Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
Why you should consider protecting your pet with a pet health care plan.
Pet insurance is a plan to ensure the best pet care throughout your pet’s life. Having pet insurance is a smart idea to protect yourself from financial despair if your pet becomes sick or injured.
But is having pet insurance truly worth it? How much does pet insurance cost?
This article explains the process and details to give pet owners the best information and things to consider before purchasing pet insurance.
Pet owners need to ask themselves, ‘how much they can I afford in veterinary bills if my pet were to get sick today?’
Planning for unforeseen costs can be challenging to anyone’s budget. Protecting yourself with insurance is always a wise financial decision, like homeowner insurance, auto insurance, and individual health insurance.
When you adopt a pet, you take on the responsibility to care for that animal for life. Adopting a pet is a big commitment that goes beyond companionship and training. By adopting a pet, you are taking on the financial responsibility that goes into pet care too.
By purchasing a pet insurance plan, you ensure the best care for your furry friend, regardless of your financial situation.
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance is an insurance policy that helps with the cost of veterinary bills if your pet becomes sick or gets injured. There are varying types of coverage:
- Emergency illness or accident coverage
- Comprehensive plans that include routine care
- Coverage of alternative medicine options
The cost of pet insurance can start at $10 and up, depending on what’s covered, what’s required for a claim, and the amount of the deductible. The more you pay, the better the coverage you get.
What does pet insurance cover?
Healthcare coverage varies based on your pet insurance provider. Generally, common injuries and illnesses covered in the US include:
- Diagnostic testing related to your pet’s injury or illness
- Alternative medicines, such as acupuncture
- In-hospital care; with a 24-hour nurse if your pet is sick or injured while boarding at a veterinary hospital
- Transporting your pet to an approved clinic in case of a major injury or emergency. For example, if you have an 8-year-old dog who suddenly goes blind after he got hit by a car, then you can bring him to the closest specialized veterinarian clinic instead of the one that’s 10 miles from home.
If your dog or cat is diagnosed with a chronic illness, pet insurance companies will cover the treatment as long as you continue to pay the monthly premium.
Some plans allow you to purchase coverage from different providers and get reimbursed if there’s any overlap in coverage. Some pet insurance companies will limit how much is spent per year, while others will not.
It is essential to compare plans and make sure you understand the coverage details for the plan you choose.
What does pet insurance not cover?
While pet insurance is considered a great way to save money for pet healthcare like any insurance, pet insurance has limitations and may not cover all costs.
Pet insurance does not cover the entire vet bill. For example, some treatments (such as homeopathy or chiropractic) may not be covered by your pet’s wellness plan.
It is also important to check to see if there is a waiting period before your pet is eligible for any treatment.
Example: Let’s say you have a $700 annual premium plan, and it is effective 6-months from now. If you have emergency surgery to remove your dog’s front paw due to cancer, the surgeon may ask for payment in advance. Since your coverage is not yet effective at this point, you may have to pay the full $700 for your dog’s surgery.
Pet insurance companies usually look for pre-existing conditions before approving plans and treatment. It is essential to get it before your furry family member becomes sick or injured to protect your finances and furry friend.
Insurance companies have lists of pre-existing conditions or chronic conditions. For example, if your dog is being treated for an immune disease, it may be deemed an issue related to its breed and thus excluded from coverage.
How Does Pet Insurance Differ From Human Health Insurance?
Human health insurance is provided to people to access medical services. It is regulated by the government and is usually (at least partially) covered by your employer, although it is possible to buy private health insurance if you’re self-employed.
Health insurance covers most drugs that are prescribed for common illnesses such as the flu or diabetes. It’s meant to cover most healthcare bills, although it is possible that you’ll have to pay for some services upfront and then wait for reimbursement later.
Human health insurance is meant to cover expenses related to everyday illnesses and injuries or major illnesses that require surgical procedures and hospital stays.
Pet insurance is almost always meant to be for accident and illness coverage that require emergency medical treatments. There are more comprehensive plans that cover wellness and routine care, but generally, the basic plans do not include that.
Why Do You Need to Have Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is a great way to save money and provide peace of mind for those who already have or are planning to adopt a dog or a cat.
The cost of owning a dog can be as much as $7,000 per year, just for medical expenses and medications. This is a huge amount of money for a family looking for a cat or dog.
Pet insurance is designed to be a monthly premium to allow pet owners to pay as they go instead of spending a large chunk at once on medical bills. In exchange, your dog will be covered for most illnesses and accidents that may occur.
