Saturday, October 4, 2014

Pet Insurance

Just like everyone else, pets sometimes get sick, and health care for your pet can get very costly very quickly, especially in unexpected emergency situations. According to 2010 PetPlan claims data, one in three pets will need unexpected veterinary care each year, and dogs under the age of one are actually 2.5 times more likely than their older brethren to have an unexpected visit to the vet.  

While every pet parent wants to provide their pet with the very best care, sometimes the high costs can force you to ask your vet for less expensive alternatives. 

While everyone wants to make the best decision for their pet, regardless of cost, treatments can quickly get very expensive. Every six seconds, a pet parent is faced with a vet bill for more than $1000. This means that many pet owners are faced with covering this large bill themselves or asking their vet for a less expensive, and sometimes less effective, alternative treatment option.  

This is where pet insurance can be a huge benefit! By insuring your pet’s health, you can have peace of mind that your unexpected veterinary costs can be covered should your pet get sick or injured. Not all pet insurance plans are created equal, but there are many good options out there. Here are the top five questions to ask before buying pet insurance:
  1. Does the policy cover chronic and hereditary conditions?  
  2. Will my policy offer coverage for the rest of my pet's life?  
  3. Are there per-condition limits?   
  4. How well-established is the company?  
  5. Can you customize your policy?
You also need to know:
  • Is there a physical exam required to get coverage?
  • Is there a waiting period before the coverage goes into effect?
  • What percentage of the bill does the insurance pay — after the deductible?
  • Are payments capped in any way?
  • Are there co-pays?
  • Does the plan cover pre-existing conditions? What is considered a pre-existing condition?
  • Can you use any vet or animal hospital?
  • Are prescription drugs covered?
  • Are you covered if you travel with your pet?
Make sure you consider what you could reasonably afford to spend if an emergency occurred, and weight that against what each plan is really giving you and the monthly or yearly cost of enrollment. Some plans carry wellness plans while others don't. Some cover alternative therapies (i.e. acupuncture) and others don't. Most policies do not cover congenital or hereditary conditions, but there are some exceptions.  

In short, there are many pet insurance options out there, but having your pet insured can make your veterinary treatment decision that much easier by covering most, if not all, of the associated costs. With a little bit of research, you can make sure you are getting the right plan for you and your pet.

**Some information was provided by PetPlan insurance and NBC News comparison.

No comments:

Post a Comment