Finding the appropriate pet insurance policy can be a stressful task. With so many options on the market and so many coverage and pricing aspects, how can you sift through the clutter?
There should be a better way to compare pet insurance options than reading each provider’s marketing brochure or completing a form on each website.
There is currently a free tool that can remedy this issue.
No matter which company you choose, you should know the pros and cons of pet insurance, what to avoid when comparing policies, and what to look for to find the best policy for your budget and your pet’s needs.
The Pros and Cons of Pet Insurance
Insurance is a unique type of asset. Instead of purchasing a service, you are hedging your risk.
As with vehicle insurance or renter’s insurance, you only utilize it if your life takes an unfavorable turn. It safeguards you against unanticipated conditions… and pets are typically more prone to difficulties.
Therefore, when weighing the benefits and drawbacks of getting pet insurance coverage, you must recognize that not having to use your insurance is preferable to using it.
To decide if pet insurance is worth it, you will eventually have to think about breed-specific risks, your pet’s age, and how much peace of mind you value.
Pet Insurance Shopping 101
Your “monthly premium” is the monthly cost of maintaining your pet insurance policy.
Your “annual deductible” is the amount you must pay annually out of pocket before your insurance begins to cover charges.
Your “benefits” refer to the amount of coverage your pet receives from your plan and the amount you will be reimbursed for veterinary expenses.
While most conventional pet insurance policies provide extensive coverage, you can tailor the expenses of your policy by modifying the deductible, reimbursement rate, and coverage. For instance, if your plan has a “wellness” component and you eliminate it, you may save money on your monthly premiums, but you will be responsible for specific basic care for your pet.
The advantages and disadvantages of various insurance policy arrangements will vary per pet. Let’s get into it.
The Pros of Pet Insurance
There is a reason why many veterinarians offer pet insurance to their patients. Not only will it help cover the costs of treatment (and prevent unnecessary euthanasia or abandonment due to economic concerns), but it will also encourage pet owners to be more proactive in maintaining the health of their animals.
If your personal health insurance plan causes you headaches, you may be hesitant to enroll in a pet health insurance plan, but don’t worry!
Billing for pet insurance is significantly more efficient than billing for human health insurance.
For background, human health insurance firms negotiate and pay directly with healthcare providers. Until you receive your healthcare bill, you will not know how much you owe out-of-pocket for medical services.
Typically, your pet insurance provider will not pay your veterinarian directly. They compensate you. You pay your vet at the time of service, and then your plan reimburses you for the cost of veterinary care as soon as possible (many do it in less than two weeks).
In addition, it is simpler to determine how much of your vet bill will be covered. After your deductible, you will always know what percentage of your spending will be repaid. Many charge their veterinarian fees to a credit card and pay off the balance after the insurance company reimburses them (see How to Use Pet Insurance).
You May Choose Any Veterinarian.
Since most pet insurance companies compensate you for veterinary expenses rather than paying the veterinarian directly, there are no networks to worry about when you have coverage.
Even if you are switching plans or signing up for pet insurance for the first time, you can visit any veterinarian you choose.
Safeguard Your Finances from Unexpected Expenses
Occasionally, a simple veterinary examination results in a significantly larger expense than planned.
Perhaps your veterinarian suspects your dog has hip dysplasia and desires an X-ray, or he or she suspects your cat has an illness and desires a blood test. Even dental care can be costly, especially if your pet has to be sedated for the veterinarian to do the procedure.
The majority of the fees you incur at the veterinarian will not be as large as those at a human hospital, but they can mount up.
With pet insurance coverage, you know you’ll be reimbursed for these unexpected costs.
Get Your Pet Urgent Care When It Is Most Necessary
Pet insurance might be a lifesaver if your pet needs emergency care that could save its life. Each year, one in three pets will require emergency veterinarian care. An unplanned trip to the veterinarian can easily cost $1,500, an amount that the majority of Americans cannot afford out of pocket, and emergency care can be even more expensive.
In extreme cases, many tests may be required to discover exactly what is wrong with a pet, and multiple visits to the animal hospital may be necessary for treatment. The animal may need to be kept comfortable throughout the procedure and may require long-term care to manage their condition. This can cost many thousands of dollars.
As a result, pet owners without pet insurance who bring their pets to the emergency room may be forced to make a difficult decision with little notice: provide the necessary care for their cat or avoid going into debt.
In the most extreme circumstances, the pet must be euthanized if the owner cannot afford the cost of treatment. The term for this is “economic euthanasia.” It is a scenario no one wants to consider, but it occurs all too frequently.
With the proper pet insurance policy, you can be assured that you’ll never have to make that difficult decision. Instead, you can let your veterinarian come up with the best medical treatment plan for your pet and give the best care.
Peace of Mind
Without a doubt, the greatest benefit of any sort of insurance is the peace of mind it may provide.
If your pet becomes ill or injured and you have insurance, you will not suffer a significant financial setback. If your puppy is diagnosed with an illness that runs in the family and needs expensive medicine to get better, it will be a relief if your insurance pays for the monthly prescription costs.
According to Dr. William Hodges, DVM, pet insurance provides financial peace of mind so that treatment decisions can be made based on what is right rather than the expense.
Your only concern will be getting your pet to the veterinarian, not the bill you’ll receive from the facility.
