If you were to search the internet for information on pet insurance, you would find out one fact very quickly. Insurance for pets does not cover the most basic veterinary care or examination rates. Insurance is a sort of the reverse of pet wellness plans, in that the company does not pay for your pet to be healthy; they pay when your pet is suddenly unhealthy, such as from an illness or injury. It is ultimately your job to keep your pet healthy, but insurance for pets helps guard against unexpected financial woes from an emergency veterinarian office visit.
How Exactly Does This All Work?
How pet insurance works is an insurance company will charge a monthly or annual rate. There is a deductible, just as there is with car insurance. Different companies offer different pet health insurance plans, so make sure to shop around and see what works for you. Some companies even offer add-ons to their plans that include vaccinations, which is great if you get your pet as a puppy or a kitten.
About 84% of the over 76 million cats in the U.S. are spayed or neutered. Insurance for pets does not typically cover this necessary procedure. The reasoning is that it is a required expense of being a responsible pet owner.
What Happens When My Pet Is Injured/Ill?
When your pet is healthy, you do nothing but pay the monthly premium. When your pet becomes ill, or is injured in an accident, that is when you contact the insurance company. Usually, you will pay the veterinarian expenses out of pocket, but after submitting a claim you will be reimbursed. Many veterinarian offices are familiar with the claims form for pet insurance, making the whole process easier.
Some pet owners wonder if this caveat would actually be helpful. It is, because pets are living beings who sometimes do very stupid things, such as eating inedible items or getting stuck in a tight spot and causing themselves injury. Even the most careful pet owner cannot foresee any and all accidents. Sometimes, pets behave unpredictably and disaster strikes suddenly. Having a backup plan is helpful and can alleviate some of the stress of the situation.
What Is Covered By Insurance For Pets?
Each insurance company will have their own coverage terms, but there are some universally covered mishaps. Illnesses are covered, so long as the condition is not pre-existing, meaning your pet did not have the problem before being signed up. For example, if your dog develops cancer in their later years, the treatments to remove it would be covered once the deductible (if applicable) has been met. Likewise, accidents such as broken bones or cuts are covered because they are unexpected.
Consider the area where you live and where you take your pet for walks. Is it a rural area with lots of nature paths? Watch out for coyotes that might attack your small dog. Live in a metropolis? Your dog may get sick from eating something off the sidewalk. Do your children leave their Legos on the floor for you to step on and the dog to naw on? It is the everyday things that may be harmful to your pet under the right circumstances.
When thinking about pet insurance, try to compare different plans and see what works for you. Insurance for pets is not dissimilar to car insurance. You will not think about it much until it is needed, and when it is, you will be glad to have had the foresight to have it. If your pet is injured or takes ill, it can be a relief to know that there will be some financial help.