Pet Insurance and why you need it!
As healthcare costs rise across the board, pet healthcare is no exception and 1 out of 3 pets will need emergency medical treatment in their lifetime, which is why many veterinarians recommend enrolling in a pet health plan. Pet insurance is a health care policy for your pet that reimburses you for certain medical expenses. In the event of a surprise accident or illness, having a pet insurance plan can protect your finances.
In fact, most people buy pet insurance within 6 months of adopting a pet. However, pet health insurance has its limitations, so you should read the fine print on your policy before you buy it.
Like human health insurance, you’ll pay a monthly premium, determined by your pet’s species, breed, and age and depending on the plan you select and your insurance company. Unlike human health insurance, however, most pet insurance policies are based on reimbursement. This means you are responsible for payment up front and are reimbursed by the insurance provider after submitting a claim. Your policy will outline which conditions / expenses are covered, your reimbursement rate, your deductible, and the maximum payout (or annual limit).
The best pet insurance plans can provide substantial coverage for the most expensive health treatment and diagnostics. No pet insurance company will cover a pre-existing condition, so it's important to enrol before any issues arise.
However, depending on your insurance plan, your policy may not cover every condition / expense your pet goes through. This is why it's so important to find a plan that covers your pet's breed-specific health risks. When something really bad happens, insurance is worth the years of premiums you paid. If you elect to purchase pet insurance for catastrophic care, get the highest deductible you can comfortably afford.
It's important to note that purchasing pet insurance isn't necessarily more affordable than going without it. It's possible for your pet to never get sick or hurt and for your only medical costs to be minor annual check ups. However, going without insurance is a risk that not everyone wants to take. The level of coverage varies from pet to pet, but you should think about your pet's illness history and the breed's potential problems before deciding. If you don't have available cash to pay for a surprise surgery, then you can be faced with the tough choice of not being able to help your pet.
You can save on pet insurance by enrolling when your pets are still young. Some pet insurance providers will also give you a discount on your bill if you agree to make annual payments instead of monthly payments. Others offer discounts if you insure multiple pets under the same provider.
There's no magic formula to tell you if pet health insurance is right for you and your pet. Talk with your veterinarian about it, and research your options and all the plans available to you and what they include.