You may be questioning whether pet insurance is a good idea or not. Regardless of whether you’ve just adopted a new puppy or are still considering which pet insurance policy to choose, veterinary cost of cats, dogs, and other pets can be high. In this blog, we’ll discuss what pet insurance is and what it covers? How much does it cost? And should you get it?
As with regular health insurance, you’ll need to see which pet insurance works best for your furry best friend and get all the information required to make the correct decision.
Before proceeding, you and your pet’s veterinarian will need to examine your pet’s current health needs and what veterinary treatments he may need in the future. Pet insurance works similarly to car insurance in that you choose a coverage plan and pay a monthly fee.
Regular Veterinary Care
Just like their pet parents, pets need to receive regular veterinary care. Pups will need vaccinations, parasite care, and ongoing dental care throughout their lives. Regular veterinary expenses are generally manageable, but life is full of the unexpected, and you’ll need to be prepared financially with a comprehensive pet insurance plan.
Pet insurance offers you a financial safety net when your pet may need expensive emergency care or if he gets sick or injured. Pet insurance is especially beneficial if you purchase a plan when your furbaby is young. That said, you’ll be getting a policy while your pet is young and before he gets sick. Some providers pay veterinarians directly, while other providers will reimburse you after you’ve paid your vet.
What is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance plans give you have the option to choose a particular pet insurance plan. You can opt for a plan covering:
- Most health issues (i.e. Unexpected Illness & Injury Plan + Routine Care Plan),
- Only significant injuries (i.e. Accident Only Plan),
- Or, something in-between (i.e. Low-limit – Unexpected Illness & Injury Plan).
The monthly rate differs between pet insurance companies and is generally based on the selected pet insurance coverage. Several factors like what type of pet you have, age, breed, gender, and health considerations may affect your rates.
What does Pet Insurance Cover?
We’re all dedicated to making sure that our pets receive regular veterinary care. Today, veterinary pet insurance will generally cover costs for unexpected injuries or illnesses as in emergency veterinary care for an accident or severe illness. They’ll also include fees for hospital care, x-rays, and more.
A few pet insurances don’t cover costs related to genetic illnesses like hip or elbow dysplasia. You’ll also need to reach out and see whether your pet insurance plan covers diagnostics like MRI’s, blood work, routine checkups, and even dental care.
You’ve got to keep in mind that most pet insurance companies don’t include coverage for positive dog training, behavioral issues, preventative training, general checkups, and dental care. All in all, you’ll need to read through all the fine print and compare plans to see which will work for you and your pet. Many pet insurance companies will provide a sample policy on their website.
Just as pet parents do well with health insurance, the necessity for pet insurance with rising veterinary care costs and the alarmingly high cancer rates in dogs is clear! Senior pets also continue to live longer, and with that comes senior pet care and expensive pharmaceutical products. Pet insurance could also help you cover huge veterinary care costs due to an emergency accident if your pet was hit by a car or unexpected illness.
What Doesn’t Pet Insurance Cover?
Although it’s beneficial to have pet insurance to cover veterinary costs, it’s essential to keep in mind that not all pet insurances will cover pre-existing conditions. That said, it’s necessary to examine the different types of coverage and to see which one is best for you and your furry best friends. Here are some tips to consider before purchasing pet health insurance.
Before opting for pet insurance, you need to consider a few things that come into play, like which aspects of your pet’s insurance are most important to you. This will help you to select a pet insurance company and plan that suit your pet’s needs and your financial needs.
There are so many factors that determine the exact cost of your pet health insurance. With many pet insurance plans charging a monthly premium, you have to check to see what the plan includes and, most importantly, exclude in terms of veterinary coverage.
What you don’t want to happen is that after your pet has been diagnosed with a terrible illness, you actually can’t afford the veterinary costs to take care of him.
Adequate pet insurance helps you deal with a devastating illness and covers injuries and diseases that can run up to a small fortune in veterinary bills. If you want your pet to live a long and healthy life, you’ll need to take out a comprehensive pet insurance plan for your furry best friend.
Your pet insurance plan is calculated based on your pet’s breed, age, your selected deductible, coverage limits, what health issues are covered, and percentage reimbursement. Here’s the take on what most pet insurance doesn’t cover.
- Non-medical care
- Pre-existing conditions
- Regular care a responsible pet owner needs to do to keep their pet healthy (aka food, supplements, vaccines, an annual checkup, daily walks)
Why Should Pet Owners Get Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance not only allows for regular and emergency veterinary care but relieves you of the financial stress associated with ongoing veterinary treatment. Because these tend to occur when you least expect them, you should take out a pet insurance plan on day one when bringing your new fur baby home.
Pet insurance can help you with pet wellness, significant medical, or simply whole pet with wellness. Today, some companies have started embracing coverage for genetic conditions, exam fees, and other conditions. You’ll probably not find this coverage with many plans, but keep in mind with this type of coverage, you may not get coverage for pre-existing conditions or breeding and pregnancy coverage, DNA testing, or injuries from a dog sport.
