Do You Need Pet Insurance? What to Consider
Dan Levenson June 21, 2021
If you’re like most pet owners, you consider your furry friends as family. You do your best to protect them, but illnesses and accidents can still occur. When unforeseen health issues and injuries affect your pets, you want them to get the best care possible. But because vet costs can be extremely expensive, it can be hard to cover medical costs. Here’s how pet insurance is a valuable asset, along with the basics of pet insurance and what to consider.
BENEFITS OF PET INSURANCE
There are several perks for having pet insurance, such as:
1. Lower premiums for young, healthy pets
It’s possible to have low premiums, provided your pet is healthy and young, or if you select a lower tier. You can actually receive coverage that’s less than what it costs for a meal dining out once a month. This isn’t a big investment when you think about how you can receive the assurance and serenity of knowing your pet can receive the care it needs.
2. Easier to compare insurance options
Pet insurance plans are not as complicated as what’s involved in choosing health insurance for humans, which can involve a web of riders and plans where you need a professional to help you unravel the fine details. Thus, pet insurance plans are much more direct and easier to understand and choose. You just need to receive quotes from various insurance companies, which makes shopping for plans easy.
3. Reasonable deductibles
Fortunately, most pet insurance plan deductibles are very affordable. Just think about how you could easily pay for the cost of the deductible if your pet is severely ill or injured. With pet insurance, your pet can receive the care it needs, which gives you peace of mind as you can pay for medical costs that you may not have been able to afford without insurance.
4. A choice of vets
What’s more, unlike human insurance plans, there aren’t “out-of-network” providers in pet insurance. This means your costs will be covered for any licensed veterinarian, so you don’t have to worry about a vet not accepting your plan.
5. A healthier, happier pet
People who carry pet insurance are more likely to get medical care for their pets. In fact, a report showed that pet owners with pet insurance showed 2.1 vet visits each year, while those without insurance visited their vet only 1.4 times per year. Tragically, often people without pet insurance cannot afford vet costs, so they’re forced to euthanize their pets.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
1. Your options
Rather than only relying on what others recommend, it’s best to do your own research. For example, learn the specific insurance plans and companies that can meet your medical coverage needs as well as other critical requirements.
2. Your locality
Since costs for veterinarian services can vary, depending on where you live, consider your local area and whether you live in the city or the country. Usually, veterinarian costs are cheaper in rural areas than in urban areas.
3. The breed of your pet
One of your main considerations when deciding whether to buy pet insurance is the breed of your pet. For instance, if you have a French bulldog, this breed is more prone to a spinal deformity where the dog’s vertebrae can develop a condition causing an angle in its spine. This condition, known as hemivertebrae, entails costs for treatments, imaging, or even surgery.
4. Number of pets
Although pet insurance is a good idea for only one or two pets, it’s even more important if you have multiple pets. Having pet insurance can easily save you up to thousands of dollars in vet costs. With several pets, your out-of-pocket expenses can quickly skyrocket when you don’t have insurance.
OTHER WARNINGS AND CONSIDERATIONS
- Don’t select a policy only based on premium cost because you may not receive the proper monetary and medical coverage for your unique situation.
- Consider that if your pet is older, has had several surgeries or has a chronic medical problem, pet insurance may not be beneficial because pet insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions.
THE BASICS OF PET INSURANCE
- First, select a deductible, which is typically either per year or per incident.
- Next, choose a reimbursement level or a co-pay percentage.
- Pay for pet coverage on a monthly basis.
- Find treatment from a licensed vet.
- Pay your vet.
- Receive reimbursement for any treatments covered in your plan after you’ve submitted your claim.