Insuring Your Pet’s Health
Our pets are often very important family members. Having said this, we recognize that planning for their health care is even more important given the current financial climate. There are multiple approaches to this issue. One approach that we at Harmony Veterinary Center are seeing more and more frequently is pet health insurance.
What is Pet Health Insurance
This is an insurance policy that helps to pay the costs of health care for your pet. Depending on the policy, there may be other things covered as well. Usually, the policies are reimbursement-based. This means that payment is made to the veterinary hospital at the time of service. The owner then submits a claim to the company to be reimbursed. Most policies will have a deductible. Once the deductible is met, the policy will then pay a specific percentage of the costs for a given health issue.
What Does Pet Health Insurance Cover
Issues covered will depend on the specific policy. Generally, there are 3 types of insurance available. These include accident and illness, accident only and plans for routine care such as vaccines (these are usually add ons). Accident and illness plans will usually cover treatment for injuries due to accidents and illnesses such as hereditary conditions, cancer, etc. Accident only plans will only cover accident related injuries. It is important when shopping for an insurance plan to be clear about what is covered by the policy and what is not. Another important issue is preexisting conditions. Most policies do not cover them but it is best to know precisely how they are addressed.
Things to keep in mind when shopping for insurance
What is the monthly premium – this may seem obvious but it may help to give perspective to learn about the costs to treat some conditions common to the breed of your cat or dog. This way you can get an idea of the cost effectiveness of the policy.
Is there an upper age limit for coverage – be sure to know if the policy will cover your pet for its whole life or only to a certain age.
Get a clear understanding of what the policy will cover and if there is an upper limit to how much it will pay for a given condition. Is this an annual limit or a lifetime limit?
If your pet gets alternative treatments such as acupuncture, determine if the policy will cover those kinds of treatments. Another question to ask is how such coverage will affect the premium. This will allow you to determine for yourself if an increase in premium is worth it.
These are only a few of the many questions to ask. It is recommended to think through the insurance that will work best for you, your family and your pet.
Here are some websites that work as Pet Insurance Marketplaces. They allow you to compare multiple plans in one place.
All of the above sites offer information about multiple companies that offer pet health insurance. They also offer general information on pet related topics.
To sum up, pet health insurance offers a way for pet parents to keep their beloved pets health care costs in hand while staying on top of exams and vet visits. There are considerations that are unique to individuals and families when it comes to things such as budget parameters and preferred care. As with all things with many factors to take into account, it is best to find reliable information sources to help you find the information necessary to make a comfortable decision.
Resources: J. Brown and J. Lobb (2023, April 1). Best Pet Insurance Companies of April 2023. USnews.com. https://www.usnews.com/insurance/pet-insurance.
J. Metz (2023, April 4). Best Pet Insurance of April 2023. Forbes.com. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/pet-insurance/best-pet-insurance/.