Find The Best Pet Health Insurance

If you're wondering if you need pet health insurance or not, read this article and then decide if it makes sense for you.

We all like to take care of what we have...our family, our homes and even our cars have insurance, so having pet insurance to care for your dog when she gets sick, seems pretty logical too.

Dog not feeling wellMax

What is pet health insurance?

Pet Health Insurance covers your veterinary expenses in case your pet becomes ill or is injured.

Pet care insurance works like human health insurance as it comes with its set of deductibles, co-pays, premiums and usually no coverage for pre-existing health conditions.

Your pet insurance premium can go up or down depending on how much of a deductible you opt for and how much you are willing to co-pay in case of an insurance claim.

In fact, like humans, pet health insurance can be more expensive for older animals that are more prone to getting sick.

Some of the better pet insurances may also cover wellness procedures including vaccinations, neutering, heartworm testing and the like.

And, with advancement in biotechnology, veterinary expenses have increased considerably due to costs associated with state of the art equipment being used to diagnose the illness.

Also, the demand for veterinarians has increased, and so has the cost of training and providing quality service.

All these factors increase the costs associated with taking proper care of your pet’s health.

Having pet insurance can save you from unexpected expenses which can go up to thousands of dollars depending on what illness or injury your pet has incurred. 

Why you may need pet health care insurance

Almost  all pets at some time during their life will get a disease, infection, or have some sort of accident and that means a trip to the vet.

Also, depending on your pets health, this can be even more expensive if they need specific specialist treatment or surgery.

Imagine for a moment you precious pup is severely injured in a dog attack.  This recently happened to a relative of mine.

She was outside throwing the ball to her dog as she does nearly every day.

She had heard, then seen two dogs who were aggressively barking from behind a fence and decided to bring her dog in, but before she could get inside the two dogs hopped the fence and ran into her yard severely attacking her dog.

It took only moments for this to happen.  

Thankfully a neighbor had heard her screams for help, and managed to get the attacking dogs away from them.  But unfortunately the damage had been done as there was a massive amount of injuries to her beloved dog.

She rushed her dog to an emergency Veterinarian where she would find the medical bills ran into the thousands of dollars.  

She hadn't planned for something like this, and although had some money put away, she didn't have the means to pay for the medical care her dog would need to be well again.

Although the medical staff was sympathetic to her, they told her that she would have to make a decision to either go ahead with the surgeries or put her down.

She was devastated by that thought of doing the later, but didn't know how she was going to pay for what was needed.

For many pet parents, this is simply out of their budget, and in those cases they often have to make the decision to proceed with the expensive medical treatments and pay out of pocket, or to let their beloved pet go.

My relative, not wanting to say goodbye to her furbaby, reached out to friends and family and with a small loan was able to cover the expenses for the medical treatment needed.  Her dog has recovered very well and has bounced back to her happy doggy self in spite of the severity of the attack.

She had drained her account and was broke for a couple months afterwards, but is so grateful that her beloved pooch is still here.

She had known about pet insurance prior to the attack, and has come to realize that had she purchased it before the attack the majority of those medical bills, if not all, would have been paid.

Many pet parents don't consider insurance until it is too late, and that can be a costly mistake.  Veterinarian bills can be extremely expensive, especially when it comes to things like surgery.

Putting aside money for an event like this is a great idea, however in many cases we don't save enough before something like this happens.  When you purchase a health insurance policy it is immediately available to you if you need it right away, whether from an attack, injury or a serious illness.

Curious dog looking through fence

Types of Pet Health Insurance

When opting for pet insurance, it is important that you consult with your veterinarians to understand what type of coverage would benefit your pet the most.

You should have a fair idea about the deductibles and co-pays that you need to pay on your insurance plan.   Some insurance companies may not cover pre-existing health conditions, or they might have specific veterinarians on their panels.

You should ensure that your veterinarian is on the approved list of doctors on the pet health insurance plans you are choosing.

Many insurance companies offer pet health insurance, however not all plans are the same.  Some of the widely used pet health insurance policies include:

Accident Only Plans

If you are concerned about your pet injuring itself due to an accident such as falling from a high place or being struck by a moving object, you can opt for Accident only insurance which covers injuries including broken bones or burns.  However, this type of insurance may not cover health issues due to an illness.

Pet Wellness Plans

These plans cover for routine checkups and prevention concerns including annual physical checkup, flea and tick preventatives, neutering and vaccinations.  Having such health plans allow you to minimize expenses while keeping an eye on your pet’s health with routine checkups.

Lifetime Insurance Plans

These types of plans provide your pet with most comprehensive coverage giving you relief in case of health, accidental, or any other preventive and regular health expense related to your pet.  Since they are quite comprehensive regarding coverage, they are usually the most expensive to maintain.

Lifetime insurance plans are ideal for pets that have a chronic illness and require complicated surgical procedures on a regular basis.

Apart from these primary types, there are times or amount capped insurances as well,  which cover your pet’s health till you reach a certain threshold such as 12 months or $1500. 

Best Pet Health Insurance

Boy hugging his dog

To find your perfect insurance plan, you need to ask yourself questions like:

  • how much you want to spend on your premium,
  • how much deductible you can afford on a claim and, 
  • what percentage of expense would you be willing to share with your insurance provider normally termed as co-pay.

Before choosing the perfect plan for your pet, you should also call your veterinarian to ask what type of insurance plan would best suit your pet’s health needs.

Once you have received the answers to all of your questions, you are ready to shop for the perfect plan that will take care of your pet's health expense.

While looking for the perfect health insurance plan for your pet, you should look for the following aspects:

Coverage Options

The best insurance package is one which provides multiple options for selecting your deductible amounts, your payout percentages and does not put a cap on your treatment plan.

Some of the best insurance plans in the market allow you to choose a deductible amount from as low as $100 to as high as $500.

They provide you multiple payout options as well on your final bill.  The best insurance plan will not limit your coverage to a period or a dollar amount.

Add-on Options

Add-on options are great features for your pet's health insurance. These include dental care, travel insurance and the like.  If your insurance policy includes these services, they will be a great benefit in maintaining your pet’s hygiene and make it easier for you to travel together with your pet.

Customer Service

Customer service is the key to selecting your perfect insurance plan. When selecting your pet’s health insurance, you should browse through online reviews to read about the customer service of your potential insurance provider. 

A company with great customer service will process your claims faster and help you in identifying quick solutions for your pet’s health problems.

Coverage for Hereditary and Pre-Existing Conditions

Depending on the stage of your pet’s life at the time of opting for health insurance, there might be pre-existing or hereditary health conditions that some insurance providers may not cover. 

Talk to your veterinarian to confirm any pre-existing health issues and make sure that they are getting coverage in your pet's health insurance policy.

Low Premium

It is all about how much premium you are paying every month.

The best insurance plan is one that gives you appropriate coverage with an economically viable premium plan.  The best pet health insurance plan would be competitive with the market and within your monthly budget.

As a devoted parent to your pet, you always want to see them healthy and active.

Unfortunately, illness is a part of life, and you cannot foresee what accident might occur resulting in an injury to your pet.  It is important to get the best pet health insurance for any unforeseen circumstances so that you do not have to spend beyond your means.

Getting insurance for your pet may just be as important as getting insurance for yourself, it simply gives you a peace of mind if an unexpected illness or accident strikes.

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