Pets add loyalty, love, and excitement to our lives. Sometimes, that excitement includes accidental injuries and unexpected illnesses. One in three pets will need emergency treatment each year. It is our responsibility as owners to have a plan of action when it comes to pet emergencies. The cost of veterinary diagnostics and treatments can add up quickly. Having a financial plan allows conversations between owners and their trusted Veterinarian to remain focused on what truly matters – the best treatment plan for the beloved pet. We encourage every pet owner to familiarize themselves with their pet health insurance options, to be better prepared for such an event.
Pet Insurance 101
Not all pet insurance is the same. Some insurance plans cover accidents to your pet, but not illnesses. Some plans cover treatment for cancer, some don’t. It can be confusing, so you will need to do some research.
You have to pay the veterinary bill out of your own pocket.
With human health insurance, your doctor invoices your insurance company and you may never even see the bill. However, with pet insurance, you have to pay your veterinary bill and then submit your claim to your insurance company for reimbursement. (This is because pet insurance is considered a form of property insurance.)
Pre-existing conditions are not covered.
Not ever. Think of it this way: if you got into a car accident and then tried to buy auto insurance the next day, do you think it would be fair to expect the insurance company to pay for your accident?
Is pet insurance worth it?
Pet insurance protects you from large, unexpected vet bills. If your pet’s serious health problem would force you to go into debt or consider euthanasia, pet insurance could be for you.
Pet Insurance Checklist – Questions to Consider
When deciding which pet insurance is the right one for you, there are several factors to consider.
Does the insurer cover preventative care? Emergency care? Both?
Is the insurer stable? How long have they been around?
Does the insurer have veterinary professionals on staff?
Are there waiting periods involved? If so, what are they? Can you reasonably avoid them?
What do the cancellation policies look like?
What are the policy premiums, deductibles, reimbursement percentages, and annual coverage?
Are there breed limitations? Do some breeds have higher premiums?
Are there age limits to coverage?
Are there multiple pet discounts?
Are there annual limits, max pay-outs, and coverage exclusions?
How and when are claims paid? What has to be submitted to receive coverage?
How does the cost of insurance add up with your pet’s individual potential needs?
What is your spending limit for a catastrophic injury, illness, or chronic health condition?
Recommended Pet Health Insurance Plan
PawlicyAdvisor is an informative insurance site, that helps owners find the best insurance options and pools all the insurances in veterinary medicine into one location.