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Insurance and Pre-Existing Conditions

Posted on: June 17th, 2008 by

Posted by Angela Klein on 6/17/2008 in Articles from Veterinary Newsletter

A paw’s on reference to understanding our policy

At Pets Best Insurance we strive to fully educate Veterinary Associate Providers on our policies. Part of this commitment involves explaining what Pets Best considers as pre-existing. One of the questions we hear most often is: What about pre-existing conditions?

A pre-existing condition is one that was present prior to the original policy effective date or within the waiting period, whether diagnosed or not.

Unfortunately, many pet owners wait until an illness or accident occurs to purchase their policies, which means that those injuries and illnesses cannot be covered. This is why we encourage purchasing insurance as soon as possible, ideally when pets are puppies and kittens.

The following are a few examples to show how our policies work:

If pet has an accident, such as a broken leg, prior to the effective policy start date, that particular broken leg would not be covered. If the pet breaks any leg again three months later it will be considered a separate incident and will be covered at 80% of the bill, after the deductible has been met.

Potentially fatal or debilitating chronic conditions restrict a pet’s eligibility to enroll in a full medical plan. For example, if an uninsured six-year-old boxer develops lymphoma or diabetes before enrolling in a plan, those conditions would not be covered and that pet would not be eligible for full illness coverage. However, we would be able to provide accident-only coverage as this plan is available to any pet, regardless of past medical history.

We understand that there may be negative connotations towards the term “pre-existing condition.” Let us reassure you that no matter the pre-existing illness we are always happy to offer our full accident coverage.

If you have additional questions or need further explanation on this or other items, please feel free to contact our Veterinary Services Department at 877-738-7237 x4 or email us at We appreciate your continued support and thank you for choosing Pets Best!

Torrey’s diary June 2008

Posted on: June 6th, 2008 by

By: Dr. Jack Stephens

Dear Diary,

You’d think that a girl my size would have more trouble getting what she wants. Fortunately, this is not the case. And while I think that I would probably still get pretty much whatever I want if my Dad wasn’t the boss, I must say that I do enjoy the extra clout it brings.

Being Daddy’s Girl, I know that wherever he goes, I go, whether it’s to the office, or hanging out on a beach in Mexico for our annual trip. It is rare that you won’t see me by his side.

So for Father’s Day, I wanted to share a little secret with you. Ready? Here it is. Dads don’t like ties. Oh, sure, they act like they do, but really, they’re just being nice. And while some Dads may actually like that new golf club or trashcan basketball game (as if!), most Dads would appreciate your doing something that protects pets in times of need. Like me!

Remember: Ties stink. Choose something meaningful for Dad and buy him a policy so he can have the peace of mind knowing that he doesn’t need to worry if something happens to pets like me. Of course, it never will. I’m too amazing to get sick or hurt, but Dad says that you just never know.

Until next time,


p.s. Giving a gift policy is easy. Call us to find out how! 1-877-PETSBEST. (1-877-738-7237)

Weathering the Summertime with Your Pets

Posted on: June 5th, 2008 by

Posted by Angela Klein on 6/5/2008 in Articles from Newsletters

Weathering the Good Ol’ Summertime with Your Pets

As spring turns to summer, dogs and cats everywhere are beginning to feel the heat! To help you and your pets get through the summer, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to keep your four-legged friends healthy and happy.

You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again. Never, never, never leave your pet in the car, even for just a few minutes. Temperatures in cars can reach 120 degrees quickly when the weather is warm. Because dogs and cats don’t perspire and can only release heat through their paw pads and by panting, pets left in hot cars are at risk for heat exhaustion, heat stroke, brain damage or death.

Another temptation to avoid is putting dogs in the back of pick-up trucks. Flying debris, accidents or even sudden turns or stops all pose threats to dogs left in this vulnerable position. Keep your dog inside or in a secured crate in the bed of the truck.

Plant food, fertilizer and insecticide are all common during the summer but pose another hazard to pets. Be sure to read the directions carefully and keep your pets away from fertilized areas and especially away from bags of fertilizer, insecticide and plant food, which can be fatal if ingested. Watch out, too, for the 700+ varieties of plants that can produce physiologically active or toxic substances that are harmful to your pets.

