My mom says that having a pet is like having a child. I can’t just decide to have a pet and not be responsible for it when I get tired. I need to feed, bathe, and teach it. Also, I still remember my mom’s long speech about how costly it can be when I decided to buy a dog. I need Pet Insurance to protect me, my puppy, and my savings, and guess what? Again, my mom was right about pet insurance.
From the moment I brought my puppy home, there was so much stuff that I already needed to buy. I need to provide him with the right food and treats, a comfy bed, toys, and a leash. Being a fur mom became so real, then he became sick. I didn’t expect veterinary visits and medical bills to be that expensive. That’s when I realize how important it is to have Pet Insurance. This article will dive deep into everything a pet parent should know. And why being insured is essential if you have a pet.
What is Pet Insurance, and what does it cover?
Pet insurance can cover the cost of your pet’s wellness and health care. However, its coverage depends on your insurance company and the kind of pet you have. You can purchase comprehensive or nose-to-tail coverage with broader protection for any health-related problems. This policy usually includes illnesses, accidents, and wellness care. Now, here are some of the standard health-related coverage of comprehensive pet insurance:
- Common sicknesses like vomiting, diarrhea, infections, allergies, and skin conditions.
- Injuries such as sprains, broken bones, ACL Ruptures, and poisoning.
- Laboratory Tests like blood tests, ultrasound, X-Ray, CT scans, and MRI.
- Procedures like surgeries, chemotherapy, endoscopies, and nursing care.
- Wellness care includes neutering/spaying, vaccinations, and flea/heartworm.
Comprehensive policy covers a lot of health problems. However, you can do so if you think you need some of these coverages. For example, you want a policy that only covers illness and accidents. Or just coverage for regular checkups and vaccination. Just talk to your insurance agent about what you need so they can help you find the best coverage for your pet.
Why can Vet visits be very costly?
Having a pet is not all fun and sunshine. Again, just like kids, pets get sick and experience accidents. They need vaccines and regular check-ups. So remember that if you decide to have a pet, you also decide to be a “ fur parent. ”
Therefore, if you are ready to be a parent, you should also be ready to be a responsible adult. Having said that, you should know the most crucial thing your beloved fur needs to secure its health.
According to American Pet Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey, a regular vet check-up visit will cost around $215 for dogs and $170 for cats. If your pet needs surgery, expect an average of $230 for cats and $450 for dogs. But this is just the average range. It can cost thousands of dollars if your pet needs surgery for a broken bone. But, of course, the amount will still vary depending on your pet’s overall health condition. The bottom line is if you have an uninsured pet, you always need a massive amount of money you can get at any time.
How a Pet Insurance Work?
If you already have Homeowners or Auto Insurance, you surely wonder if Pet Insurance works the same. But unlike the others, pet insurance is typically reimbursement-based. Like renters insurance, it is month-to-month basis. Usually, you need to pay a monthly premium to your insurer. Depending on the coverage that you choose will be your deductibles, conditions covered, reimbursement rate, and your maximum payout. Also, most pet insurance providers will reimburse you directly, not the veterinarian. But insurance companies have different rules, so it is best to ask your insurance agent.
In case of a vet visit, here is the step-by-step list of how it works:
- You take your pet to a licensed vet. It can be a vet of your choice or your insurer’s in-network vet.
- You pay the fees for the vet visit at the time of service.
- Get all the medical records, receipts, or invoices.
- With all your documents, submit a claim to your pet insurance company.
- Your insurer will review your claim based on the pet insurance policy that you have (let’s say a routine vet visit is covered. )
- Your pet insurance provider will process your claim and will send you a reimbursement ( directly to you or the vet, depending on your policy. )
What’s good about pet insurance is that, unlike our health care, you can choose your vet. This means you have the freedom to choose your pet’s vet. Unless your insurance company has their veterinarian or “ in-network ” vet. Now, here’s what is good about this type of setup. You must pay for your deductible if you do your pet’s checkup with an in-network vet. While if you go to an out-of-network vet, you must pay all the fees for the covered services. Then you need to follow the process of submitting a claim and wait for the reimbursement.
