5 Reasons Why People Are Choosing Pet Insurance
Even though many of us treat our pets like members of the family, only four percent of dog owners and one percent of cat owners have pet insurance. These animals, who are our daily companions for years or even decades, are vulnerable to illness and accidents just like humans. Anyone who would like to save money in case of an emergency should consider pet insurance a necessity. Pet insurance covers some or all your pet’s emergency medical bills and will cover costs associated with a lost or missing pet.
Unexpected veterinary bills can cost thousands of dollars and more if the illness or disease your pet has been diagnosed with is chronic. Many people without pet insurance are forced to make the distressing decision between stretching their budget to pay for veterinary bills or putting their beloved animal down. More people than ever are rethinking pet insurance and are investing in this sensible solution. In North America, pet insurance is regulated by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA).
Pet Insurance Costs
People who haven’t yet purchased pet insurance may be scared off by costs that they imagine to be more expensive than they actually are. Within the insurance industry, surveys have shown that consumers believe monthly premiums are three times more than their actual cost. The same may be true of pet insurance. Another reason that some people have avoided purchasing pet insurance is that they just don’t believe that veterinary bills can be that expensive. While the average pet parent pays around $90 to $400 per year in routine vet bills, emergency care for conditions like hip dysplasia or even just swallowing something they shouldn’t have starts around $1,700 and goes upwards from there.
Pet insurance premiums range in price depending on your pet, but generally, start around $30 per month and can go up to around $55. That’s only around $520 per year for complete peace of mind.
Reasons to Choose Pet Insurance
There are a lot of reasons to choose pet insurance. One of the most important is peace of mind — knowing that you’ll never be on the hook for a vet bill that costs upwards of $5,000. Here are some other important reasons to consider getting pet insurance.
1) It gives pet parents an easy way to budget
Getting your pet insured means that you’ll never have to pay a huge vet bill ever again. Unless you’re already a fantastic budgeter, pet insurance is a great way to budget for your pet’s care. Monthly premiums tend to range in price from $30 to 55 per month, which isn’t very much to tuck away. It’s a lot easier to budget for this small amount monthly, versus paying for costly one-time treatments out of pocket.
2) Pet insurance doesn’t discriminate against any pet, regardless of age or health
Unlike many types of human insurance, pet insurance doesn’t discriminate against any pet, regardless of their age or health. Purebred pets are especially vulnerable to hereditary and congenital conditions like heart murmurs, invertebral disc disease, and elbow dysplasia. These conditions are difficult to treat and require continued care, which can be costly.
Since pet insurance companies don’t discriminate, you can also choose to insure your pet later in life. Bringing home a new puppy or kitten can get expensive, so knowing that you can always purchase pet insurance later on is a huge relief.
3) Allows you to pick your own veterinarian
Unlike insurance policies that cover humans, pet insurance policies don’t specify where your pet needs to be treated. You can continue to use your family veterinarian or take your pet elsewhere to receive care. All you need to do is give the vet’s bill to your insurance company and they’ll take care of the rest.
4) It can help you find a missing or stolen pet
Another way that pet insurance can help you is if your pet runs away or goes missing. Finding a lost or stolen pet can be hard enough when you have to spend your own money printing fliers or putting up rewards for your companion’s safe return. Many pet insurance policies have provisions to help owners cover the cost of searching for a lost pet. Some of them even cover the money necessary for a reward for your pet’s safe return.
With the money from your pet insurance company, you can even hire a pet tracker, a professional known for their ability to find lost or stolen pets.
5) It covers third-party liability
Another way that pet insurance provides peace of mind is through their third-party liability coverage. Many pet insurance policies have provisions to defray the cost of any damage or injury caused by your pet. It won’t make the situation any less awkward, but it is a relief to know that if your energetic Golden Doodle destroys your neighbors' hedge or your clumsy cat knocks over a valuable antique lamp, the cost won’t be coming entirely out of your pocket.
Affordable Pet Insurance Options
When you’re buying pet insurance, you should compare prices and do your research to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money. Ideally, you’d want a plan that covers a large portion of medical costs, but also provides other valuable services like third-party liability and covering the cost of searching for a lost pet.
To help, here are some of the best options for pet insurance in the United States today.
Figo Pet Insurance offers three tiers of coverage, all of which includes comprehensive medical protection. Unlike some other pet insurance companies, Figo also covers follow-up appointments for your pet when they’re related to an emergency condition and has a policy to reimburse all customers within 30 days. If your pet ever needs lifesaving care, Figo waives the copay and deductible, which could save you thousands. Another interesting perk that they offer is medical record storage in the cloud, which is a fantastic service and can really make a difference in an emergency.
Healthy Paws is a great option for owners of cats and smaller dogs. It offers excellent coverage, except for one condition — hip dysplasia, which tends to affect large dogs. If you’ve got a large dog like a Bull Mastiff or a Bernese Mountain Dog, this may not be the insurance company for you.
For all other pet owners, Healthy Paws is a great bet. It offers one unlimited plan with no yearly maximums. They’re known for their great customer service and they even have a mobile app where you can file your claims.
Trupanion offers a unique approach to pet insurance. They have a single plan with no annual limits on payouts. In terms of deductibles, they give pet parents the chance to pay a one-time premium of $250 for any condition, and after that, all vet visits and medications related to that condition is completely covered. This is a great option for people who have purebred pets, which typically have breed-specific conditions like hip dysplasia that may not even be covered under other insurance policies.
Trupanion works closely with veterinarians and can even pay some vets directly if your treatment is pre-approved. This saves you from having to pay anything out of pocket at all.
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