Much like any other insurance policy, pet insurance is meant to provide you with financial assistance when you face unexpected expenses. Unless you have either insurance or thousands of dollars set aside in case your pet becomes ill or injured, you might find yourself unable to pay for medical treatment. If you are like many people who think of their dogs and cats as part of the family, you might benefit from pet insurance. After all, you probably have coverage for your own healthcare, as well as valuable possessions like your car and home so it makes sense to obtain insurance for the nonhuman members of your family, too.
Reasons to Get Pet Insurance
Many people are opting for insurance for their pets these days, mainly because of how far veterinary medicine has come in recent years. In the past, insurance was not really necessary since if your dog had cancer, there was not much you could do for him. But now you can frequently opt for chemotherapy and advanced surgery. Though medical advances are great when you want to keep your dogs or cats healthy, it can be difficult to afford the total, and this is where insurance comes in handy.
If a veterinary bill in the thousands would be too expensive for you to pay without much notice, insurance may be right for you. Insurance for dogs and cats is especially helpful when you have older animals that become sick or injured more often. However, some policies also cover routine visits and vaccinations, which can be useful when you have younger animals.
Types of Coverage
You will find that choosing pet insurance is similar to looking at any other type of policy. The coverage you get will depend on the plan you choose. Traditional coverage includes the expenses associated with injuries and illnesses, making it possible for you to get the treatment your furry friend needs right away. This type of plan usually has a limit on the amount it covers, which is why it is often the most affordable option.
On the other end of the spectrum is the lifelong plan, which pays for treatment of both long and short-term medical issues. Though you can expect to pay more for this type of insurance coverage, you can rest assured most or even all of the necessary medical expenses will be paid throughout your animal’s lifetime.
Many providers offer customizable plans too. This lets you choose specific options you would like covered. For example, you can get coverage for diagnostic exams, prescriptions, dental care, or physical therapy. Some plans even let you add coverage for the costs of boarding your pet when you are on vacation.
You should choose your policy you need based on your own specific circumstances. For example, if your dog or cat has always been healthy and is still young, you can stick with basic coverage. But if your pet has a congenital condition, or if the breed is susceptible to certain diseases, it often makes sense to choose comprehensive coverage.
Choosing the Right Provider
If you are not sure which provider is the right one, read reviews and ask for recommendations from friends and family. If you have a regular veterinarian, find out which insurance plans your veterinarian accepts so you can continue seeing that veterinarian. But most importantly, you should get quotes from a few different providers. Make sure the price quotes address the monthly payment, deductible, and exactly what is included in the coverage. You should also ask if you get a discount for buying insurance for two or more animals.
Once you have some price quotes, you should examine your budget before deciding on the right insurance provider. Find out how much your monthly payment would be with each plan so you can prepare for the expenses. If you are still not sure if obtaining insurance is the right move, ask your vet for a list of prices for illness and injury treatment. Then compare those expenses with the monthly costs of the insurance plans you are considering from each provider. You will likely find that at least one of policies is more affordable than paying for treatment out of pocket.
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