CHRISTIE LONG, DVM, CVAVeterinarian, Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist
How much does pet insurance cost? Is it affordable? These are questions you have probably though about, and we want to help you figure out the answers.
When unexpected expenses related to illnesses or injuries arise, costs can mount quickly, and many pet owners aren’t prepared.
A recent survey of 20,000 pet owners who had pet insurance revealed that the number 1 reason they continued to carry pet insurance was because it allowed them to make decisions about their pet without worrying about money.
There are many types of pet insurance plans out there. Read on to learn everything you need to know about this topic.
How does pet insurance work?
When you’re looking at plans, you’ll pick an annual deductible amount, and a reimbursement percentage (the percentage of costs the company will pay). The plan’s monthly premium corresponds to these values. Higher deductible plans have lower premiums. Lower reimbursement percentage plans also have lower premiums.
Let’s say you have a plan that has a $200 deductible and reimburses you at 80% for illnesses and injuries incurred by Sam, your goofy labrador retriever. And let’s say Sam, in display of his undying affection for tennis balls, loves a hunk of tennis ball so much that he swallows it, it blocks his intestines, and he needs $1000 worth of surgery. Since this is Sam’s first (and hopefully last) medical incident of the year, you’ll pay the $200 deductible plus another $200, which is 20% of the total cost of the surgery, for a total of $400. The insurance company pays $600.
What types of expenses does pet insurance cover?
Most plans only cover expenses related to injuries or illnesses. While these plans won’t cover the cost of a routine dental cleaning, they likely would cover the cost to extract a tooth that your dog broke when he was hit by a car (yes, it happens), because that’s due to an injury.
There are so many different plans available, and while they all cover illnesses and injuries, some offer coverage (for an additional premium) for expenses related to routine wellness costs.
Is pet insurance affordable?
A general guideline is that a plan with a higher deductible and a lower reimbursement percentage will be more affordable, but you’ll be left with paying more of the costs if your pet does get sick or injured. A very basic plan can cost as little at $20 per month. A plan that covers wellness visits as well as other things may cost as much as $80 per month.
Keep in mind that the area in which you live, as well as the breed of pet you’re insuring, will affect your monthly premium. You can request an immediate quote for free here: http://bit.ly/get-my-quote
My pet was born with a genetic condition. Can he be covered?
Some plans do cover hereditary conditions, however, most don’t. Typically even if hereditary conditions are excluded the company will still cover your pet, but they’ll likely not cover any expenses directly related to the genetic condition. Most insurance companies require you to disclose any diagnosed medical conditions when you apply for the policy.
What about pre-existing conditions, such as chronic diseases? I’m not aware of any policies that will cover conditions that were diagnosed (and thus part of the pet’s medical record) when the coverage was purchased.
Do all vets take pet insurance?
Unlike most human health insurance policies, pet insurance policies don’t require that you use veterinarians who belong to a specific network of providers.
So, you will be able to continue seeing your favorite vet after you get a health insurance plan for your pet.
How soon can I start using my pet’s insurance?
Most plans do have a waiting period – typically about 2 weeks – before they start covering your pet.
This means that you should get coverage for your pet before he gets sick, because you really can’t wait for the insurance to become effective otherwise.
What is the best time to get pet insurance?
The best time to get a pet insurance policy on your pet is as soon as you get him! Putting off getting coverage could leave you exposed should he have an accident or illness.
Also, as your pet ages, the chance of diagnosis of a chronic condition increases. If you have pet insurance from day one, your pet will always be covered.
Why does the price of the plan differ depending on where I live?
Lots of factors go into determining how much your pet’s premium will be. Most companies use geographic location as a factor, because the price of vet care isn’t the same in all areas of the country. A surgery that costs $3500 in New York City might only cost $2000 in Alabama. The premiums associated with the policies reflect this.
Can my salamander get coverage?
While most insurance companies limit the species they’ll cover to dogs and cats, VPI does cover birds and exotic animals.
To sum up, pet insurance is generally a wise investment that can help you save a lot of money in the long run. If you are interested in requesting a free quote for your pet, you can do so at Pet Insurance Quotes:
COMMENTS FROM LOVIMYPUP.COM:
I learned the hard way that veterinary emergencies or illness can be very expensive. My Bella has had a major medical pet policy since i adopted her/ In the first 2 years of her life she had 2 separate surgeries to relieve a bowel obstruction. Each surgery cost over $1500 each. Luckily I had the insurance. I had to pay the deductible of $250 and insurance paid the rest. I strongly suggest that it is a god idea for you to have this insurance on your pets. Check out the link on this site to EMBRACE INSURANCE to see how affordable pet insurance really is!
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