If you’re preparing to introduce a new dog or cat into your home, you likely have a shopping list that includes a bed, treats, and toys. Read More >>
The Cons Of Pet Insurance
Again, pet insurance is a distinct type of paid-for asset. It’s a technique to mitigate risk and protect yourself from the often-extensive costs associated with veterinary care. So, when you think about the “cons,” remember that the “cons” of not having protection could be much worse.
It Does Have Expenses (Like Most Things)
There are already numerous costs associated with having a pet. You must pay for the adoption, their food, their toys, and possibly even their municipal license. Adding pet health insurance to your monthly costs may appear unnecessary.
However, remember that your insurance plan is an investment against the possibility that your pet will become ill or injured. It exists to assist you in reducing the cost of their lifetime care. If your next veterinary expense is hundreds or thousands of dollars, it will be worthwhile to pay the plan’s monthly premiums in order to get reimbursed.
In addition, pet insurance is significantly less costly than other coverage plans you may currently have, such as human health insurance or auto insurance. Pet insurance costs approximately $47/mo for dogs and $29/mo for cats on average. The more youthful and healthy your pet is at the time of enrollment, the lower your monthly rates will be.
It Can Be Difficult To Ensure You’re Covered For Everything
There are no policies that cover pre-existing conditions for pets. If your pet becomes ill or injured before you enroll in pet insurance, you will not be compensated for the treatment of that illness or injury. However, there are plans that cover pre-existing diseases if they are treatable and a specific waiting period has elapsed without a recurrence of symptoms.
If you enroll in an “accident-only” plan, your pet’s care for an illness will not be covered. Your insurance company won’t pay for regular care either unless you sign up for a “wellness plan” add-on.
Nonetheless, the majority of pet insurance policies include a broad scope of coverage. Before enrolling, you should be aware of the type of plan you’re purchasing and the conditions it covers.
Remember the free program I mentioned that addresses the problem of locating the best pet insurance for your specific pet, regardless of the provider? Well, it’s a tremendous help in finding a plan that also covers breed-specific risks and problems. It’s called Pawlicy Advisor, but if you’d rather not wait, I’ll elaborate below. It is the most effective tool for comparing and purchasing pet insurance.
Avoid These Mistakes When Comparing Pet Insurance Companies
You should only acquire plans from trustworthy organizations, and you must study the tiny print to ensure that you are receiving the plan you anticipate. You’ll need to complete your due diligence.
Here are some things to watch for.
Small pet insurance companies should be avoided.
There are 14 or more pet insurance providers, and the number is expanding annually. In general, it is safer to choose a company that has been in existence for a few years. As they figure out their own business metrics, newer providers may make bigger (and more frequent) changes to their premiums.
Businesses that have been around for a long time are reliable and trustworthy, and they are much less likely to shut down suddenly.
Here are some trustworthy, established pet insurance companies:
Avoiding Slow Reimbursement Speeds.
Most individuals adhere to a monthly budget. If you have a costly vet bill, you will want to be reimbursed as soon as possible so that you can pay other bills that month.
Your pet insurance company should reimburse you within a reasonable amount of time after you submit a claim. Many insurance plans reimburse claims in less than 14 days.
If you discover during your investigation that a pet insurance provider has a lengthy reimbursement waiting period, you may want to examine alternative options. You can also check customer reviews to determine whether a company’s claims about its reimbursement rates on its website and other marketing materials are accurate.
Whenever possible, avoid higher lifetime expenditures.
It may be hard to compare the different pet insurance plans on the market and get a clear picture of your best options, especially when it comes to figuring out how much the plan will cost over its lifetime.
To make sure you don’t pay too much for coverage in the future, it’s best to get quotes from a few reputable pet insurance companies and read the fine print of each policy to get an idea of how much each policy may increase as the pet ages.
The plan with the lowest price today may cost more in the long run if the premium increases by 30 percent, compared to a plan with a higher premium today but a 10 percent premium increase
Again, there is a situation in which the free tool I suggested, Pawlicy Advisor, is really useful. There is no comparable tool. The Policy Advisor will really analyze hundreds of policy variations from leading providers to assist you in identifying the policies with the highest lifetime value.
How to Locate the Ideal Pet Insurance Company
Before comparing policies, it is necessary to gather essential information.
Collecting Information Prior to Shopping for Pet Insurance
Before shopping for pet insurance, you’ll need the following information about your pet(s) and their medical history:
- What kind of pet do you want to insure? (dog or cat)
- What is the total number of pets you have?
- Gender of your pet
- The age of your pet
- The weight of your pet
- What breeds are appropriate for your pet?
- Regardless of whether your pet is a purebred or a mixed breed,
- Whether or whether your pet has a pre-existing illness
Obtain Multiple Quotes From Numerous Leading Providers, Simultaneously
You have two possibilities in this situation.
You may either fill out forms on every provider’s website and flood your inbox, or you can use a third-party service (and your sanity).
Or you may utilize Pawlicy Advisor, fill out a single form, and immediately receive real-time prices from leading providers.
Bottom Line :
The Pros and Cons of Pet Insurance How to Use Pet Insurance Pet insurance might be a lifesaver if your pet needs emergency care that could save its life. William Hodges: “Without a doubt, the greatest benefit of any sort of insurance is the peace of mind it may provide”. The Cons Of Pet Insurance Pet insurance is an investment against the possibility that your pet will become ill or injured. The more youthful and healthy your pet is at the time of enrollment, the lower your monthly rates will be. There are no policies that cover pre-existing conditions for pets; you will not be compensated for the treatment of that illness or injury.