Why Do I Need Pet Insurance?
Perhaps you are welcoming a new dog or cat into your family, or you are thinking about insurance for your aging pet. The process can seem overwhelming.
Medical care for humans and pets is expensive. The cost of the medical equipment, staffing, and keeping the hospital open and operational 24/7 adds up. Most humans have access to health insurance, which cuts the out of pocket costs tremendously.
In an emergency or in the event of a disease diagnosis, pet insurance can be the deciding factor for whether or not to follow a more advanced treatment. It can help your pet recover faster if you aren’t weighing the cost of physical therapy vs. the cost of pain killers. Continue reading for some tips and tools to help you navigate these new waters.
Tips & Tools
All pet insurance companies are not the same and coverage varies. The best advice we can give is that no matter what you end up choosing, read the legal documents and keep your pet’s lifestyle in mind.
Social Media & Your Networks
Ask your friends and family. They may have had good or bad experiences with a particular company and might be able to offer useful help.
Pet Insurance Review
Use Pet Insurance Review to compare your top choices and view the best plan for your pet.
Most insurance companies have easy quote generators on their sites. Use them and let the monthly cost guide your decision if necessary.
Questions to ask yourself when picking your company and plan:
- Do I want insurance for accident, disease and incident coverage, or do I also want wellness bills covered?
- What are my biggest fears for my pet? Broken bones? Foreign bodies? Cancer? Glaucoma? Cataracts? Neurosurgery? Vaccines, wellness care? Coverage for hereditary/breed-specific conditions? Thinking about this now will help you identify important aspects of the type of coverage you want.
- Annual caps on coverage – or do you prefer unlimited coverage? If you can live with a cap, what is a reasonable amount per year?
- How much do I want to pay in deductibles? – keep in mind many deductibles are per injury/illness, per year, so you may pay your deductible several times in one year if you have several unrelated trips to the emergency room. Some insurance companies offer annualized deductibles. Read the fine print.
- Do I want a plan that covers holistic treatments? – this includes physical therapy, acupuncture, aquatherapy and more. Keep in mind, as with humans, the standard of care for a broken bone or torn ACL now includes physical therapy, so don’t dismiss this if you are concerned about broken bones or neurosurgery.
- What about insurance payout? Look at the percentage each insurance company pays out (after your deductible), and whether or not they base their pay out on the actual veterinary bills. This varies from 100% to 80%, and may or may not include the exam fee. It can also help to lower your monthly cost if you opt for a lower payout.
Do the research, ask yourself the questions, look at the costs and slowly eliminate companies. Once you are down to two or three contenders, start reading the fine print on the insurance policies. Keep in mind your priorities and concerns for your pet’s health and lifestyle. And remember, you can always change companies down the line. Good Luck!