I started doing research on pet insurance for the blog topic this week and I had came across statistics saying 60% of dogs and cats in Sweden and about 28% of pets in the U.K. have medical insurance. Surprisingly, the United States and Canada only has 1% of pets in have pet insurance. Medical advances in the veterinary field has evolved and in doing so, it has also increased the price of products and care making it difficult for people to properly care for their pet. Just like insurance for yourself, family and car – why not have insurance for your beloved pet? One possible answer could be that people are unaware that there are insurance companies out there that cover dogs and cats. Another very valid answer is that insurance policies (regardless of what it is for) are really confusing. Hopefully this bog will help clear out some of the confusion and provide helpful information to make choosing the best policy for your family a little easier.
Just like insurance companies in human medicine, there are a lot of different policies – there are items that are covered and excluded. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Unlike human insurance, pet insurance companies do not pay the medical facility, the pet insurance company reimburses the policy holder. What this means is you must still pay for your vet visit the day of the appointment and then submit the receipt to the insurance company.
Of course, the younger the animal the cheaper the policy is. Puppies are always getting into trouble as they explore their new world. So having an insurance policy on your pup can make it worthwhile if there is a major accident (like a foreign body surgery) or illness. There are a few insurance companies that will not cover a pet after a certain age (senior pets).
Some companies will only reimburse for sick or injured vet visits but not for wellness visits. There are a few companies that offer a “routine wellness” plan for an additional cost. Embrace pet insurance offers a “wellness rewards” that works like a savings account for health care. From my research, I haven’t found any company that covers breeding/whelping/pregnancy cost. The high cost of that process is all the responsibility of the breeder.
One important item I want to bring to your attention right away is that there are certain pet insurance companies that exclude hereditary diseases and conditions that are genetically linked to certain pure bred animals. For example, a Boxer developing cancer or a German Shepherd with hip dysplasia would not be covered under some policies. Just make sure if you have a pure bred pet that you find an insurance company that does not exclude hereditary conditions – which the company will proudly announce.
Now let’s discuss deductibles. Make sure to pay attention to the deductibles. The higher the deductible, the lower the annual premium. There is something called a lifetime deductible – which means once you have reached it, you will never have to pay it again – no matter how many times your pet visits the vet! There are other decent deductibles, just make sure to avoid policies that have “per visit” deductibles. They are the least economic for your life and wallet.
For the pet owners out there with a pet that isn’t a dog or cat, don’t worry! There are a few insurance companies that cover birds and other exotics. Nationwide insurance not only cover dogs and cats but also birds and other exotics. Take a look at the all the other exotics they cover here: PET INSURANCE.
A very informative website has a great breakdown of insurance coverage: Just make sure to double check the facts and prices with the actual company. Insurance companies can change plans fairly regularly and the website might not have current information.
There are a few conditions (like skin allergies and gastrointestinal issues) that tend to be repeat vet visits that can quickly add up – by having pet insurance it can help lessen the financial burden of all those visits.
Several of the pet insurance companies offer a comparison guide as well. If you are interested in seeing what some of the companies like to compare check out: ASPCA pet insurance, Pet Plan, Trupanion.
Your pet may never need to have an expensive procedure done but there is a higher probability that it will and it might be in your, and your pet’s, best interest to have an insurance policy that can take out some of the stress of making a life or death decision based on financial concerns.