Pet Insurance: Protecting Your Pet and Your Pocketbook
According to a 2017 article in Canine Journal, the #1 reason reason pet owners buy pet insurance is that they, “Want to make decisions about my pet’s health care without worrying about whether or not I could afford the procedure.”
With the average annual cost of veterinary care topping $1800, planning ahead for your pet’s veterinary care makes solid sense. Yet, only 2% of American pets are covered in the U.S. – compared to over 50% of pets in Europe. So why the disparity?
Your team at Goldorado Animal Hospital believes that overall awareness of the benefits of pet insurance may be a primary reason why so few pets are covered; meaning we want to make sure that, when it comes to pet insurance, you have the resources to make an informed decision.
What Is Pet Insurance?
In a nutshell, pet insurance reimburses you for your veterinary bills when your pet gets sick or injured. You choose a pet insurance policy from one of a number of companies, and you pay a monthly premium based on your pet’s health, age, and breed. When your pet needs medical care that is covered by the policy, you’re reimbursed for veterinary expenses.
Benefits of Pet Insurance
Benefits of pet insurance abound. It can help your pet by allowing you to choose the best treatment plan based on their medical needs. It can also protect you from financial strain and buy you some peace of mind. In addition:
You can pick your veterinarian – Unlike in human health care, there’s no network of covered veterinarians. You can choose who your pet sees, and simply submit the bills to the insurance company.
You can insure any pet, regardless of age, breed, or medical condition – Although most companies do not cover pre-existing conditions, you can still insure your pet regardless of circumstance. Keep in mind that insuring younger pets will be less expensive in terms of their monthly policy premiums.
Peace of mind – Let’s face it, peace of mind can be priceless. Medical advances in veterinary care have made it possible to treat all sorts of diseases, including cancer. But those advanced treatments aren’t inexpensive, and so pet insurance can remove the financial burden of these decisions.
Helps you budget health care costs – Pet insurance premiums cost less than medical bills, and pet insurance plans may offer monthly, quarterly, or annual payments. You can decide what works for your family budget. Many pet insurance policies also provide a discount for additional pets in the same household.
Prevents you from dipping into your emergency fund – We do recommend that you start an emergency fund for your pet, but having a pet insurance plan, as well, prevents you from having to take an emergency loan, use credit cards, or dip into your family’s emergency fund.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Now that you know some of the benefits of pet insurance, what’s the next step?
There are several companies to choose from. We can give you some recommendations, but you’ll want to do a little research to find a company that meets your needs. Many offer online quotes, and spending just an hour online can give pet owners enough information to make an informed decision about which company to go with. Keep in mind that coverage, premiums, deductibles, and lifetime limits may be different with different companies.
The Bottom Line
Some policies cover wellness care, but the real beauty of pet insurance comes when your pet is affected by unexpected illness or injury, which are often emergency situations. Many times, we see pet owners struggling to balance their pet’s health needs with their own financial needs. Pet insurance can help make these decisions easier by taking the financial strain out of the decision making process.
We hope this has given you some idea of the benefits of pet insurance and a path forward to choosing a plan that works for you. Give us a call if you have any questions, or would like our recommendations.