Should I have pet insurance?
If you want to be a pet owner, you will need to be prepared for the unexpected vet bills that could come up. Vet expenses related to things like ear infections and small incidents are minimal, but a serious condition or accident could cost thousands.
How do I choose the right insurance company?
Most insurance companies cover 70-90% of the bill, depending on the company you choose. It is usually more affordable to start your plan early so it is recommended that you find your plan before bringing your new puppy home. The three questions you need to ask yourself is how how much are you willing to pay if your pet has a serious emergency, how much you can afford to pay, and how much tolerance you have to risk. Here are the things to consider when shopping for your pet insurance:
- One that allows you to choose your veterinarian
- A policy does not increase as the pet ages
- A policy that does not have a claim limit
- Claim Repayment Reputation
- The deductible
- Waiting periods
- Customer service
You should check on this info for at least 3 different companies. If you have more than one pet, ask about multiple pet discounts!
What to expect?
Most policies are between $25-70 per month, depending on the policy. All insurance companies do not cover any pre-existing conditions. What they cover depends greatly on the insurance company and the policy you go with. If you are only interested in an Accident and Illness insurance policy, then your monthly payment will be lower than if you wanted a Wellness policy.
One thing to understand is that pet insurance is not like human insurance. When you have an accident or illness, you will be required to pay the vet upfront and then you may apply for the insurance company to reimburse you. Be SURE to read your terms agreement very carefully and if you do not understand any of the terms, please reach out to the company for clarification before signing your agreement.
Accident and Illness vs Wellness
An Accident and Illness policy should cover the unexpected illness and accidents that come with being a pet owner. The illness part of the policy would include things like Diabetes, Addison’s Disease, diarrhea, vomiting, cancer, where the Accident part of the policy would cover any unexpected injuries that were not caused by neglect on your part.
A Wellness policy will include routine things like vaccines, flea and tick and heart worm preventatives, and all other routine visits. This policy will run you on the higher end of the $25-70 per month fee.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pet owners spend $24 billion on vet bills every year. By having pet insurance, you can remove the financial aspect out of your consideration and base your medical decisions purely on what’s best for your pet. If you are worried that finical constraints could decide your pets fate, then you should get insurance.