Diagnostics play a considerable role in veterinary care and can be expensive. All in all, pet insurance will save you money because you’ll get reimbursed for large out of pocket expenses. You’ll also get financial coverage in case of a catastrophic event and get to keep your furbaby healthy long-term. Pet insurance can help you with the following:
- Accidents or Injuries
- Emergency Care
- Hereditary conditions
- Cancer Treatments
- Dental Disease
- Congenital conditions
- X-rays, CT Scans, MRIs
- Hospital Stays
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?
After considering claim processing times and caps on payouts, you can also search to see if any plans cover alternative treatments like hydrotherapy, chiropractic care, and acupuncture when performed by a licensed veterinarian.
CBD supplemental treatments and holistic care have become popular treatment options when combined with conventional veterinary care.
Some pet insurance companies offer a direct pay feature that prevents you from paying out of pocket or having to submit claims directly to veterinarians. A few pet insurance companies provide faster reimbursement than others and work with all licensed veterinarians throughout the US or Canada. These policies tend to cover diagnostics, testing, and treatments for health issues.
The debate on taking pet insurance out on your pet today is less discussed since more and more pet parents believe that the cost of pet care insurance is well worth it. There are more than 2 million pet parents with pet insurance today. Pet insurance allows pet parents to do the following:
- Choose the reimbursement level and deductible amount.
- After filing your claim, you’ll be able to claim your reimbursement.
- Some pet insurance companies cover cancer treatment at an average cost between $3,500-$5,000 annually, if not more.
Pet insurance rates will differ depending on the age and breed of your pet. It also depends on what type of coverage you need and the reimbursement option you choose during enrollment. The average dog illness and accident policy are around $45 per month, and the average cat pet insurance policy for accident and disease is about $30 per month.
The cost factors include the type of cat or dog you have, where you live, and the kind of coverage you choose for your furbaby. While you’ll need to ensure that the pet insurance plan you select covers what your pet will need, there will be a few things not covered, like cosmetic procedures and breeding expenses.
The main take with pet health insurance is to get it as soon as you bring your pet home. Don’t wait! Whether you’re bringing home a Siamese kitten or adopting a senior dog, pet health insurance is worth pursuing. But to save money, you’ll need to figure out which plan you need.
Suppose you’re okay with general veterinary bills but unsure how you’re going to pay for a major catastrophic illness or hospitalization. In that case, you should only opt for a plan that covers major issues. You can also customize your policy with individual pet health companies and opt for either annual and a pre-condition deductible with deductible amount increment options.
Either way, pet insurance may offer unlimited benefits for the life of your furbaby with no caps on coverage for certain conditions like cancer treatment. The take here is to do your research, just as you would for comprehensive health insurance.
What Is the Best Pet Insurance Plan
If you’re wondering what is the best pet insurance plan, you’re not alone. Pet owners want the best for their pets, but it’s not always clear how to evaluate all those different pet insurance plans. To make matters even more confusing, even plans offered by the same insurance company can vary, so how can you make sense of it all and go with the best pet insurance plan? Let’s start by demystifying those plans.
Types of Pet Insurance
We covered this earlier but it bears repeating: One of the first things to consider when shopping for the best pet insurance plan for your pet is that there are three main types of pet insurance plans that you can buy. One covers accidents only, the second covers accidents and illnesses, and the third is a wellness option for owners that adds a preventative care component much like the insurance that pet owners might buy for themselves.
Keep in mind that the cheapest plans will only cover accidents, and as you add coverage expect your premiums and deductibles to go up — however, so does your pet’s coverage, too. Those that want the best coverage for their pets would do well to purchase a comprehensive pet insurance plan that covers wellness, illnesses and accidents. That can help you save money on routine visits such as exams and tests, and it can also help reduce the cost of medications or if some kind of surgery is needed.
Deciding on a Pet Insurance Plan
Shopping for a pet insurance plan should be easy. Pick your coverage, decide on a deductible and go with the premium that works best for your financial situation. But if you underestimate your need, you could end up spending a lot more on trips to the vet than you may have anticipated. And if your furry little friend comes down with something that’s not covered, you could be out of pocket a substantial amount.
For the most part, the major considerations when shopping for a pet insurance plan is essentially a balance between four factors: your annual deductible, reimbursement percentage, coverage and your monthly premium.
The annual deductible is the amount that you’ll have to pay before coverage kicks in, and is often in the $500 to $1,000 range. Once you pay it, the percentage takes over, which is basically a measure of what your insurance will pay and what you’re on the hook for. With a $1,000 vet bill and 80% coverage, you’ll pay $200 while your insurance pays the remainder as long as you’ve hit your deductible for the year.
The annual coverage is a sort of max expenditure that the insurance will cover, but you can get a high limit or opt for unlimited coverage, if needed. Lastly, the monthly premium is what you’re responsible for each month. You’ll have to pay it whether your pet needs the insurance or not, but higher premiums are usually correlated with better coverage, and vice versa.
Pet Insurance Requirements
The best pet insurance plan in the world won’t matter if your pet doesn’t qualify, so it can be important to review the fine print to ensure that your pet gets the coverage it needs. Some insurers won’t cover aging pets or those with pre-existing conditions, so you might need to opt for specialty coverage in those instances.
Other than that there’s not much to worry about. Most pet insurance allows you to see any vet you’d like with no networks and other hoops to jump through, and you won’t even have to deal with the insurance until after a vet visit.