Your best friend with four legs is in need of some medical attention and you find out it’s going to cost more than you can afford. What would you do?
Many pet owners today are faced with this scenario every year. Whether a pet has a sudden injury, an accident, or an unexpected illness, the financial impact of care may be devastating to pet owners. One solution is pet insurance. Pet insurance can help pet owners cover the costs of pet care when pets are enrolled into an insurance plan. In this article, we’ll answer a few common questions we often hear about pet insurance. While we won’t offer recommendations on which plan you should consider for your pet, we hope to provide some basic information so you know a bit more about how pet insurance can fill the gap between routine veterinary care and emergencies.
What does pet insurance cover?
There are different pet insurance plans, so pet owners should shop around for the best fit for them. Different pet insurers cover different things. For example, some cover accidents – which can include injuries or illnesses – while others only cover certain medical treatments or visits. When looking into pet insurance options, ask about some of the most commonly treated illnesses or injuries:
- Catastrophic injury or illness
- Dental injury
- Orthopedic issues
- Hereditary issues
How much does pet insurance cost?
Pet insurance costs vary from pet insurer to pet insurer. Generally speaking, pet insurance can cost pet owners about $15-$30+ a month, depending on the coverage offered, age, and breed of pet.
Will I get to choose my vet?
That depends on the insurance. Some companies let you choose your veterinarian, while some will only offer full or partial coverage for veterinarians in their network.
Are prescriptions included, too?
Again, that depends. Some pet insurance provides full coverage or reimbursement for prescriptions medication, while others provide partial or no coverage for these expenses. Usually, preventive medication is not covered, but medications needed after incurring an injury may be. Some insurance companies do offer additional options for covering routine medication, however.
When is the right time to purchase pet insurance?
Since insurance premiums are typically more expensive for older pets, the time to enroll your pet is when they are young. This allows you to benefit from what your insurance offers over the lifetime of a pet. Much like people, getting older comes with additional risks and disease, so the premiums can be higher.
Additionally, there is a waiting period with most insurance plans. This means that you will not be able to utilize the benefits of the insurance plan until after the waiting period is over. So, the right time to get your insurance is before any catastrophic injury or illness occurs.
What are pre-existing conditions in regard to pet insurance?
If your pet has an illness or injury that was present before your waiting period ends, it will probably be considered a pre-existing condition and may not be covered. In most insurance plans, even if your pet has not been seen by a veterinarian and an illness or injury has been present, this exclusion may apply to being able to benefit from your policy. An example of this is if your dog has had a limp, and after obtaining pet insurance it is discovered that your pet has had an underlying orthopedic issue since birth, medical care and treatment may not be covered.
The nitty-gritty of pet health insurance
When it comes right down to it, each pet insurance company’s offerings are as unique as your own pet. We suggest you take your time, weigh your options, and decide on which plan may best fit your needs as you are providing a lifetime of care for your pet.
Should you ever have questions on which types of insurance we accept, please reach out to us at (651) 202-3388.
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