As mentioned above, different providers have different plans. If you do the math, most low-end plans pay around 80% of the bill after the deductible is taken into account, while high-end ones pay anywhere from 95% to 100%.
Aside from saving you money on vet bills if something happens, there are other benefits. You will feel confident that your pet is adequately covered regardless of where they go or what they do.
In the case of pre-existing conditions, your pet is covered in case symptoms reoccur even when they’re not connected to the pre-existing conditions.
The amount of money that will be spent on your beloved furry friend may surprise you. Pets aren’t cheap, but they are most definitely worth it!
What is the Cost of Pet Insurance?
“How much does pet insurance cost?” is a common question that is difficult to answer because everyone’s needs are different.
If you want to know how much it will cost for your pets, get a personalized quote here.
Pet insurance cost is based on your:
- Pet’s age (older pets are more expensive)
- Pet’s breed (some breeds are prone to hereditary diseases)
- Location (if you live in a city where there is a high crime rate, you will likely pay more than low-crime areas)
- Pre-existing conditions
Pet insurance plans range from as little as $15 a month to as much as $200 a month. The more expensive plans have lower deductibles and will pay for more services without you having to pay upfront.
There can also be discounts for having more than one pet. Some insurance providers offer cashback if you buy your first policy within a certain period after the date your pet turns six months old.
The cheaper pet insurance plans are not as comprehensive and are only meant for accident and illness coverage. The higher-end plans are more expensive because they pay for preventive care and cover long-term illnesses. In general, most pet insurance policies cover vet visits.
How often do I pay for pet insurance?
Pet insurance is generally paid for in monthly premiums, although there are many options on how often you pay for your pet insurance plan.
You can choose to pay every two weeks, every month, or at any other interval that your pet insurance provider offers. You have the flexibility to choose the payment plan that is most convenient for you.
Do your research and pick a pet insurance coverage that works best for you and your pet.
When is the best time to enroll in pet insurance?
Now is the time to invest in pet insurance! If you are looking for years of worry-free care for your pet, be able to save time and money, which is why insuring your cat or dog is one of the best investments to make.
It is best to enroll in pet insurance when you adopt your pet so you have the best coverage and health plan for their lifetime. Taking excellent care of your furry friend is definitely worth the cost of pet insurance.
Can I apply for pet insurance if my pet is already sick?
Yes, but there is usually a waiting period before making your first claim. You can ask the insurance company to waive this waiting period if you want to pay higher premiums.
It’s best to pick a plan that covers the things you need and is within your price range. It is worth it to invest in an annual physical and dental checkup so any pre-existing conditions can be found early on.
It is always best to find health issues before they progress and cost much more. Pet health insurance is there to pick up the tab if your pet is sick or injured.
How do I know if my pet needs to be insured or not?
These are immediate benefits of being a pet owner: You get to feed your pet, take care of it, and love it every day. As you come through the door, your heart is filled with joy when you see your dog’s tail wagging or hear your cat’s purring.
Unfortunately, some breeds have specific genetic health issues, so it is best to research your breed before deciding against it.
Larger dogs are also more prone to suffer from health problems that don’t affect smaller dogs. Larger dogs are more likely to get arthritis and various heart conditions, which might lead to ongoing treatment and cost hundreds or thousands of dollars each year.
Hip dysplasia is a disease that affects many kinds of dogs and is very commonly seen in Corgi. Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition with a fault in one or both sides of the dog’s hip joints. A dog with hip dysplasia has an ill-fitting thigh bone into the hip joint.
If you want to know more about your particular breed, here are some breed guides to get you started.
Here are things to keep in mind when considering pet insurance
When applying for a pet insurance plan, check to see if there is a limit as to how much is paid out per year or per condition. It is important to take this into consideration when choosing a plan because it is easy to spend over the limit if you are not careful.
There is also a chance that your pet insurance provider will refuse to cover the cost of treatment if it is over the limit, regardless of whether there is still money left in the year, so it is best to be informed and aware.
Unforeseen (and costly) emergency veterinary costs are too common, and it’s very difficult to predict if and when injuries and accidents will occur. 1 in 3 pets will require urgent treatment at some point in their lives.
A pet is a member of your family and will be with you for a very long time, hopefully a lifetime. Investing in pet insurance is one of the best things that you can do for your furry friend. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that they are protected from injury or illness.
The average cost of a single trip to the vet is $508 (not including medication and follow-up visits), so it is important to consider this when budgeting for your pet’s healthcare.
