As the amount of money spent on pet health care rises steadily at an estimated rate of 40% a year, and as pets become more like family, owners are looking to spend more on their pet's health. Pet owners also want to have their pets covered by insurance.
Some basic plans start at $10 a month, while more extravagant plans cost upward of $400 a month. Since no two pet insurance plans are exactly the same, you should research each policy before making a choice that best fits your needs. Here are a few things to keep in mind when determining if pet insurance is worth the expense:
- What's covered ? Look over several plans from different companies before making a provider selection. Make sure the plan you choose defines clearly what is and what is not covered. For some pet owners, pet insurance is a safeguard for future catastrophes, such as sudden accidents or the emergence of a serious illness. For others, the coverage they choose applies to every vet visit, including checkups.
- What's not covered? There is more to picking insurance plans than finding out what is covered by insurance. You need to also know what is not covered so you can compare plans to one another and so you are prepared when you pet needs a test or procedure that is not covered.
- Are hereditary illnesses and conditions covered? If you own a purebred animal, they may be prone to a breed specific condition. For example, German Shepard's are likely to develop hip dysplasia, and Labrador Retrievers are often inflicted with eye problems.
- What's the deductible? Is there a copay? Be sure to understand what you are expected to pay for and exactly how much. You don't want to pick an insurance that covers little if anything. Be advised that at Kingsbury Animal Hospital you are expected to pay your bill in its entirely at time of service. You as the owner are then responsible to turn over itemized bills or invoices from us to the pet insurance company for reimbursement of qualified costs.
- What (if any) is the age limit for a pet to be covered? The best time to purchase pet insurance is when your pet is just a puppy. As pets get older, they require more care, especially later in their lives. At that point, the premium goes through the roof or coverage no longer exists.
Pet insurance is best suited for pets that are young and healthy. It's also a good investment if you (1) have multiple pets (2) take in stray animals to help shelters (3) breed dogs, or (4) take your pet with you on vacation.
Many pets can live long accident free lives today, but no owner can guarantee their canine or feline companion will never have an accident such as eating a sock, swallowing a rock, or even getting hit by a car in the driveway.
The best way to find the right pet insurance for you and your family should start with researching some reputable pet insurance companies and ask for detailed plan information and price quotes. Unlike human medicine, you still are responsible for paying your veterinarian in full at time of service. You then submit a copy of your invoice to your insurance company for reimbursement. While we at Kingsbury Animal Hospital do not advocate any particular insurance company, here are a few you may wish to consider