Since the cost of owning a pet (especially good veterinary care) has continued to rise, more owners are looking for ways to pay for their pets. They are dedicated owners who want to do everything they can for their animals; however, finances can be the deciding factor when it comes to the care they can give their pets. It can be very hard to make a decision about care based on cost, though it happens more often than we like.
Pet insurance may be the answer. It can help owners pay for the veterinary care their pets need.
Pet insurance works differently than human insurance, but it still pays for some (or all) of the bill. However, you need to pay upfront, and then the company reimburses you.
There are many plans. Most are helpful for injuries and illnesses, plus emergencies that you didn’t see coming. If you can afford a little more, you can find a comprehensive plan which covers preventive care too! Some will help pay for routine examinations, vaccinations, and even blood work. Some plans can be helpful for if your pet gets lost or in the case of death.
Just like there are many different plans, there are several companies that sell insurance. Most offer their own plans to help owners choose one that works for them (and their wallet). You can decide how much you want to pay each month and how much you want covered. You can even decide how high you want your deductible to be or what your copays will be. Each plan will have advantages and disadvantages, so it is important for owners to really understand the plan they choose.
Here are some other things that owners should consider when looking for insurance for their pets:
- You need to find a plan that you can afford to pay each month. Even if you can pay only a few dollars each month, having a basic plan be really helpful in case of an emergency.
- You will have to decide whether you want a plan that covers preventive medicine like examinations and vaccinations. Many owners decline this option, knowing at least that their pet will be covered in the case of an emergency.
- Read the fine print closely so you know whether pre-existing conditions are covered or not. A pre-existing condition is one that is diagnosed before you got the insurance. Most of the time, pre-existing conditions are not covered.
- While reading, you can check to see whether congenital and hereditary conditions are covered. These include hip dysplasia, heart defects, and similar problems. These conditions may be defined by breed, so owners really need to understand the plan they choose.
- It is also important to figure out how much of the bill will be paid by the company. Some companies pay all of the bill, while others cover a certain percentage. Some companies have set prices for each procedure that they believe are fair, and that is all they will pay no matter what the vet actually charges for it. You may or may not be able to get a copy of these fees.
- Ask about any limits. Many companies set limits such as annual ones, while others will pay only a certain amount per pet during his or her whole lifetime. Some have limits with a condition. Some will pay for only one or two examinations and not any follow-up appointments.
Pet insurance can be quite helpful, especially if your pet is younger. Take your time and look through several companies and plans until you find one that is right for you and your pet.
Pet insurance can be quite confusing so feel free to call us if you have any questions. We will answer your questions to the best of our ability.