You want only the best for your animal family members. But, it’s inevitable that some of them will get sick or injured from time to time and that’s why you need pet insurance.
It might prevent a financial wound when emergencies happen, but there are important considerations involved with buying pet insurance that could affect its cost.
What You Pay
With pet insurance, you may have to pay a monthly or annual premium based on your dog’s age and breed. Some insurers base the amount on your dog’s hereditary conditions, just as doctors would for humans. Purebred dogs tend to have more hereditary issues than “mutts,” and your older dog is more likely to develop certain conditions like arthritis or glaucoma.
Other factors affecting the cost of the insurance include the deductible amount and type of coverage you select. Deductibles work the same for pet insurance as they do for people insurance. Just like people coverage, deductibles require that you pay in full for any charges up to the annual deductible amount before it will cover anything.
Many plans allow you to choose your deductible; some go as low as zero and others up to $2,000 or more. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Once you’ve hit it, most companies will cover 80% of all applicable services while leaving 20% up to you.
Like humans health care plans, there are some that only cover 80% of eligible items while others provide higher percentage payout maximums in exchange for a higher premium price per month. Similarly, there are plans that offer low monthly premiums but charge a large annual payout max
What They Cover
Basic pet insurance plans cover accidents, injuries, illnesses and diagnosis, medication, and surgery. For accidents and injuries, most pet insurance companies have a two- to five-day waiting period before coverage begins. For illnesses and diagnosis, the wait can be as long as two months for some companies.
Some companies offer their consumers the option to modify their plan based on the number of covered days or time since your pet last suffered from a condition.
Maybe you want coverage only for accidents and injuries with a lower cost than if it also covers illnesses or diagnoses. The cost may depend on your policy’s differences in coverage limits.
But no plan will ever cover pre-existing conditions at any point nor will it cover wellness checks like yearly checkups or vaccinations. These might be affected by making an additional payment for higher premium costs, or your company might not provide that option at all.
What to Look Out For
It’s important to check with your insurance company before you buy a pet plan. Some plans require vet certificates, while others need a comprehensive exam done no more than 60 days prior.
Some may even deny a claim featuring a “related ailment,” since that could mean the condition was treated elsewhere before purchasing coverage. It’s also important to understand what qualifies as pre-existing. Exam fees and vaccinations are not required of your deductible or reimbursement, but if you add in wellness coverage, it can potentially cost more than paying for care out of pocket.
Ask pet owners about their pricing upfront so you know how much additional premium is being paid for this service.
What Does All of This Mean?
Would you like to know how much your pet’s insurance would be in the case of an emergency or accident? Just claim the policy and a representative from the company will contact you.
The insurer will then provide you with details about your pet health, services and coverage. $3,000 would be the maximum reimbursement for a $250 deductible + $810 co-pay + $240 overage, leaving approximately $1,300 out-of-pocket ($250 deductible + $810 co-pay + $240 overage).
Are There Other Options?
Pet Assure is an insurance program that can save you money. Whether or not you decide to buy pet insurance, enrolling in a plan will save you money at the same veterinary office.
With a discount on all in-house services, your pet gets free vaccines and hospitalizations. There are no pre-existing conditions or exclusions like wellness treatment.
Yes. There are many reasons for you to consider purchasing a Pet Assure plan, even if you decide not to do so right now. For example, it’s preferable that you should be covered in the event of an emergency with or without health treatments.
You’ll also have peace of mind that your pet is taken care of when you can’t be there. And because there are no waiting periods or exclusions like pre-existing conditions or wellness treatments, it’s a good idea to purchase one before needing it.