Healthcare insurance for your pet dog or cat

Jul 18, 2022

Pet health insurance, similar to insurance policies for us humans, is meant to cover your pet's health care costs and protect you from large, unforeseen expenses from unexpected emergencies.

pet guinea pig getting a check up at the vet with its owner

Pet health insurance, similar to insurance policies for us humans, is meant to cover your pet's health care costs and protect you from large, unforeseen expenses from unexpected emergencies.

There are three main types of pet insurance offered in the market today:

  • Accident Insurance: offers protection for accidental injuries like a dog bite or poison ingestion
  • Illness Insurance: covers treatments for major and minor illnesses, like allergies or cancer
  • Wellness Insurance: includes preventative care, may include vaccinations and exams

 

Benefits of pet insurance:

  • You can work with any vet you like. Pet insurance policies don't carry the same restrictions that human healthcare policies carry (in-network).
  • Financial coverage is usually 70 - 90% of expenses, with some policies covering 100%
  • It's more and more accessible as it's very common to be offered by employers now days
  • Most carriers allow you to customize your policy based on what your pet needs
  • Helps you avoid making hard decisions by avoiding having to face large unexpected expenses

 

Disadvantages of pet insurance:

  • Routine visits are not always covered by these policies and may be paid for out-of-pocket, even if there haven't been any other veterinarian visits
  • You'll still have some out-of-pocket expenses, as most policies cover a percentage of the fees
  • Most plans have a maximum benefit limit; if your pet has recurring health issues that exceed this limit, the remainder of expenses are all paid by you
  • There are little to no options available for older pets or pets with pre-existing conditions
  • Pet insurance is a reimbursement plan, which means you pay 100% of the costs up front, submit the claim, and then receive a payment based on your policy

 

For many pet owners, pet insurance is a life saver for them and for their loved ones. It's important to be aware of all the pros and cons to these policies before purchasing one for your pet.

 

Pet Insurance vs Pet Health Plans:

Pet health plans are different from insurance. With pet health plans, you make either an annual payment or monthly installments and your pet receives all of their vaccines, flea and tick medicine, nail trims, and health check-ups all at a discount. Many of these pet health plans also offer discounts for surgeries and other unforeseen treatments that may be required to maintain your pet's health.

If your pet is one who only really visits the vet when they're sick or for their annual check-up, then these health plans may not provide much in savings. However, if you're regularly visiting your veterinarian, a pet health plan may end up saving you money.

Depending on the age of your pet as well as how often you're making veterinarian visits, pet insurance or a pet health plan may be a great option for you to consider.