Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

Whit puppy with vet

Are you considering getting pet insurance for your dog, but are uncertain what kind to get, or if it’s even worth it? Read on for some helpful tips and info on pet insurance so you can make an informed decision about the health of your pet and decide if pet insurance is right for you and your dog.

What are the Benefits of Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance provides pet parents with peace of mind. You never know when your dog may have an accident or develop an illness and need veterinary care. Accidents can occur at any stage of your dog’s life. Young puppies and older dogs alike can fall and break a bone or tear a ligament from jumping off your bed. Accidents can result in expensive vet bills. If you have a good pet insurance plan, it ensures that you get much of these costs reimbursed.

The decision to have emergency surgery when it is needed or not is one of the most challenging choices pet owners will ever have to make. You never want to be in a situation where you must choose between your wallet and your pet’s health. Pet health insurance removes the financial burden from the decision-making process and allows you to focus solely on what is best for your pet. 

Sick dog with hot water bottle

What are the Types of Pet Insurance?

There are three basic types of pet insurance. There is pet insurance that covers accidents, illness, and preventative wellness. Pet parents can choose to sign up for one of these options, a combination, or all three (although some pet insurance companies do not offer wellness plans). 

Accident Insurance

All pet insurance providers offer accident coverage. Accident coverage varies by company but typically includes bite wounds, broken bones, torn ligaments, and other serious health issues. There is no way to predict if and when an accident will occur. It is smart to plan ahead for potential accidents that may cost an arm and a leg in vet bills. 

Illness Insurance 

Pet insurance providers most commonly offer illness insurance that covers ailments, including allergies, arthritis, cancer, and urinary tract infections. Many insurance companies limit the amount of illness coverage offered as dogs get older. Get this health insurance while your pet is still young to reduce pre-existing condition exemptions and your monthly cost. 

Preventative Wellness Insurance 

Your dog’s annual trip to the vet can cost from $300 on up depending on several factors, including where you live, and the types of tests, vaccines, and procedures your pet needs. For this reason, wellness plans are becoming increasingly popular among pet owners, and more insurance companies are offering them, especially as an addition to other pet health insurance plans.

small dog with blue piggy bank

How Much Will Your Pet Insurance Policy Cost?

When looking at various potential insurance providers for your dog, it is wise to find out how much each policy costs on a monthly, annual, and lifetime basis. How much do the annual premiums increase over the lifetime of each pet? How does the cost per month compare to the cost of other insurance companies with comparable coverage? What is the reimbursement percentage? How much are you willing to pay out-of-pocket? 

Do You Need Pet Insurance for Your Puppy? 

Pet parents with new puppies may not worry about pet insurance as much as those with senior dogs. However, it is a smart choice to sign your pup up for insurance as early as possible. The sooner you sign up, the lower the premiums are likely to be. One reason for this is that pet insurance providers do not cover pre-existing conditions. So, get your pup in before they develop any conditions. Every pet insurance provider has its own set of criteria and waiting periods for what they consider to be a pre-existing condition. So, ask lots of questions and make sure you get all the details about pre-existing conditions, premiums, and what is covered in each policy. 

Annual Versus Per-Incident Deductibles

If your dog is in poor health or prone to accidents, consider an insurance policy that offers an annual deductible instead of a per-incident deductible. If your dog experiences several un-related accidents or illnesses in a given year, all of these claims are applied to the annual deductible. The insurance provider will pay in full for all covered portions of the bill. In contrast, if you have a per-incident deductible insurance policy, each un-related emergency will re-start the money count each time, making it, so you get less out of your policy. 

Puppy with vets heartbeat stethascope

How to Choose the Best Pet Insurance for Your Dog

Even if your dog is healthy today, it is beneficial to learn about what kinds of illnesses are common in your dog’s breed. This will help you determine the right plan for your pet. If you are uncertain about how to plan for your dog’s health as they age, consult your veterinarian from advice and recommendations. 

Some dog breeds are more susceptible to certain conditions such as cancer or joint pain than others. No pet owner wants to worry about these things, but you should make a plan of action for every possibility that may occur down the road when shopping for a pet health insurance policy. 

You’ll want to choose the best plan for you and your dog based on the right cost as well as the most compatible coverage benefits. Don’t select your policy on price alone, because you may end up choosing a plan that is not the best coverage for your dog. You may also be wasting money. 

With the right pet insurance, you can save more money in the long run. Choosing the plan that is best for your dog’s health will save you money when the coverage is needed. Pet health insurance prices will vary based on the provider and the plan you choose. Prices also vary by breed and age of your pet, where you live, pre-existing conditions, and so on. 

Dog with vet temperature

How to Find the Best Pet Insurance Companies

Check with other pet parents and read reviews to scope out your options. However, don’t rely on these alone to make your decision. What is right for others may not necessarily be the best plan for you or your dog. Make sure you are getting the best deal for the best pet insurance. Do this by getting a quote and making a price comparison for at least three different providers. Compare not just the price, but also what is included in each plan, and what kind of coverage you will get. 

You can get a good read on your dog’s health needs by researching common health conditions for your dog’s breed. You can also talk with your vet about your dog’s specific needs currently as well as what your dog may need in the future. Then, you’ll have a reference point when comparing different pet insurance policies. 

Contact your pet insurance provider prospects to get more information and quotes. When you get in touch with them, make sure to provide information about your dog’s age, breed, health, and any pre-existing conditions.

It is a smart idea to have your veterinarian send your dog’s records to potential insurance providers. Pet insurance providers should then review your dog’s records. They should highlight any conditions that are excluded from your pet insurance plan options. Additionally, if you have more than one pet, find out if potential insurance providers offer multi-pet discounts. 

large dog with vet

Comparing Insurance Provider Ratings

If you are uncertain about how to research potential pet insurance providers, you may want to check out A.M. Best and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Both organizations provide useful information on insurance companies. A.M. Best has reported on more than 3,500 insurance companies globally. They provide consumers with insight into the stability and financial strength of insurance providers.  

The BBB provides ratings on insurance companies based on what the public thinks of them as well as any complaints made against the company. High scores on the Better Business Bureau is a good sign a company is a smart choice. 

What is the Insurance Provider’s Reputation on Claim Repayment?

Another thing to research is the insurance provider’s claim repayment reputation. Find out what the process entails, including the ease or difficulty involved in submitting claims, whether claims are paid in a timely fashion, and if claims paid cover everything outlined in the insurance policy. 

Read Customer Reviews on Insurance Providers

You can also get a good read on a company’s reputation by reading reviews from current and past customers. How do these customers feel about the way the insurance providers treat them? Can customers reach someone quickly when they have a question or concern? Are customer service representatives helpful? These are all important things to consider.

Golden with cast

Final Thoughts on the Best Pet Insurance

You don’t want any surprises over coverage in the future if your pet has an emergency. It is essential to read through your pet insurance policy carefully before you sign anything. Make sure the policy covers everything you require. Also, make sure you have a clear understanding of the coverage and plan specifics. Pay close attention to what is covered and what is not covered. If anything is unclear, make sure to ask the provider for clarification before you sign. This way, you will know precisely what you are getting, exactly what is excluded, and there won’t be any surprises later on.

Sarah is not only a pet owner but loves animals of all shapes and sizes.

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