Healthcare is a necessity, as we’re all susceptible to illness eventually. However, as medical service prices are beyond what people can typically afford, most Americans opt for health insurance. Similarly, healthcare costs for our pets are also substantial. Insurance companies today claim that owners can only spend $1,500 for treatment at any given time. As surgery can often cost in the thousands, many pet owners struggle to pay for treatment. Fortunately, the burden of pet healthcare costs is somewhat alleviated through pet insurance.
What is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance helps owners cover their animal’s medical care costs, typically paying a set amount per month. A good insurance plan lightens the financial burden that random pet sickness can cause. Pet owners can rest easy, knowing their animals are eligible for good treatment without breaking the bank.
But how do insurance plans differ? Your pet’s characteristics determine payment plans, such as the animal’s age, breed, and existing health conditions. Pet insurance also requires a monthly premium, covering only the conditions stated on the plan. Because of this, price plans are set on a case-by-case basis, as every animal is unique. For pet parents, insurance provides an effective means to offset expensive costs.
What does pet insurance cover?
Aside from illness, owners can opt for other highly-specific insurances to help save costs. If your animal roams in potentially hazardous environments, an accident-only plan may be suitable. Accident-only plans cover burns, bite wounds, and cuts. Bite injuries are seen most commonly in dogs, so an accident-only insurance plan for your dog is a viable alternative. A more dynamic pet insurance plan will help pay for accidents and illnesses.
This model lets pet owners receive reimbursement for standard on-going vet services. Routine procedures include vaccines, deworming, and yearly exams. Coverage may also cover spaying and neutering.
This extensive plan protects your pet’s health for the long haul. You’ll pay monthly premiums throughout your pet’s life, covering accidents and illness. Regardless of age or existing health issues, your insurer will have to help pay for your pet’s medical care.
This option enables pet owners to only pay for a year’s cost worth of cover. After that period expires, you’ll be given a choice to switch to a less expensive policy. Although costs are less, annual plans typically don’t cover pre-existing conditions. Furthermore, as your pet gets older, you may find it increasingly difficult to find an insurer.
Regardless of insurance choice, it’s essential to address your pet’s health in the years to come. Hereditary complications are widely known with specific breeds; for example, Ragdoll cats are susceptible to Hyperthyroidism and segmental cortical lesions. Identifying animal breed predisposition early can help with choosing the right payment plan. When adopting a new animal, it’s advisable to research their parents and grandparents medical history. Doing so provides a good indicator of any health issues that your pet could inherit.
How Much Am I Expected to Pay For Pet Insurance?
Although pet insurance is a cost-effective way to ensure your animal remains healthy, several factors will determine your monthly paid premium. When selecting your plan, it’s helpful to know prior to what these variables are.
Factors That Will Influence Your Pet Insurance Quote
- Your Pet’s Size, height, and weight
- Pet Breed
- Age – Older animals tend to be prone to sickness
- Existing Health Conditions
- Your pet’s current living environment – A home located next to busy roads could increase chances of pet injury
- Your Insurance Company
- Your ZIP code – Veterinary services rates can vary depending on your area.
- Coverage Selected
Before applying to any payment plan, it’s advantageous to know about your pet’s pre-existing conditions. Remember, pet insurance companies only help to pay for specific conditions. If your animal has a health issue outside of your plan, you’ll be solely responsible for covering their treatment.
General Recommendations to Save Costs
Accident-only plans are more affordable than general pet insurance, proving useful if your animal inhabits a high-risk area. Cat and dog owners only spend an average of $190 and $141, respectively per year. An accident-only plan is an affordable alternative to an accident-illness plan costing over nearly three times as much.
The best course of action is to pay your monthly premium while your pets are young. Applying for insurance sooner than later is a sure-fire way to reduce costs long-term. Another way to lower your monthly payment costs is to decrease your yearly coverage. Just expect to pay a higher amount if your pet requires veterinary care.
When Does My Coverage Begin?
Before coverage occurs, you’ll need to wait a certain amount of time.
For accidents and illnesses, the waiting period is generally 14 days. However, as insurance company waiting periods vary, check beforehand before choosing one. For coverage to begin, you must have taken your insured pet to the veterinary within the past 12 months.