As a pet owner, you likely do everything you can to ensure your pet is healthy and happy. This means taking it to the vet for annual checkups, getting immunizations as required and handling any emergency health situations that may come up. However, paying all of those medical bills can get quite expensive.
For yourself and your family, you probably have health insurance that helps with the costs of medical care, but for your pet, you may not have anything. If you want to protect your pet and your finances, it might be a good idea to consider getting pet insurance.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
You may wonder if getting insurance for your pet is even worth the cost. It may seem silly to some people to insure an animal, but if you treat your pet like family, you may see how much it makes sense. If your pet has health issues, insurance can be the best way to help you afford care. It can often mean the difference between having to choose between your pet’s health and paying your bills.
If you love your pet and want to provide it with the best possible chance at life, you will do anything for it. If your pet faces a medical emergency and you cannot afford the care, you would be devastated. By having insurance, you are preventing this from happening because you have assistance to help you afford whatever costs come your way.
So, when considering if it is worth it to get insurance for your pets, you really have to think about how much you would do and how far you would go to protect your pet and ensure its quality of life. If you are willing to do just about anything, then insurance is the right option.
What Are the Types of Insurance?
Generally, pet insurance is offered to cover accidents and illnesses. Accident coverage would handle situations where your pet gets injured, such as if it was hit by a car or if it fell and broke a leg. Illness coverage is for medical situations where your pet is sick. This could be anything from a stomach bug to a skin disease to cancer.
Insurance coverage may be for the following:
- Vet exam fees
- Diseases specific to the breed
- Cancer treatment
- Specialist care
Generally, you have the option to customize your coverage to suit your needs and your pet’s needs. There are many optional coverages available, too, which is similar to human health insurance options. For example, you can get additional coverage for prescriptions.
There is a waiting period for coverage to kick in once you buy a policy. The standard is 14 days. After the 14 days, your insurance coverage will start to pay for expenses. Any expenses occurring before the 14th day will not be covered. You will also need to get an annual exam within the first year of coverage to maintain the coverage.
Is Your Pet Eligible?
As with any type of healthcare insurance, there are restrictions on who can be covered by pet insurance. Policies cover only cats and dogs. If you have a pet goat or pig, you may not be able to find coverage because it simply is not offered. There are not usually any limits on breeds, but there are age limits. Our insurance will only cover pets older than six weeks up to the age of 14 on a new policy. Although, it is important to note that older pets may qualify for accident insurance and existing policies will continue to cover a pet once it is older than 14.
If your pet has health problems, they can still get insurance, but the condition won’t be covered. If it is discovered a condition was existing before the policy was obtained, it will not be covered. It is usually advised that you take your pet in for a complete checkup to discover any condition that may be occurring before you get insurance. Pre-existing conditions may still qualify for accident insurance.
How Can You Choose the Right Insurance?
Choosing the right insurance coverage for your pet is like choosing the right insurance for yourself or your family. It requires looking at your options and considering your budget and your pet’s needs. You also need to look at the insurance coverage and understand how it works.
Exclusions do happen with this type of insurance. There may be certain treatments or care that is not covered. If something isn’t covered, then you must pay the full cost yourself. It is a smart idea to know what is and is not covered before getting a policy.
Pet insurance works using reimbursement. You pay upfront and then you are paid by the insurance company. There are generally two ways this happens, so you must know how your policy works to know if it suits your needs. One way is through a benefit schedule and the other is by percentage. A benefit schedule reimbursement is done by the company setting the amount across the board that will be paid for each specific type of claim. For example, the company may decide to pay $20 for vet exam costs. The percentage method will reimburse you a percentage of whatever you pay. So, if the percentage is 20% and you pay $200, you’ll get paid $40.
Know what coverage you want. You should have a good idea of your pet’s medical needs to allow you to make the right choice in insurance. Consider your pet’s breed and common issues that breed has. Think about the past medical needs of your pet. You want to be sure the policy you choose will match the most likely care costs you will have.
Finally, you have to consider cost. Think about everything that plays into the cost, though. You need to think about what services you will most likely need and see if they are covered by a policy. If a policy does not cover the things you will most likely need to use it for, then it doesn’t matter how much the premium is, it will be useless to you. You want the best value. You want the policy that will offer you the best coverage for the best prices. This means the best pet insurance could differ from animal to animal.
If you have a pet, you should look into pet insurance. Medical costs, especially as a pet gets older, can add up. In order to ensure you can afford anything that comes your way, you need the right pet insurance coverage.
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