Protect Your Fur Family and Your Wallet: How to Successfully Navigate the World of Pet Insurance
Our pets are priceless, and as family members, they deserve to receive quality medical care. Responsible pet owners understand that planning for the unexpected is one of the most important aspects of caring for an animal. Recognized each September, National Pet Insurance Month is a great time to weigh the options of considering a policy plan.
Modern veterinary care offers many extraordinary advancements to help pets live longer, healthier lives. But medical diagnosis, care, and treatment, including MRI, cancer treatment, advanced surgery, long-term hospitalization, critical care, and rehabilitation, all come with a cost. While some pet owners can easily afford medical care for their pets, for others, many treatments can pose a significant financial strain.
When you purchase a pet health insurance policy, you gain peace of mind knowing that you can make medical decisions for your pets based on what you want for their health, not your financial obligations.
Yes or No: Considering Pet Insurance
It’s easy to write off pet insurance as an unnecessary expense if your pet is young and healthy and hasn’t needed much care yet. Unfortunately, most pets will eventually need veterinary care above and beyond standard wellness exams – including emergency treatment and care by a specialist. Although saving up for these expenses can help, pet insurance can ultimately take the burden of a large, and often unexpected veterinary bill off your shoulders.
When considering pet insurance, there are two main reasons why purchasing a policy earlier in your pet’s life is preferable. First, many pet insurance policies include a waiting period clause of several weeks to several months before coverage kicks in–get them covered while they are still young.
Second, some policies exclude pre-existing conditions. If your pet is seen for an illness before they are covered, the policy will exclude that condition from future coverage. It makes sense to get the full benefit of the coverage you buy, so protecting your pets before they have any illness that the policy will exclude is smart. This often means setting up a policy while your pet is a puppy or a kitten.
Do Your Homework
There are well over a dozen pet insurance companies in the United States, and all have slightly different offerings and terms. Pet owners must carefully research plans and companies when determining the best fit for their situation. Here is a 2023 article by Forbes magazine that may help you compare some of the best and most respected companies.
Consider comparing the following points:
- Monthly premiums/costs
- Deductible amounts
- Waiting periods
- Lifetime limits
- Payout maximums per incident
- Add-on costs
- Coverage for pre-existing or genetic conditions
- Age limits or premiums that increase as your pet ages
After careful consideration, call your top three companies and ask them any questions you may have. Customer service is essential; make sure you appreciate the service and that it addresses all your questions. Lastly, read online reviews to see what other pet parents have to say.
Pet insurance differs from human medical insurance in that, rather than paying a co-pay each time you visit the doctor, you will be responsible for the entire bill up front and will be reimbursed once you submit the claim (Trupanion may be an exception to this). Some policies pay based on the actual bill, while others have a set amount to be reimbursed based on the service or procedure.
Peace of Mind
It’s stressful enough to cope with a beloved pet’s injury or illness—the last thing you should worry about is how to pay the bill. A solid pet insurance policy takes the focus off your bank account and frees you to prioritize getting your pet the best possible care.
The COVE is happy to assist you with any paperwork needed for your insurance claim. In addition, we offer a variety of payment options to assist you. Learn more on our website.
The COVE’s veterinarians and staff wholeheartedly embrace the core values of community, collaboration, commitment, compassion, and integrity. This focus ensures that pets, the people who love them, and their primary care veterinarians have as positive and affirming a healthcare experience as possible, regardless of the circumstances that bring us all together.