Insurance, by definition, provides financial protection in the event that something unexpected happens. There are different kinds of insurance, insurance for your home, your car, your health and your pets. In this article, you’ll learn about some of the basics of pet insurance, helping you to decide if purchasing insurance is a good idea for you and your pets.
The benefit of pet insurance is the same as any other type of insurance: if something happens that you weren’t planning on, you’ll have help paying for unexpected costs required to address the medical problem or condition. If your pet has an accident or comes down with a sudden illness, your insurance plan will help to cover the resulting veterinary bills. Just like you would have insurance on yourself and your family in case of unforeseen medical expenses, you may decide that pet insurance is good to have as well.
Pet insurance works similar to the other types of insurance that you’re used to. You’ll pay a premium—most likely on a monthly basis—and have a set annual deductible and co-pay plan. If an accident or unexpected problem occurs, you’ll have a set amount of time to file a claim for reimbursement with the insurance provider. There are multiple types of pet insurance plans available, providing the consumer with a range of options. There are plans that cover accidents and illnesses, as well as accident-only plans; as the name suggests, this type of plan only covers medical issues that result from accidents. Still, other plans may cover alternative therapies like acupuncture and herbal medicine, or behavior correction and prescription drug costs. Shop around to find out what plan will best suit your needs.
Most plans will allow you to keep your current veterinarian rather than specifying a particular practice in your area that you must use. If a plan’s policy doesn’t allow you to choose your own veterinarian, consider it a red flag; it may be worth choosing another provider. Consult with your veterinarian as , most of the time, your veterinarian may have a few recommendations. If you own multiple pets and are considering purchasing insurance to cover them, many pet insurance providers offer multi-pet plans or discounts when you enroll two or more animals.
One of the biggest reasons many people pass on pet health insurance is because it’s yet another monthly bill to add the pile of expenses. However, it’s important to think to yourself, in the case of a sudden emergency or illness, would I be able to come up with the money to save my pet’s life? For instance, while pet insurance might cost $20 to $50 a month, depending on various determining factors, a case of pancreatitis (which is fairly common) could cost as much as $2,000 to treat.
Every pet that comes into your home represents both a financial and emotional investment. However, there are certain instances that may better warrant purchasing pet insurance. When you’ve spent thousands of dollars on the cost of a dog, or are planning on responsible breeding, you have a lot more at stake financially. If you would consider expensive medicines and cutting-edge procedures to keep your pet in top shape, pet health insurance can limit the risk of enormous out-of-pocket expenses that might put your finances at risk. All policies will have some exclusions, the most common being pre-existing conditions (those your pet has already suffered from before the insurance is started), anything related to pregnancy or birth, preventative or planned treatments (such as vaccinations, spaying/neutering, etc.) Most policies have a medical exclusion period which is usually 30 days.
There are many factors to be weighed when determining whether to purchase a pet health insurance policy. What’s most important is learning the facts about pet insurance. Whether you’re a family that loves their pet like a furry member, or a responsible breeder or trainer that ensures the best possible health for their animals, ultimately, the decision is up to you on how best to handle your pet’s health care costs in the event of an accident or illness.