Is pet insurance right for you? Is it right for your pet? How much will it cost and what does it cover? If you are thinking about purchasing a pet insurance policy but are not sure what you should buy or what type of coverage your pet should have – read the below to find out. Everyone’s situation is unique and there are many options available for you to choose from.

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Three Types of Pet Insurance

In general, there are three types of pet insurance; accident, wellness and comprehensive. Many factors will determine what type of coverage you choose such as breed (some are more prone to certain types of illness), age (older dogs have more health problems and are more susceptible to accidents) and cost (what you can afford). Learn what is available then decide what would be best for you and your pet.

1. Accident Coverage – What if your pet was hit by a car and had to be rushed to the nearest veterinary hospital? Could you afford a potential $15,000 bill for care? Accidents covered in this type of policy also include: broken bones, toxic exposures, swallowed objects and burns

2.Wellness Coverage – Routine care such as vaccinations, worming, dental cleanings and checkups. According to ConsumerAdvocate.org 82% of companies do not include this coverage. It increases the overall policy rate when it is more cost-effective to pay these expenses yourself.

3.Comprehensive Coverage – Pays for accidents and illnesses plus routine care. There may be a cap on the total amount you can claim in a year. You may have to pay the vet or hospital bill yourself, then get reimbursed by the carrier.

It is important to point out that each policy will be different – you need to know what the carrier will cover and what it will not. As the saying goes, ‘read the fine print’.

Some things to think about are: Is an exam by a veterinarian needed? What is the co-pay? How much of the bill will the carrier pay after the deductible? Are pre-existing conditions covered? What about a chronic illness? Is your pet covered while traveling? Does your veterinarian or vet hospital need to be pre-approved by the company?  Are medications covered in the policy?

Some companies will not cover congenital (present at birth) or hereditary (genetic, passed to offspring from parents) conditions. If you are curious what these may entail, read this article to learn about genetic disorders in dogs: The 6 Most Common Genetic Disorders in Dogs. Examples are: hip dysplasia, bladder stones, epilepsy, heart disease and degenerative myelopathy.

Does your short-snouted dog snore or have trouble breathing? He or she may have Brachycephalic Syndrome. This refers to problems with the upper airways and can require extensive care during their lifespan.

This article describes common genetic disorders in cats and the cat breeds (or mixed breeds) that may have them: 7 Common Genetic Disorders in Cats. Examples are: urinary tract disease, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and blindness.

What Does a Pet Insurance Policy Cost?

If the thought of purchasing yet more insurance and having a monthly premium to pay makes your skin crawl or break out in hives… you are not alone. Many Americans feel nickeled and dimed to death and lowering their living expenses is a main priority. Can I afford it, may be the primary concern when considering pet insurance.

For those who are not independently wealthy and would not be able to afford a $5000-$10,000 vet hospital bill out-of-pocket, having an insurance policy at an approximate cost of $30-$70 per month may be worth the cost. Others may want to roll the dice and bet on the possibility their dog or cat will never be seriously ill or injured during their lifetime. The choice is yours.

To get an idea of how much it would cost to insure your pet for the type of coverage you want use this online tool: PetInsurer.com – America’s Pet Insurance Comparison Site. Quoted from the Pet Insurer website: “Every six minutes a pet parent pays over $4,200 on vet bills.” Something to think about when deciding whether to buy a policy or not.

Pet Insurance Companies in the U.S.

According to ConsumerAdvocate.org the top three U.S. insurance companies in 2017 that provide coverage for pets are: HealthyPaws, PetPlan and Embrace. Trupanion is another pet insurance company and they do provide some coverage for genetic and hereditary conditions. Each company is different as to what they offer and what they will and will not cover.

You Want the Best For Your Pet

Most pet owners are as devoted to their four-legged family member as parents are to a beloved child. “He or she is part of the family” is how these owners think and feel. Their pet isn’t just an animal, it is a cherished member of the family.

These owners choose to invest in an insurance policy for their dog or cat as they don’t want to ever have to face the heart-wrenching decision of whether to pay for quality medical care or have to euthanize the animal because they can’t afford the treatment. Purchasing a policy is not only responsibly preparing for any situation that may occur during the animal’s lifetime  – it gives peace of mind.

If that sounds like you, research your options, find a policy for your pet that you can afford and then leave your worries behind. Enjoy your time with Fido or Garfield as long as he or she is a part of your life.

Jayson is a writer from Phoenix, Arizona who loves pets!  He is a proud owner of a beautiful puppy and wants to share the joy of pet ownership with others.  He hopes to encourage people to keep their pets happy and healthy year-round.

 

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