Based on Pets Best claims data, 4 out of 5 pets will have a medical emergency in their lifetime.* For this reason, all pet owners should consider a pet insurance policy for their four-legged friends.
The benefits of pet insurance are numerous. Pet insurance can help pet owners pay for unexpected accidents and illnesses. No matter how healthy your pet seems, an accident or an unexpected disease or illness could result in expensive medical treatments. If your animal needs ongoing treatment, your expenses could rise quickly. Without pet insurance, you’ll be responsible for all costs you incur, but with pet insurance, you could be reimbursed for all eligible costs.
Ideally, you’ll sign up for your pet insurance policy as soon as possible. Age doesn’t necessarily protect animals from accidents and illnesses any more than it does humans. Also, since all insurance companies don’t cover pre-existing conditions, it’s best to have a plan in place before your four-legged friend starts to show signs of a medical condition that could affect their eligibility for coverage at a later date.
How pet insurance works
First, put in the legwork. You can start by speaking with friends who have a pet insurance policy already. You can also ask your veterinarian if they have any educational materials about insurance companies.
Then, research all of your options to determine which plan is right for you. There are three primary plans available from most pet insurance companies:
- Accident and illness: These plans cover most accidents and illnesses, including hereditary and congenital conditions, medication, ongoing and chronic conditions, behavioral issues, and dental.
- Accident only: An accident only plan covers incidents like broken bones, accidental ingestion, and snake bites.
- Wellness plans: These plans typically cover regularly scheduled vet visits (to help catch problems before they become serious), vaccinations, microchipping and spaying/neutering.
Most plans exclude exam fees, chiropractor visits, physical rehabilitation, pre-existing conditions, and elective procedures.
Once you’ve decided on an insurance company and the plan you think will work best for you, there are a few important questions to ask:
- What will your co-pay be?
- What limitations are there on the policy?
- Will there be any additional fees?
- How are claims evaluated?
- What is the timeframe for reimbursements?
- Are you able to tailor the plan to fit your specific needs?
- Does the premium increase as your pet ages and/or if you have multiple claims?
Once these questions have been answered to your satisfaction, you’ll need to decide which deductible (the amount you pay before your insurance plan kicks in) option you’d prefer:
- Low deductible: This means you’ll pay a higher premium each month.
- High deductible: This means you’ll pay a lower premium per month.
Once your deductible has been met, your pet insurance will cover a percentage of your eligible expenses.
Peace of mind
Our pets are more than cute, fluffy animals—they’re part of our family. We all want to keep our family safe and healthy, and a pet insurance policy can help us do that. It gives us peace of mind, knowing that if an unexpected accident or illness occurs, it puts us in a better financial position to absorb the shock and enables us to focus on their care and recovery. With so much uncertainty in the world, the security that a pet insurance policy provides us is worth its weight in gold.
*Pets Best claims data 2015 – 3/31/2020 for unexpected medical care
Pet insurance coverage is offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC and is underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company, a New York insurance company. Please visit americanpetinsurance.com to review all available pet health insurance products. Terms and conditions apply. See policy for details.