Everything you need to know about pet insurance

IS PET INSURANCE WORTH IT? Many people have insurance coverage for almost everything like their health, cars, and homes – except their pets. Although pets can be great companions, the cost of caring for one can make anyone question their decision to take them on as additional members of the family. Perhaps, this is why 68 percent of U.S. households own pets yet only 1 percent of those pets are insured. According to a report by the American Pets Products Association, Americans will spend an estimated $18.26 billion on veterinary care in 2018. The report also states that: The average cost of a routine vet visit is $256 for dogs and $182 for cats. The average cost of an additional surgical visit is $474 for dogs and $245 for cats. Topping the list of the pets in the U.S. are cats, dogs, and freshwater fishes, these costs are expected to rise in the coming years as technology improves and as expensive tests become a standard procedure for animals. According to a report by Credit Donkey, the average amount of expenses on dogs annually is $1,200 while the average amount of expenses on cats annually $1,070. The numbers are more likely to go up than down. On the flip side, the average cost for pet insurance is around $27 per month. With the average emergency vet bill pegged between $800 and $1500, the need for pet insurance is obvious. However, given the cost of veterinary care, pet insurance is worth looking into as they can come in handy when your pets are struck with unexpected health care needs. What Kind Of Pets Can You Insure? Most companies offer insurance policies to cover cats and dogs, and it’s quite easy to get these animals insured. But you may experience difficulties insuring smaller mammals like lizards, snakes, and parrots as they have debatable value because of their short lifespan. However, most companies do not provide an insurance cover for exotic pets like lizards snakes and parrots because they are unusual pets. But if you find an insurer for them, you might also want to take a critical look into the costs of covering them. There are no insurance policies for venomous animals, making liability insurance the only alternative available. How Does Pet Insurance Work? Pet insurance is a reimbursement model as you will need to pay the initial cost of your pet’s visit, and then submit a duplicate, itemized receipt to your pet’s insurer with a completed claim form. Insurance companies usually process claims within a month, after which you will receive a reimbursement check from them. Like people insurance, pet policies come with a variety of co-payments, deductibles, and premiums. 3 Types of Pet Insurance Plans There are three types of pet insurance coverage to cover different types of risk: accident, illness, and wellness. These plans cover up to 90 percent of a pet owner’s actual vet bills. Although you can sign up for a single type of coverage based on your preference, you can also sign up for all three if you want. Accident-Only Plans: There’s no way to plan for an accident, but you can prevent it from costing you a fortune. Accident-only plans are the most basic, cheapest level of cover available and are offered by every pet insurance company. This type of plan covers only injuries and other unexpected emergencies but not illnesses or wellness care which tends to be more expensive to treat. Major Medical Plans: If you’re looking for insurance plans that are comprehensive and cover a wide range of cases, major medical plans are well suited for that purpose. They typically cover the following: accidents, emergency care, cancer, and hereditary illnesses, orthopedic issues, and prescription drugs. However, you will have to pay for wellness costs such as check-ups and vaccines as they are not covered in the major medical plans. Wellness plans: A cheaper alternative to major medical plans, wellness plans cover only routine care costs like annual exams, vaccinations, urinalyses, teeth cleanings, etc. Additionally, you can often add a wellness plan for your major medical plans to obtain the most comprehensive coverage available. Wellness plans are increasingly becoming popular among pet owners, and that is why more companies are offering them than before. The cost of the pet insurance Insuring your pets when they are young is an excellent idea as the premiums will probably be lower. There is also a good chance they don’t have a pre-existing condition which insurance companies do not cover. Young pets can be full of vigor which makes them get into trouble than older pets, meaning you are likely to have cases of emergency from an accident. Nevertheless, if you have older cats and dogs, you should also probably get them insured. This is important because as pets age, the tendency for them to fall ill increases which can lead to multiple vet visits. However, since some companies don’t offer coverage for animals over a certain age. The cost of the medical insurance of your pets is dependent on several factors such as: Number of pets to be insured Their age and breed level of coverage The deductible and premiums you can afford etc. Going by the numerous factors that come into play when you want to decide the type of coverage you want, it can be quite overwhelming to figure out the amount of money you should set aside without doing some research. Fortunately, researching the cost of the insurance you want is not as complicated as you can leverage the tools on each company’s website to compare the prices. To get an estimate of the cost of an insurance plan that suits your needs, you will need to enter basic information like your name, location, the age and breed of your pet. Once you submit these details, you will be able to view the available plans and costs. If there are no age restrictions, you will also be able to click on different reimbursement percentages and deductibles to see how the projections for the premiums. What does pet insurance cover? If you still have a hard time to decide if pet insurance is worth it, you can go for wellness plans which might make the difference. With wellness plans, you will get reimbursement for exams, routine blood tests, teeth cleaning, rabies shots, heartworm tests and many more. However, make sure you read through what is covered so you can see if it’s worth it for each pet you’re insuring. A wellness plan may be perfect for a puppy but not for an older pet that’s already micro-chipped and has recently had all their shots. Finally, the key benefit of insuring your pets is that in the event of a catastrophe, you will have peace of mind because Pet insurance can be your safety net to protect against spending thousands of dollars in a veterinary emergency.