If you own a pet, then you know how much time, effort, and money goes into keeping your furry friend happy and healthy. Apart from showering them with daily cuddles and attention, a more practical tip is to invest in pet insurance.
Pet insurance is a form of financial security in the face of accidents, illnesses, and other unforeseen circumstances. It covers expenses related to your pet’s treatment, recovery, and in some cases, maintenance. However, many pet owners remain hesitant due to the pet insurance costs that come with getting a plan.
If you’re on the fence about whether the cost of insurance for your pet is worth it, this may help you out. Here’s everything you need to consider before deciding on the best insurance plan, including coverage and costs.
Pet Insurance Considerations
Before anything else, it pays to know the factors that influence a pet insurance policy. Pet insurance providers typically assess your pet before agreeing to a plan. Depending on the provider, they usually take into account your pet’s health history and other relevant details, such as:
- How many pets you will insure
- Pet’s age
- Gender of your pet
- Pet’s weight
- Pet’s breed and if they’re pure or mixed
- Pet’s medical history and any pre-existing conditions
For pets of specific breeds or with pre-existing conditions, you can expect higher premiums. The same goes for older pets. However, if you are insuring several pets under the same provider, you may receive a special package price. Keep in mind that these considerations are applicable for dogs and cats. For exotic or rare animals, you will need to discuss potential coverage directly with the pet insurance provider.
Pet Insurance Coverage
Another factor to keep in mind is the coverage of a pet insurance plan. Generally speaking, there are three types of plans:
- Accident-only plans
- Accident and illness plans
- Accident, illness, and wellness plans
In case of accidents, these are the services usually covered:
- Blood tests
- Injuries from accidents
- Lab tests like x-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs
- Emergency care
- Prescribed medication
For treating specific illnesses, you can expect services related to common infections and conditions like:
- Bladder infection
- Ear infection
- Respiration infection
- Urinary tract infection
Wellness services, on the other hand, are mostly treated as add-ons for an additional premium. However, some providers offer them as part of a comprehensive plan. This usually includes:
- Flea treatment
- Pet grooming
- Teeth cleaning
- Some providers also offer therapy, chiropractic services, routine checkups, and behavior modifications
Some plans, like Embrace pet insurance, allow you to take your pet to any licensed veterinarian as they have no network tied to the plan. All that said, you cannot expect the same services from all providers. While some offer only basic plans, others cover a wide variety of services. Moreover, more high-end providers extend their coverage to more services than we mentioned above. In any case, we recommend having a detailed discussion with several providers. It will allow you to compare what they cover and what they don’t, especially if your pet requires specific services.
Pet Insurance Costs
As a rule of thumb, the more services you have covered, the higher the premium. On a monthly average, it may cost you as much as $50 for dogs and $28 for cats. Then again, this will depend on the provider. Make sure to include this in your discussion.
Apart from the monthly premium, here are other costs you need to keep in mind:
- The reimbursement rate is the percent of your expense covered by your provider. Most companies cover 100%, while some cover only 80%. Unlike health insurance plans, pet insurance plans require you to pay for the expense before asking for reimbursement.
- A deductible is a minimum amount you need to personally pay before your pet insurance coverage can be used.
- The payout limit is the maximum amount your plan will cover. It is either applied per service or on your total annual expenses.
Health considerations, coverage, and costs are the three main factors you need to keep in mind before deciding to purchase pet insurance. The good thing is countless providers offer customizable and affordable plans to cater to different pet owners.