You may be covered by insurance, but what about your furry friend? Keeping up with recurring visits to the vet can burn a hole in your wallet. But those visits can be the difference between a long, healthy life or a life cut too short.
As prices for vet bills continue to go up, pet insurance has become as important as human insurance. But with so many pet insurance quotes out there, it's hard to tell which ones are the best fit for your pet's needs.
We've got a few pointers to help you sift through all the options and find what's right for you. Here's a complete guide to selecting the best pet insurance for your pet.
What Is Pet Insurance?
Insurance for your pets helps cover some of the costs that come when your pet is ill or injured. Depending on which plan you get, some policies will cover basic exams and some will partially cover procedures. Typically, the plans that cover the most will also cost the most.
One major difference between insurance for your pets and human health insurance is that you will have to pay the cost up front. After your visit, you'll need to file a claim with the insurance provider to get reimbursed.
It is similar to human health insurance in that you will still pay a deductible, the amount you pay before the insurance company begins to pay. And you will also pay a co-pay, you pay a percentage and the insurance company covers the rest.
Insurance for your pets won't cover preventative visits, like vaccines and annual check-ups, but it can be a lifesaver for the incidents that are unplanned.
Types of Pet Insurance
There are 4 main types of pet insurance:
1. Accident-Only Insurance is usually the cheapest option. It will have the most basic coverage with some policies covering emergency procedures. There can be a cap on how much the insurance will cover, though.
2. Time-Limited Insurance gives the owner the ability to claim certain medical treatments in a 12-month time span. After the 12 months, you can choose to continue the policy. But, it would no longer cover the same treatment that your pet had. This is not the best option for a pet with any chronic conditions.
3. Maximum Benefit Insurance gives the owner the ability to claim up to a certain spending limit. After you've maxed out, you pay full price for any other treatments.
4. Lifetime Insurance is exactly what it sounds like: your furry friend is covered for life. This one tends to be the highest priced. Some policies may have a spending limit, so make sure to read each policy completely.
Once you narrow down which of these 4 policies fits your pet's needs, you can start looking at insurance quotes. Remember to consider what your pet needs before choosing the cheapest option.
Does Pet Insurance Work?
You want to make sure that your pet is taken care of, but does insurance for your pets really help? If you're not prepared for a huge vet bill in an emergency situation, insurance could save your pet and your bank account.
Even our pets can get hurt in an accident. Specific breeds are also prone to health complications, which can become recurring vet visits.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pet owners spent $28 billion on veterinary expenses in 2011. And with costs continuing to rise, having an insurance policy for your pet can keep you from having to pay the entire bill without any help.
It may not make a huge difference in routine visits, but when you really need it, you'll be glad that you got it. And with more than 1 million pets being covered by an insurance policy, many pet owners seem to agree.
Comparing Pet Insurance Quotes
Another difference between pet and human policies? You don't have to worry about finding in-network vets. As long as your vet is licensed, you can use your insurance.
There are a few things you'll need to clarify with the companies you're deciding between. You'll want to ask what their policy is on pre-existing conditions. These are typically not covered by any providers. Make sure you ask the company what they classify as a pre-existing condition.
Also, most insurance companies will ask that you take your pet to be examined before moving forward. If you find there is a major procedure that your pet needs, most insurance companies won't cover it.
They typically have a waiting period, similar to human insurance, before the policy will kick in. Make sure to ask how long that period is and if it differs depending on the condition.
Ask them what their policies are for pets as they age or develop certain conditions. Some insurance policies may increase depending on those factors.
Consider what kind of pet you have. If it's other than a dog or a cat, you'll have significantly fewer options.
This is a great tool for comparing different pet insurance quotes, so you find what works best for you and your pet at a price you're comfortable with.
Taking Care of Our Fuzzy Family
Pets are our unconditional love-givers. They really only need your time and attention to feel taken care of. They can be so easy-going, we almost forget that they have times of crisis too.
Insurance policies can keep your pets healthy and happy in times when you may not be able to afford to do it. Planning for those future accidents will ensure that they are taken care of. You can focus on getting them better rather than cleaning out your savings.
With our comparison tool, we make it quick and painless to find your best pet insurance quotes so you can focus on keeping your loved ones healthy and never have to decide between their health or yours. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you find the best insurance policy for you and your pet's needs.