A typical pet insurance plans have the following:
- Annual / Per accident maximum coverage
- Reimbursement or Copay
- Processing Waiting Periods
What’s Not Covered?
It’s essential to know the coverage of your pet insurance policy, as are the things it does not cover. Here are the most common exclusions you must know:
- Pre-existing illness and conditions – Your pet’s injuries or illnesses before the coverage started are not covered. That is why you must tell your insurer about your pet’s condition before you get pet insurance. This is to avoid any confusion and delay in case of a claim. However, some pet insurance companies can extend coverage. If you have proof of medical records, your pet has been cured and doing well for at least six months. If it just happens that the illness or injury is the same this time, then this may be covered.
- Grooming – Most pet insurance doesn’t cover grooming services. This includes standard wellness procedures such as baths, nail trims, hair trims, dips, and brushing.
- Training – Behavior training like Relationship-Based Training, Positive Reinforcement Training, and Obedience Training.
- Food and Supplements – Just like health care for humans, our health insurance does not cover food and dietary supplements. The same goes for your pet. Your pet’s food and supplements are not covered by their insurance, even if the vet prescribes them.
Also, remember that the exclusions and inclusions always depend on your chosen coverage. So always ask your pet insurance agent about all the details regarding your pet’s policy.
Factors that can affect the cost of your pet insurance
Like all kinds of insurance, the amount of your pet’s insurance also depends on some factors. These include:
- Breed- Certain breeds are more prone to get illnesses that make them have more expensive pet insurance. Let’s set an example. Larger dogs tend to have a higher amount of pet insurance because they are more prone to having heart issues than smaller breeds of dogs.
- Age – Like humans, the older an animal is, the easier it is for them to get sick. So if your pet always got illnesses or injuries and you have already filed many claims in the past. Chances are you will have higher premiums on your pet insurance renewal.
- Type of animal- Typically, a cat is cheaper to insure than a dog. In this case, it is better to shop around and ask different pet insurance companies so you can compare their rates. By that, you can have a chance to have a lower rate.
- Coverage- The type of coverage you choose will significantly impact the amount of your pet insurance. If you want coverage for vet checkups, you will have a low amount to pay for your pet insurance. But if you choose the Comprehensive policy covering illness, injuries, and wellness, expect more to pay monthly.
- Deductibles and reimbursement- Again, just like auto and home insurance, deductibles have much to do with the amount we need to pay for our insurance. Having a lower deductible and higher reimbursement level will make you pay more. So let’s say you choose a plan that offers 90% reimbursement. This plan will just cost you more than a plan with a 60% reimbursement level.
Now the final question is: Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
As a pet parent, with all honesty, YES! It is worth it. The peace of mind it can give is priceless. Nothing can compare to knowing that my pet is secured in an emergency, and my savings are as well. Too dramatic? Not really, here’s why.
If your energetic dog plays too roughly and breaks his leg. The amount you need to pay for surgery can cost you thousands of dollars. Let’s say the surgery needed to be done costs $3,500. The accident coverage in your policy has a 90% reimbursement level and a $100 deductible. Then the computation will be the deductible plus 10% of the surgery cost equals the amount you must pay, or $100 + $350 = $450. Paying $450 rather than $3,500 is way better, right?
Moreover, imagine where you can get that much money in an emergency. On your savings account? Or, worst, you need to use your credit card.
In a nutshell, Pet Insurance can give your pet the protection it needs and the security a pet parent should have. You can opt for comprehensive insurance that gives broad coverage for a higher amount. But you can also start by having the primary coverage for lower pet insurance costs. Just keep in mind that you can always add other coverage if you want to. Regardless of what coverage you choose, one thing is for sure. Again, my mom was right about pet insurance and the peace of mind it can give.
Let us help you! Call us toll-free today! You can also schedule a meeting with one of our pet insurance experts at Advantage Insurance Solutions here in Denver, CO. We can give you the best offer you can get!