Most people have heard about insuring things like cars, boats, homes, and even your life. But is it necessary to get your pet covered by insurance? In this article you will read about the pros and cons of pet insurance so you can decide for yourself if it is worth the investment.
While owning a pet is common, getting insurance on your furry family member is not the standard. The majority of homes in the United States own some type of pet, and only a tiny fraction of those are actually covered by insurance.
Everyone knows that life happens, and sometimes things happen to your pet that you cannot predict and are out of your control. When these incidents occur, you could be spending hundreds, even thousands of dollars out of pocket just to restore your pet back to health. While it is the norm for most people to help man’s best friend, it makes an expensive trip to the vet and leaves room to wonder, is there another way?
Pet insurance is similar to health insurance in the sense that you as the owner would be selecting insurance plans that best suit you and your pet’s needs. Like other insurance types, pet insurance allows you to choose the amount you will spend monthly or yearly based on the coverage you choose.
Basic pet insurance plans could cover situations such as accidents or injuries, and others are more all-encompassing, covering things like like accidents, injuries, and genetic/hereditary conditions. The more you select to be covered, the higher the cost.
Many plans will have a deductible, much like the health insurance we are familiar with. This means you will have to pay a certain amount out of pocket before insurance will begin to cover. Depending on policy, the amount needed to pay before insurance could vary from $0-$2,500 per year.
Luckily, some larger deductible amounts can give you a percentage of your money back. Pet insurance is big on reimbursement, meaning you will be responsible to pay the amount in full when you bring your pet in for care and you can file a claim with the insurance company afterwards. Depending on your policy, they may be able to reimburse you 25-100% of that amount.
Average monthly price for a Pet Insurance Policy
The average amount of pet insurance monthly for a dog is about $22 per month, and for cats it is around $16 per month. The plan for your pet will vary and be based on the pet’s age, breed, health, and what you decide you want covered.
Exotic pets may be able to be covered as well, but contact your pet insurance company to determine the exact plans.
Pros of Pet Insurance
• Easy Comparisons – Pet insurance is pretty straight-forward, unlike human insurance, and it is easy to compare your options and understand policies. Price shopping for pet insurance is fast and you can get quotes for free in minutes.
• Low Premiums – If you are looking to insure a pet that is young and healthy, your monthly payments can be extremely low. That is a small price to pay to be able to know your pet will still be protected.
• Reasonable Deductibles – Compared to the expense that a trip to the emergency clinic will cost you, a deductible can be a first step and insurance will help with the extra care and help you might need for your pets.
• Choose Your Vet – Any licensed vet can be covered by insurance, so you do not need to worry about which vet your pet will need to see. Be sure to get copies of invoices from vet appointments so you can submit them and file a claim with the insurance company.
• Easier to Give Your Pet the Care it Needs – With insurance, you can feel assured that you are doing all that you can to keep your beloved fur buddy healthy and safe. No pet owner should have to choose between debt or a hurt pet.
Cons of Pet Insurance
• May Be Expensive for Some Pets – If your pet is older or has some health conditions, the premium could be more expensive, potentially up to $50 per month. If pet insurance is something you would want for an older or sickly pet, you might want to consider an annual payment plan.
• Pay Up Front – Since you have to submit your invoices to your insurance company after your appointments, it would be wise to set up a payment plan to temporarily cover the costs of your pet’s visits until you can get the reimbursement from insurance.
• Everything May Not be Covered – Depending on which company and policy you choose, you might not be covered for all expenses. For example, some plans do not cover routine wellness checkups.
• Coverage May be Limited – Some plans can limit the amount you can claim for your pet either monthly or annually. In the worst cases when a major incident occurs and depending on your plan, you could max out your coverage and find yourself paying the difference.
• Might Not be Used – Pet insurance for a healthy and young animal is a great way to ensure that an unexpected accident or injury is covered, but if that does not end up being the case you could be paying each month for the insurance without ever using it.
So, should you get your pet insured? Just like insuring your property or car, you are not going to see yourself saving up a sum of money from protecting your pet. However, there is no way to predict an accident or injury and having the insurance will help if an emergency occurs.
If you decide that pet insurance is not best for you, still be sure to set aside savings in case of any unexpected accidents or injuries. While you cannot predict an emergency, it is always best to be prepared.
If you do decide to get a quote for pet insurance, be sure to have the pet’s name, age, breed, vet information, and health history ready to give to the insurance company so they can get you the best quote. Apply sooner rather than later so you can get through the waiting period for your policy and be able to have coverage in case of any emergencies you might face down the road.