If you have insurance, your insurer is covering the cost of treatment. If not, then you are responsible for the entire bill. This undue stress is entirely avoidable by investing in pet insurance.
Below is a chart of the average costs of some accidents and illnesses your pet can have.
In the event of an emergency that is not totally addressed (often due to a lack of pet owner funds), something may be overlooked or neglected, resulting in future medical costs.
This extra cost only adds to your debt and the stress of dealing with a sick pet. This is avoidable, which is why having pet insurance is an essential expense.
Sadly, pet owners are often faced with choosing between paying a lot of money out-of-pocket or saving their beloved furry friend.
Thousands of pets are euthanized each year because their owners cannot afford to pay for expensive treatments. Many pet lives could have been saved if they’d had pet insurance coverage.
Having your pet covered by a pet insurance policy is worth the cost.
Tips for finding the best pet insurance
If you own a dog, then the best time is when they are still a puppy. Most pet insurance providers offer better rates for puppies because they have good odds of growing up to be healthy pets.
The same goes for cats – just make sure you have the papers to prove it if your plan covers hereditary conditions.
Another way is to shop around for pet health insurance providers every year or two. As more pet owners insure their cats and dogs, new pet insurance providers pop up all the time.
Some companies even give away free quotes online, so you can just browse through their sites without any cost or go to our free personalized quote tool and get started there.
Here is a list of the best pet insurance companies in 2020 based on pet-owner reviews
When is pet insurance a waste of money?
If you are currently unemployed or looking for a new job, the price is also subjective. You have to consider what fits your budget.
If you don’t have enough money to pay for the bills, it is best not to get any pets at all right now. If anything happens to them, you will be more heartbroken than you can imagine.
Just like human beings, pets need their exercise and playtime – they also require proper grooming and all the amenities we take for granted.
When you adopt a pet, you promise to take care of that pet for its life. Pet insurance review is here to make the application process is straightforward, and there are no hidden fees. Here is a link to our free personalized quote tool.
Are there any pet insurance scams out there?
While the pet insurance industry is growing, pet health insurance is not that widespread. Unfortunately, scams may try to take advantage of people by offering low-quality plans or giving false information about their services.
Make sure you stay away from copycat sites and research the companies and providers.
Be careful during the application process as well. If you notice any unusual requests or sudden changes in statements, practice caution.
Pet Insurance Review promises to be a resource for pet insurance information. Check out our reviews section. It is full of honest reviews about pet insurance experiences from real pet owners.
Always look to buy directly from the insurance company. Here are some of them:
So, Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
The decision to get pet health insurance is personal, and there are no right or wrong answers here.
Some people choose not to insure their pets because they believe that they will never need treatment for anything severe and consider pet insurance as something only worthwhile for emergencies.
Others find pet insurance vital because it gives them peace of mind about what can happen to their beloved furry friend.
Each pet is an individual, so you will have to decide if you’d prefer to pay upfront or save money if something happens.
Before you purchase any of the pet health insurance plans, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have enough savings to pay upfront if my pet needs emergency treatment?
- Does my state allow me to get reimbursed if something happens to my pet when he’s away from home?
- What is the coverage level of this provider?
- Is it a good deal compared to other providers?
- Does my pet have ongoing health issues that will require treatment in the future?
- Am I willing to compromise in getting cheaper plans in exchange for lower coverage levels, which means no reimbursement if my pet is sick?
Ask yourself these questions to see if pet insurance is worth it. You can also explore the point of view of veterinarians.
Talk to your vet and ask them about it, and if you need more information, there are many additional resources you can find on our site.
The cost of not having pet insurance
At Pet Insurance Review, we always recommend protecting your furry friend with pet insurance. From our point of view, and many other pet parents agree, there is no question: pet insurance is worth it for most people.
If you’re ready to get started, use our free personalized quote tool and dog insurance and cat insurance providers!
- Brooks, L. (2020). Average Cost of Emergency Vet Visits. Retrieved from https://emergencyvetsusa.com/average-cost-of-emergency-vet-visits/
- VetTech. (2020). 25 Amazing Veterinarian Breakthroughs in the Last 10 Years. Retrieved from https://www.vettech.org/25-amazing-veterinarian-breakthroughs-in-the-last-10-years
- PetCure Oncology. (2020). Can Pet Insurance Help Fight Pet Cancer? Retrieved from https://petcureoncology.com/can-pet-insurance-help-fight-pet-cancer/
- Probasco, J. (2020). Insuring Your Parrot, Ferret, Potbellied Pig, or Horse. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/insuring-your-parrot-ferret-pig-or-horse-5082585