrictions for coverage, while PetPremium offers customizable plans and Petplan offers live chats and quick claim reimbursement.


Pre-existing Conditions

Similar to common pet insurance plans, most exotic pet insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, highlighting the importance of getting a high-quality health insurance plan early on in an exotic pet's life. Thankfully, coverage of pre-existing conditions is slowly starting to become more available, with Pet Assure, in particular, specializing in providing this type of coverage. It is highly probable that most pet insurance companies will eventually start to cover pre-existing conditions as the pet insurance industry continues to grow and become more standardized.


Plan Structure

Insurance plans for exotic pets typically follow the same structure as plans for common pets, containing monthly premiums and functioning as a reimbursement program. Policyholders are required to pay their bills upfront, and then submit a claim for reimbursement at a later date. In most cases, plans with lower deductibles and higher reimbursement percentages will reduce out-of-pocket costs significantly but will result in higher monthly premiums and vice versa. Most plans are either standard plans or comprehensive plans, with standard plans covering most major health issues, accidents, or chronic diseases, and comprehensive plans also providing additional coverage such as preventative care.