Pet Insurance

The Pawsome Buyer’s Guide

They say the best therapist is furry and four legged. Those who own pets would agree that pets light up their lives. According to the AAPA National Pet Owners Survey, 67% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 84.9 million homes! The companionship humans share with their pets is not a new phenomenon. We keep them safe, fed and happy, and in return they love us unconditionally. So, why not add a little more safety with pet insurance? 

Purchasing an insurance policy for your pet is the natural next step towards keeping them protected. It is imperative to tailor pet insurance to your pet’s age, breed-specific health conditions, existing health issues and other needs. You can also insure as many pets as you want, but each pet will require a separate plan. 

Just as you would get health insurance your family’s well-being and protection, this is also true for your paw friends. Choosing the best and most affordable pet insurance can give you peace of mind and cut your veterinary costs significantly.

In this article

What is Pet Insurance?

It wasn’t until the famed canine Lassie, received a pet insurance policy in 1982 that pet insurance took off in the U.S. According to Investopedia, since 2009 the industry has grown every year by on average by 13.2%.

Pet insurance provides the cost of medical care to keep your pets healthy. With costs increasing for pet’s health care, owning a pet isn’t cheap! A serious injury or illness can take a financial toll and bills can easily run up to $5,000 for a surgery. These medical costs can all vary depending on your pet’s breed, age, pre-existing conditions and medical conditions.

Though your pet might not always require surgery, you never know when there might be an emergency. Bringing a pet into your home also means accepting the financial responsibility that comes with it. Pet insurance works like any other insurance policy we purchase for humans. You pay a monthly premium for coverage and in return, you will receive help paying for medical expenses and other expenses, depending on your policy.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

You pet insurance may not provide coverage for every condition your pet has. For instance, some pet insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions if it is a medical condition that was treated before the pet’s health insurance took effect. So, if you’re thinking to own a pet, it’s always worth considering to get insurance for your new family member. Pet insurance saves your time and money, and will provide the perfect protection for your paw friends.  

There are usually four types of pet insurance coverage plans:

Wellness plan

Wellness plans provide reimbursement for check-ups, yearly vaccines, routine care, and preventative care. You can add this plan to other health insurance plans as an additional feature. Importantly, it does not cover common injuries, accidents or emergency treatment.

Accident only plan

If your pet is hit by a car or injures themselves falling down the stairs, it will provide reimbursement for emergency care related to such accidents. This type of insurance plan will not cover illness or breed-specific problems.

Accident and illness plan

This insurance plan will provide coverage for both sudden illness and accidents. This is one of the most comprehensive packages for your pets and it’s the most commonly purchased plan. Although this type of plan will not cover pre-existing conditions or preventive care, it will reimburse almost every emergency illness and accident related injury. If you want preventative care to be covered, speak with your provider to see if there are any add-ons you can purchase.

Accident and illness with wellness

Regarded as one of the most expensive plans on the market, an accident and illness with wellness insurance policy provides all the protection and care your pets need. It’s a one-stop-shop for your pet’s health. Pre-existing conditions are the only health issue that aren’t covered!

If you want to find a plan that best covers your pet, then you are just a few clicks away. So find the best coverage at the best rate.

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

Insurance for dogs or cats might seem expensive, but it can save you a lot more money than you think. As mentioned previously, a pet owner will pay either a yearly or monthly premium fee for a specific coverage. Mentioned below are a few factors that impact the cost of your pet insurance: 

  • Type of pet
  • Type of coverage purchased
  • Age
  • Location
  • Associated indoor and outdoor risks
  • Term or length of the policy
  • The insurance agency which underwrites the insurance 

Insurance will not cover the total amount of medical treatments, though most of the insurance companies offer up to 90% coverage on many surgeries. For young pets who only need annual check-ups and vaccines, the insurance cost may outweigh the cost of services. However, if an emergency arises, the cost of veterinary care can easily surpass the insurance premium. Also, since older pets are susceptible to needing more invasive treatments like surgeries, your policy can save you money, whether there is an emergency or not.

Policy varies according to the provider, but most cover all the important veterinary surgeries, medication, diagnostic tests, supplements (probiotics, glucosamine, and fish oil, to name a few) as well as hospital care.

how much does pet insurance cost

Things to Look for in Pet Insurance

Though you may be confident about your coverage, it’s still best to understand and make sure you know what your pet is covered for.

Chronic condition coverage

Make sure your coverage provides continuous coverage for chronic conditions such as cancer, arthritis, allergies and kidney diseases. Ensure that the coverage will cover your pet for the duration of the condition. These coverages can provide life time treatment for your pets. 

Hereditary conditions

Each breed is prone to certain issues. Cocker Spaniels and Boxers, for example, are prone to heart diseases, and short-nosed dogs such as French Bulldogs or Pugs have breathing problems.  Look for breed-specific health issues and ensure that they are covered in your policy.

Alternative treatments

Alternative treatments such as acupuncture and chiropractic care have become common treatments for many pets. If you want an extensive range of options included in your pet insurance, ensure that these alternative treatments are covered by your insurance plan. 

Deductibles 

Deductibles are the amount you pay from your own pocket before the insurance company starts paying. Many pet insurance providers offer a yearly deductible. Some insurance companies also offer a per-incident or per-condition deductible in return for a cheaper premium.  

Per-incident or per-condition deductibles reset each time your pet goes to the veterinarian for a new issue. For example, let’s say your cat broke your paw one month and wounded its tail the next. Since they are unrelated injuries, a new deductible would be applied for each claim. If your cat were on a yearly deductible plan, the fees you paid for both incidents would contribute to the same deductible.  

Limits

Limits are considered when you anticipate how much and what type of care your pets might need depending on their age and conditions. Per-incident limits cap how much you can be reimbursed for a single illness or accident. For example, if your surgery and follow-up care totals $4000, but your limit is $1000, you are responsible for everything over the $1000.

what does pet insurance cover

The Bottom Line

The verdict: when something bad happens, the insurance payout is usually always worth the years of premiums you paid. So why not the same for your fur friends? You cannot predict the future and will never know when your pet will require medical assistance. Pet insurance will prepare you for the worst and save you from paying hefty medical and surgical bills. There are many types of insurance plans available on the market and you can easily find an affordable insurance plan that will suit your needs and budget.

If you want to find a plan that best covers your pet, then you are just a few clicks away. So find the best coverage at the best rate.