Should I Buy Pet Insurance?
As pet owners we know to plan for our pet's monthly expenses, and budget for things such as toys, treats, beds and food. But what if your pet becomes sick or injured? Vet bills, daily medication, and surgery can be costly and not everyone has it in their budget to cover these emergency expenses. Many pet owners wonder if Pet Insurance might help them to prevent these unexpected costs, so we have broken down some of the benefits of Pet Insurance and some questions to ask when considering pet insurance.
Pet Insurance works a lot like human health insurance, you pay a monthly premium and if your pet gets sick or injured the insurance company will cover part of the veterinary costs. Typically, these plans cover accidents or illnesses and do not cover preventative care. Some companies offer additional plans that you can add on that will cover regular care, such as vaccinations, annual checkups, and some medications such as flea protection or deworming medication. One downside is that pet owners are generally required to pay expenses out of pocket and then submit a request to be reimbursed by the insurance company. We recommend speaking to your regular vet to see if there is an insurance company that they work with and could bill directly saving you the hassle of filing a claim.
Similar to your own health insurance plan, pet owners should be mindful of what pet insurance does not cover. No company will cover pre-existing conditions. That means any illness or accident that is a result or complication of a pre-conditions will not be covered. Depending on your pets breed, age, and medical history your pet may be ineligible to receive some benefits. We highly recommend talking to insurance companies you are interested in about what they consider a preexisting condition.
Pet Insurance Pros:
- You’re better prepared for costly treatments
- Can prevent you from putting down your pet over medical bills
- In most cases you can see the vet of your choice
- Most policies have low deductibles
- Flexible coverage options are available
- Many policies come with 1 or more free office visits per year
Per Insurance Cons:
- Pre-Existing Conditions are not covered
- Certain breeds are prone to specific conditions so they might not have available coverage.
- Pet owner will be responsible for some costs such as co-pays, deductibles, and any costs in excess of annual or lifetime maximums.
- With most policies pet owners will need to pay up front and then get reimbursed
Questions to Ask before you purchase a policy
- What is considered a pre-existing condition? Some companies define these different so ask each one before your purchase a policy and read the fine print carefully.
- Does your veterinarian’s office have a preferred provider they regularly work with that they can bill directly?
- Does your veterinarian’s office have their own type of insurance or Wellness Plan that you might prefer to purchase instead of insurance?
Do you have a good or bad experience with Pet insurance? Comment below to share your experience with other pet parents and help them decide if Pet Insurance is right for them.