As the amount of money spent on pet healthcare increases steadily at an estimated rate of 40% a year, and as pets become more like family, owners are looking to spend more on their pet's health. Pet owners also want to have their pets covered by insurance.
Some basic plans start at $10 a month, while more extravagant plans cost upward of $400 a month. Since no two pet insurance plans are exactly the same, you should research each policy before making a choice that best fits your needs. The following questions are important to keep in mind when determining if pet insurance is worth the expense:
What's covered? Look over several plans from different companies before making a provider selection. Make sure the plan you choose defines clearly what is and what is not covered. For some pet owners, pet insurance is a safeguard for future catastrophes, such as sudden accidents or the emergence of a serious illness. For others, the coverage they choose applies to every vet visit, including checkups.
What's not covered? There is more to picking insurance plans then finding out what is covered by insurance. You need to also know what is not covered so you can compare plans to one another and so you are prepared when your pet needs a test or procedure that is not covered.
Are hereditary illnesses and conditions covered? If you own a purebred animal, they may be prone to a breed specific condition. For example, German Shepard's are likely to develop hip dysphasia, and Labrador's are often inflicted with eye problems.
What's the deductible? Is there a co-pay? Be sure to understand what you are expected to pay for and exactly how much. You don't want to pick an insurance that covers little if anything.
What (if any) is the age limit for a pet to be covered? The best time to purchase pet insurance is when your pet is just a puppy. As pets get older they require more care, especially later in their lives, and the premium goes through the roof or coverage no longer exists.
So who is pet insurance for? Pet insurance is best suited for pets that are young and healthy. Pet insurance is also a good investment if you:
- Have multiple pets
- Take in stray animals to help shelters
- Breed dogs
- Take your pet with you on vacation
The otherwise healthy dog. Many dogs can live long accident free lives today, but no owner can guarantee their canine companion will never have an accident such as eating a sock, swallowing a rock, or even getting hit by a car in the driveway.
How most insurances work: Unlike human health insurance, most pet insurance companies require you to pay the entire veterinarian bill at the time of service. You as the owner are then responsible to turn over itemized bills or invoices from us, your veterinarian, to the pet insurance company for reimbursement of qualified costs.
The best way to find the right pet insurance for you and your family should start with researching some reputable pet insurance companies. Ask for detailed plan information and price quotes.
Remember, pet insurance is not a necessity, and if you choose not to get insurance for your pet you are still a great pet parent!