Welcome to the world of pet parenthood, where every tail wag and purr is priceless! While showering your furry friend with love is essential, it's equally important to consider their health and well-being and how you can plan for their care financially. That's where pet insurance comes in – a financial safety net for unexpected vet bills and medical emergencies. In this post, we'll explore the ins and outs of pet insurance to help you in your search for the right pet insurance provider and policy.
The Basics of Pet Insurance
Much like human medical insurance, pet insurance is an insurance policy you can purchase that can help to lessen the overall costs of veterinary bills. If your pet is seen at by a veterinarian for a covered condition, you typically pay the bill and then submit a claim to the insurance company for reimbursement.
There are three common types of plans:
Decoding the Pawlicy
Before purchasing any pet insurance policy, you need to do some research so you understand to benefits and drawbacks. When we see pet owners disappointed with their insurance plans, it’s most often because they weren’t aware of what costs would not be covered. Surprises are never good when it comes to insurance, so do your research so you understand what is and isn’t covered by your plan.
A few terms you should know:
Deductible: the amount you pay for covered veterinary costs before your insurance plan starts to pay. For example, if you have a $500 deductible, you pay the first $500 of covered services. Your insurer will only begin to reimburse you for covered services after you have paid your deductible. Typically the lower the deductible, the higher the cost of the plan.
Premium: the amount you pay each month or year to keep your insurance policy active. Premiums vary significantly based on things like your pet’s breed & age, your policy deductible, and the cost of care where you live.
Coverage limits: the maximum amount your insurer may pay out for covered claims. If you file a claim with your insurer and the costs exceed your coverage limit, then you may be responsible for any remaining expenses that aren't covered by your insurance. Some insurance policies have coverage limits for the pet for the plan year or a lifetime, some have coverage limits for each of your pet’s conditions.
Exclusions: a provision in your policy that eliminates coverage for certain conditions. For example, if your pet has a pre-existing condition, such as allergies, you will not be reimbursed for any allergy-related veterinary costs. Many illness plans don’t cover the cost of the sick or emergency exam fee. These costs also won’t count toward your deductible.
Tailored Tails: What Type of Coverage is Right For You?
Once you’ve explored the different types of coverage plans available, think about the plan that works for your furry friend's needs and lifestyle and for your wallet and peace of mind. While we’d love to recommend a plan that will work perfectly for your, we know that everyone’s reasons for getting pet insurance are different!
A few questions you should think about when deciding on what type of plan will work best:
Fetching Quotes and Comparisons
Now that you have a sense of the type of plan you want, it’s time to fetch some quotes from different pet insurance providers. May pet insurance providers have plan comparison tools on their website, but we typically recommend PetInsuranceReview.com as a great place to start your search. Compare plans available for your pet. Look for the right balance between coverage and cost – after all, you wouldn't want to break the bank on pet insurance treats!
What the Doctor Recommends
At CSAH, we don’t recommend any particular provider or plan but we do recommend pet insurance. When your pet cuts himself in the woods and needs surgery in a specialty hospital or is diagnosed with a long-term illness that will require years of medications and care that includes regular bloodwork and vet visits, it’s a good feeling to be able to say, “yes, do it all, I have insurance.” We have one pet patient whose insurance policy has covered over $45,000 worth of veterinary expenses. Would the owner have been able and willing to pay that out-of-pocket? We can’t say, but we are 100% positive that they are glad they purchased an insurance policy!
By investing in pet insurance, you’re protecting your pet but also securing peace of mind for yourself. In the worst case, you spent money on a policy you didn’t use – hopefully a policy that was within your budget. In the best, you were able to say “yes” to expensive and extensive life-saving care, care that gave your furry family member additional years of health and happiness.
As usual, we’ve done our best to summarize the topic of pet insurance but we may have missed something. If you have any questions, please call us at 339-234-6007 or send us a note.