In the event of an emergency, money is usually the last thing on your mind. However, every event will pass, but the financial dues will remain and need settling.
We often seek to secure ourselves and everything we value with insurance. And most people greatly cherish their pets and only want what’s best for them.
So, it’s not usual to wonder, “do I need pet insurance?” – and the answer will always be yes.
“Do dogs need insurance?” is a valid question to pose nowadays. The cost of pet care can be steep, and dogs, cats, and exotic companions alike can benefit from having an insurance policy in place.
Let’s talk about benefits, coverage, price, and whether it’s worth what you’d need to pay.
Why Purchase Pet Insurance?
First things first – do pets need insurance? If you’re being technical, no. However, pets do need veterinary care, and you might need help footing all the bills that rack up.
A pet insurance plan can help put you at ease, knowing that if your pet suffers an unexpected accident or falls ill, you’ll be able to afford them the best care without going into debt.
Pet insurance providers can operate their business in different ways. Yet, most aspects are similar across companies. Typically, you will need to pay for the veterinary care up-front, then file a claim with your provider in order to be reimbursed.
To be insured in the first place, you pay a premium each month. The cost will depend on:
- The provider;
- Your pet’s age and breed;
- The plan you’ve selected;
- The state of residency.
While some companies offer fixed plans, others can be flexible and allow you to choose your deductible, limits, and reimbursement rate. The maximum you’ll be able to be reimbursed will be 90% of the expenses.
For healthy animals in their prime, the cost of premiums tends to be lower since they’re expected to have fewer serious injuries that would require a lot of monetary coverage. Still, you never know what’s coming, and all pets may benefit from insurance.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
How much an insurance policy covers will depend on the company providing the coverage and the plan you’ve selected. A few pets insurance providers will only offer one only one plan, but many will present varying degrees of flexibility when selecting your policy; this can mean adjusting deductibles and, therefore, the price or the amount of coverage for your pet.
Procedures that are almost always covered include:
- Diagnostic tests;
- Prescribed medication.
Specific plans can take it a few steps further and offer coverage for alternative treatments, dental, preventative care, missing pets, and farewell expenses (euthanasia, burials, and cremation). These are often provided as an add-on that you can purchase rather than part of the base plan.
Are There Any Exclusions in Pet Insurance?
Pre-existing conditions are seldomly covered, but there are exceptions with specific stipulations; some insurance plans might include hereditary conditions. Although, if your dog is of a breed with a predisposition towards a hereditary condition, coverage may cost you more.
Do you need dog insurance? Some providers can offer third-party liability charges. If you hate leaving your dog at home, but your little buddy tends to act up, this can cover the damages a pet may do to someone else’s property.
Policies can cover a wide range of conditions depending on which provider you consider. Thus, it’s best not to be too concerned with what can pet insurance cover; rather you should ask yourself: How much pet insurance do I need?
Types of Pet Insurance
All policies can be tweaked by providers and become unique in their own way. However, there are four main types of pet insurance:
- Lifetime: This is the most extensive coverage. Lifetime policies differ, but they insure your pet from new illnesses and injuries. The medical cost is covered up to a certain amount each policy year, so long as the plan remains in force;
- Maximum benefit: It’s a pet insurance type that provides a fixed amount of coverage for each illness or injury. Once the maximum is reached for a certain condition, it will no longer be covered;
- Time-limited: This particular policy covers conditions up to a fixed amount and for a limited time. After the sum of money or time period runs out, coverage ends;
- Accident-only: This type of pet insurance covers pets in the event of an injury caused due to an accident;
Although a lifetime policy offers the most coverage, it can come at a higher price. Thus the right plan will depend on your own needs and not solely on the amount of coverage.
Is Pet Insurance Reliable?
Pet insurance is only as reliable as the company you chose as the insurer. If the policy provider chosen isn’t financially stable or particularly trustworthy, you may as well be throwing your money down the drain. You can select from some of the amazing affordable insurance companies like Bivvy, etc.
Now, this isn’t meant to scare you away from pet insurance. While there are sketchy dealings in any business, a lot of companies exhibit the utmost transparency and credibility. This is meant to stress the importance of informing yourself about a provider’s reliability before you get involved with them.
The Better Business Bureau has ratings for a lot of the pet insurance providers on the market. A good rating may indicate that the company operates fairly, but you can always do some more digging and see if the company has any complaints levied against it. Furthermore, you can check ratings on a number of online review sites.
Is it Okay to Not Have Pet Insurance?
If the question is “do you have to have pet insurance”, then the answer is certainly no. However, you might want to consider if you would benefit from pet insurance.
You never know what can happen, and if you have the means it may be best to prepare for the unexpected and get your beloved pet on an insurance policy. After all, healthcare isn’t where you want to budget – you’ll get what you pay for.
Do All Vets Take Pet Insurance?
Since it covers healthcare costs, you may be comparing pet insurance to your own health insurance. However, since claims are filed differently in both cases, it shouldn’t be a worry whether your vet accepts a certain plan or not.
Some veterinarians work with pet insurance providers and provide easier claims resolution, however, since you’re the one submitting the claims, it’s unlikely you’ll run into any issues. If you want to avoid any doubt, you can consult with your vet before you purchase an insurance policy.