If you’ve ever had to visit the emergency animal hospital, you know that very quickly after agonizing over whether your furry family member will be okay, another thought arises: “How much will this cost?” To ease concerns about the cost of lifesaving care, more and more pet owners are choosing to invest in pet health insurance.
Pet health insurance helps cover the unexpected costs of veterinary care, including accidents, illnesses, and injuries. Here at The COVE, we’ve seen firsthand that insured pets receive more veterinary care, which can contribute to them living longer, healthier lives. That’s why an essential part of our service is to educate our clients about the value of pet insurance.
What Does Pet Insurance Do?
Let’s start with a simple explanation of how pet insurance works. When you sign up, you choose a level of coverage, or how much the insurer will pay – usually between 70% and 90% of the total veterinary bill – and a deductible, or the amount you’ll pay out of pocket before your coverage kicks in. Those levels, along with your pet’s age, breed, and where you live, help determine the cost of your monthly premium. Most pet insurance providers’ websites offer free customized quotes, so you can get a sense of pricing. Depending on the plan you choose, your monthly premium could be as low as a few dollars a day.
Most pet insurance plans, such as Nationwide and Embrace, operate on a reimbursement basis. You pay for treatment up front, then submit a claim to the insurer. After processing the claim, the insurance company reimburses you via check or direct deposits. There are also some direct-pay programs like Trupanion, which pay the veterinary hospital directly.
Why not just put that money into a savings account? Because most insurance plans give you immediate access to far more money than you might be able to save. It could take years to save $5,000 to cover your dog’s accidental ingestion of a tennis ball, but an insurance policy gives you access to that, and often more, each year you’re insured.
This is the true value of pet insurance: not having to decide between your family’s budget and your pet’s health—a decision we know that many pet owners, unfortunately, have to make.
Covering the Cost of Care
There are more than 20 different pet health insurance providers, so some research is necessary. Ask your primary care veterinarian if they recommend any companies or visit PetInsuranceReview.com, an independent website that allows you to easily compare options.
We strongly recommend pet insurance and accept all plans. We are happy to submit claims on behalf of clients who have insurance, or we can provide information for clients who need to submit claims for reimbursement. We also accept CareCredit, a low-cost credit card exclusively for health care expenses, and ScratchPay, another low-cost financing plan only for pet health care (both are subject to credit approval).
Here at The COVE, we are also pet owners, and pet insurance has allowed many of our furry companions to receive the best and most advanced medical care. If you have any additional questions or need assistance with submitting a claim, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 757-935-9111.