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5:13 AM   April 23, 2014
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Pets Best Adds Hereditary Insurance Coverage

Posted: Oct. 16, 2013, 2:55 p.m. EDT

Cats and dogs in nearly 30 states are now eligible for full hereditary and congenital coverage from Pets Best Insurance.

The Boise, Idaho, insurer rolled out the expanded basic coverage this week, joining competitors such as Embrace Pet Insurance that offer similar programs.

Hereditary and congenital coverage is a relative newcomer to the insurance field. Accident, illness and wellness plans are most common types offered, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association.

 Dog and Cat
About 1 million pets in North America have health insurance.
"While Pets Best has always offered coverage for common breed-specific conditions such as Wobbler syndrome, intervertebral disc disease and cherry eye, we recognized the value of expanding our BestBenefit plans,” said Jack Stephens, DVM, president and founder of Pets Best. "Many hereditary and congenital conditions require ongoing veterinary treatment to improve pets’ quality of life, which is why we sought to provide pet owners with the most comprehensive, straightforward and affordable coverage possible.”

Seven conditions have a one-year waiting period after the insurance is purchased: cruciate ligament injuries, luxating patellas, portosystemic shunts, elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans and cardiovascular defects. The waiting period may be waived if a veterinarian confirms the condition is not present.

A 4-year-old female Labrador retriever living in Des Moines, Iowa, could be covered by Pets Best for $26.52 a month with a $200 deductible, $5,000 in annual coverage and $100,000 in lifetime coverage.

Besides Iowa, the other states with hereditary and congenital coverage from Pets Best are Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Pets Best added cancer-only coverage last year for as low as $3 a month. Cancer kills about half of all dogs over age 10 and about one-third of cats of all ages.

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