Ah, pet insurance. I think most people know by now that pet insurance is something you can get to help cover your pet’s medical expenses. What many people don’t know, however, is that there are so many different levels of pet insurance you can choose from, not to mention tons of different companies that offer it! Pet insurance is not for every owner or even for every pet, but it certainly can be a great option for some. I should forewarn you. This will likely be a very “word heavy” post. If you just want the cut and dry of it all, I suggest you skip to the bottom of the post.
Much like with most human insurances, you will pay a monthly premium with pet insurance. How much that premium is will depend on which level of insurance you choose. Also, there are typically deductibles that must be met before you can reap the benefits of having pet insurance. Let’s discuss some different “levels” of pet insurance, shall we?
In my opinion, one of the most underrated types of pet insurance is catastrophic insurance. Simply put, this type of insurance covers your pet for major, unforeseen injuries and accidents. Typically, catastrophic insurance will help cover vet bills over $5000. Now, keep in mind, each insurance company is different, so be sure to read through the policies thoroughly. Some examples of catastrophic incidents are bite wounds, bone fractures, and swallowed objects (i.e. foreign bodies that have to be removed from your pet). Again, just like in human insurance, there are certain things that may be excluded depending on your pet’s breed and/or medical history. For example, if your pet has history of eating socks and having them surgically removed, the insurance companies are going to be less likely to cover another incident of that nature. Be sure to read up on all the exclusions before choosing a company!
I can’t exactly give a name to the next category, as it’s called something different by every company. Essentially, the next category would cover both injuries and some illnesses. Some examples would be the above mentioned injuries/accidents as well as cancer, diabetes, ear infections, and skin infections. Again, always be sure to refer to the exclusions list per your pets medical history and/or breed. Also, I should mention that there are NO pet plans that cover pre-existing conditions, which means that if your dog has chronic ear infections, you aren’t going to be able to find a plan that will cover them for you, but they will still cover other issues.
The levels of insurance go up from there, but some companies will also allow you to add “wellness coverage” to your plan. This will help cover the cost of vaccines, routine surgeries (i.e. neuter/spay), fecal testing, and heartworm testing. In my opinion, the wellness coverage isn’t all that necessary UNLESS you have a puppy/kitten who is going to need lots of boosters and to be spayed or neutered. Otherwise, it is best to budget accordingly for you pets yearly medical expenses. Adding a wellness plan to your insurance policy will increase your monthly premium.
To sum things up, pet insurance can be worth the cost, if you know exactly what you can and cannot afford. The best thing to do is RESEARCH! Check out this link from petmd to help your on quest to finding the right pet insurance for you and your best fur friend!