Check with your veterinarian to see if your pets should be taking heartworm prevention medication. Transmitted by mosquitoes, heartworm disease can be fatal in both dogs and cats.

Other quick reminders for a stress-free summer:

Provide plenty of water and shade for your pets at all times.

Make early preparations for vacation travel whether leaving your pet at home or bringing them with you.

Use flea and tick treatments recommended by your veterinarian.

Limit exercise for older dogs and dogs with thick coats to early morning hours to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and stroke.

Do your pets a favor and remember that loud events, such as the 4th of July and music concerts, can be stressful for pets.

If your pet starts showing signs of heat exhaustion and/or stroke – heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, vomiting or a deep red or purple tongue – immediately work to lower his body temperature by applying cool, not cold, water over his body, cold towels or ice packs to your pet’s head, neck and chest only and let him lick ice cubes or drink small amounts of water. Heat exhaustion and stroke can be fatal to your pet, so always remember to check with your veterinarian and when in doubt, visit a hospital immediately.

Have a safe and happy summer!

Supplemental Wellness Care Option

Posted on: June 5th, 2008 by

Posted by Angela Klein on 6/5/2008 in Articles from Newsletters

Supplemental Wellness Care Option Offers Additional Benefits

Wondering if routine care is covered with your accident and illness policy? It is if you choose BestWellness in addition to your plan. BestWellness is optional coverage you can add to your Pets Best Insurance policy that helps you budget for annual exams, teeth cleaning, routine tests and more.

With no deductible and $440 in annual benefits for dogs and more than $500 in annual benefits for cats, BestWellness is specifically chosen by our policyholders who regularly take their pets to the vet.

Half of the annual BestWellness benefits may be claimed within the first six months of each policy period. After six consecutive months as a policyholder, the full 100% of the BestWellness benefit is available for use.

Learn more about BestWellness or call a Pets Best Customer Service Representative today at 1-877-PETSBEST or 1-877-738-7237 to add BestWellness to your policy and help with expenses for future routine visits.

Pet Cancer Foundation

Posted on: June 5th, 2008 by

Posted by Angela Klein on 6/5/2008 in Articles from Newsletters
Lifesaving. How The Pet Cancer Foundation is Working to Help Fight Cancer.

Every year, millions of pets are lost to cancer. Leukemia, lymphoma, bone cancer and mammary gland cancer all claim the lives of our beloved pets.

Many tireless efforts are underway, including the work of the Pet Cancer Foundation, a cooperative venture to help pet owners understand and manage cancer and cancer fears and provide a resource for free initial cancer consultations through a pet owner’s local veterinarian. This resource brings cancer consultation to the pet owner and pet, no matter where they are.

Local veterinarians are also encouraged to visit the Pet Cancer Foundation site to learn how to obtain the free initial consultation from a board-certified veterinary oncologist who will identify what treatments are the most effective for each specific cancer.

Although the Pet Cancer Foundation web site is for pet owners, the consultation can only be provided to a licensed veterinarian. The web site, however, does provide information on cancer in pets for consumers.

Dr. Alice Villalobos, a veterinarian and author who concentrates on cancer and end-of life care, says that this free consultation can be lifesaving.

“All too often, cancer treatments for pets do not happen because of the hassle of taking your pet elsewhere, sometimes requiring driving long distances for specialized treatments that may be needed weekly or even more often,” she says. “With this process, many cancer treatments can be successfully implemented, monitored and adapted by a person’s own veterinarian with the benefit of a cancer specialist assisting in every step.”

In the broader perspective, this initiative was created to keep pets living longer, healthier lives and enable them to bring joy to their families, according to Dr. Jack Stephens, president and founder of Pets Best Insurance. “Our mission at Pets Best is to provide reimbursement for the best pet care possible, which includes cancer treatments.”

The Pet Cancer Foundation is a cooperative venture supported by Pets Best Insurance, Oncura Partners and the Morris Animal Foundation. Last year, Pets Best also pledged $1 million to the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) Cure Canine Cancer campaign in an effort to eradicate cancer in dogs in the next 10 – 20 years. For this, Dr. Jack Stephens and Pets Best Insurance have been honored and recognized by MAF as a “Canine Cancer Campaign SuperHero,” joining Pfizer Animal Health as the second $1 million contributor to the campaign.