The Gift of Pet Insurance
As we head into the thick of the holiday season, many of us understandably feel simultaneous relief and trepidation. We’ve come through the worst of the pandemic but are still feeling the effects of business disruption, school closures, and social isolation and are dealing with inflation and the threat of a recession. With all these pressures, it’s no wonder we are all trying to make wise and sometimes necessary decisions about how and how much to gift our loved ones and friends this holiday season.
We know that pet owners want to take the best care of their furry family members. However, in an environment of uncertainty, we can take some steps to ensure we have the resources to provide our pets with what they need to thrive. That’s why we are advocating for the gift of pet insurance for your pets.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover and How Does It Work?
By now, you may know the basics of pet insurance. Pet insurance policies are designed to help pet owners meet the cost of unexpected illness or injury. However, some policies also include yearly wellness care needs, such as examinations, teeth cleaning, and specific blood and urine tests.
Unlike human health insurance, most pet insurance companies expect pet owners to pay for costs upfront and then be reimbursed. However, a few, such as Trupanion, will now pay veterinary clinics and hospitals directly.
There are many policy providers and plans, so pet owners have some leg work to do to find the plan premiums and deductible that best meets their needs and budget.
Because pet wellness care is generally quite affordable, many pet owners elect coverage that only focuses on:
- Accident-only coverage: fractures, wounds, etc.
- Illness coverage: a sudden illness that requires medical care, hospitalization, or emergency care
- Accident/illness combined coverage
- Specialty medical care, including surgery, cancer, and alternative therapies such as laser therapy and rehabilitation
The Benefits of Pet Insurance
Advances in veterinary medicine and more knowledgeable pet owners mean that pets live longer. Specialized veterinary care is now widely available and can provide our pets with a better quality of life, but it comes at a cost. The ASPCA estimates the annual cost of pet ownership is between $1,149 and $1,391. While many veterinary clinics strive to offer affordable quality care, the reality is that veterinary costs are rising just like all other costs. So, critical conditions, emergencies, or specialized care can be difficult for pet owners to manage financially in some situations.
This is where having coverage comes in. A pet insurance policy can make decision-making easier by taking the financial question out of the equation and allowing pet owners to make decisions based solely on medical and quality-of-life recommendations. Think of it not just as a pet insurance policy; it’s a promise of better health for them and peace of mind for you.
Some Factors to Consider
Selecting a pet insurance policy is an individual choice, so do your homework. Some important factors include the following:
Your unique pet(s) – Know their age, breed(s), etc., and any pre-existing conditions, if possible.
Budget – If you have a budget, shop around to make sure you understand and are comfortable with the costs associated with each plan.
Premiums and deductibles – Understand how premiums and deductibles work and how each will be applied.
Waiting periods – Not all policies go into effect immediately. Inquire as to when your pet will be officially covered.
Reputation – Gather as many references as possible. Read reviews, and call the company to assess the level of customer service. Make sure all your questions are answered thoroughly.
Lastly, don’t forget to read the fine print. Terms and conditions matter!
At The COVE, we want to provide the best specialty and emergency care for every pet. We are happy to submit claims for clients with pet insurance or answer questions about how to submit claims for reimbursement. We’re pet owners, too, and we want your pet to receive all the benefits a pet insurance plan can offer. If you have questions about pet insurance, feel free to contact us.
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.