The history of pet health insurance dates back to the early 19th century. Whereas it was once focused on horses and livestock, pet health insurance has come to primarily cover dogs and cats. But, is pet insurance worth it?
This article provides a guide to deciding whether you should protect your furry friends with pet insurance.
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Historical Background of the Pet Insurance Industry
In 1982, insurance for pets came into the limelight. TV show star, Lassie, received insurance coverage from Veterinary Pet Insurance. A few years later, Canada became the first nation to offer private pet insurance.
The first pet health insurance coverage was offered in 1989, by the Canadian company, Petsecure. Petsecure was the premier and sole pet insurance coverage provider in Canada, until 1998. PetCare became the second brand to offer pet coverage and expanded to the United States a year later.
In the early 2000s, another Canadian company followed suit, launching the Vetinsurance brand in Canada. In 2008, it was renamed Trupanion, and expanded coverage to the United States.
In 2007, North America joined forces in creating the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA). It serves to assure a unilateral standard for professional pet health insurance practices.
Where Do I Get Pet Insurance Coverage?
Coverage options for ensuring your pet varies depending on where you live. Pet insurance in Canada comes in a range of price brackets and coverage options. There are many affordable coverage options to secure every furry or feathered member of your household.
Is Pet Insurance Right for Me?
When you are deciding whether to get pet insurance for your favourite friend, there are several things to take into consideration. Pet health insurance is the best method of caring for your pet in the event of an accident or health emergency.
Like everything in life, the question, is pet insurance worth it, comes down to affordability and necessity. Begin by figuring out what your budget is for your pet's insurance. If your pet takes any medications or has any pre-existing conditions, take that into consideration, as well.
Then, look at some of the coverage providers' options that are available for your pet. Providers will offer a variety of benefits, deductibles, and overall coverage plans. Consider the following questions:
- Will your current vet still be covered?
- Is there an annual vet check-up included?
- Do vet fees have a limit or maximum?
- How does the insurer cover prescriptions from the vet?
- After starting coverage, is there a delay period before it becomes active?
- Are there any requirements for your pet before getting coverage, such as rabies shots?
- Does the insurer have any exclusions for pre-existing health conditions?
- Is there coverage in the event that your pet is lost or stolen, and how much?
- Is pet life insurance included?
Pet Insurance Policy Considerations
When comparing your pet insurance coverage options, take note of the benefits and included features of each. The most important thing to compare is the conditions covered through each coverage plan.
Each plan differs, so check if it covers cost reimbursement for medical expenses. These include emergency vet visits, accidents, illness, surgery, medications, and even cancer and diabetic treatments.
If your pet already deals with a physical or medical ailment, take note of the insurers' stance on pre-existing conditions. Some pre-existing conditions are considered to be stable, controlled, or curable. Others are considered terminal and incurable. Incurable pre-existing conditions may have limited or excluded coverage. Some providers require a veterinary exam in order to determine your pet's coverage.
Renewable benefits are enacted by a pet insurance provider to reassess your pet's state of health risk on an annual basis. When your pet undergoes a medical procedure, their pre-existing conditions are updated. This happens every time your policy is renewed and can result in lost or mitigated coverage for your pet as time goes on.
A coverage provider's policy exclusions will vary depending on the company, plan you select, and your pets breed. Most inexpensive insurance excludes coverage for behavioural training, elective, preventative, and dental procedures.
Pet insurance providers reimburse you for procedural costs under included coverage benefits. Information on reimbursement amounts, percentages, copayments, and deductibles is on the benefits schedule.
Some providers offer in-office reimbursement, where your insurance will cover the veterinary cost upfront. However, most providers require you to pay, in full, at the time of treatment before getting reimbursed.
Do you already have a regular veterinarian that your pet goes to? Pet insurance providers offer a full list of the veterinary practices included in their plan's network. Others may accept any veterinary practice of your choosing, for an extra cost. Before choosing a policy, be sure that there is an acceptable veterinarian in your network.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
If you are asking yourself, "is pet insurance worth it?" the answer depends on your pet, your budget, and your coverage network. If you have a large budget and a high-maintenance pet, insurance can help to add years onto your pet's life while giving you peace-of-mind. For small budgets and low-maintenance pets, pet insurance can maintain your pets' optimum quality of life for as long as possible.
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