Nine out of 10 pet owners consider their pets to be members of the family. And, just as you would with any member of your family, you feel worried, helpless, and uncertain about the future when they fall ill.
Veterinary bills aren't getting cheaper, which means that cost alone may wind up determining the quality of care you're able to afford for your pet. Fortunately, pet insurance gives you more options for your pet's health care by reimbursing you for many of the common conditions your cherished family member may suffer. Many consider pet insurance cost to be an investment in their pet and their own peace of mind. Let's take a look at four smart reasons to buy pet insurance.
What Is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance is a type of insurance that reimburses you for the cost of vet bills after your pet gets hurt or falls ill. Depending on the policy, pet insurance can cover unexpected chronic or acute illnesses, injuries from car accidents, or surgeries to fix broken bones. There are many add-ons you can get to expand your pet's coverage.
Just as with car insurance, you pay a monthly premium for a set amount of coverage. The greater the coverage, the higher the premium. There are also deductibles, which are an amount you'll be expected to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance reimburses the rest. If you want lower monthly premiums, you can expect a higher deductible.
Three Common Types of Pet Insurance
There are several types of pet insurance, and each one has its own policies and benefits. You can choose the type of pet insurance that best fits your needs and budget.
- Accident-only Insurance
This type of policy focuses strictly on accident-related emergency care. This can be anything from accidents in the home, injuries from other animals, or being hit by a vehicle. Regular vet care and illnesses are not covered.
- Illness Insurance
Major and minor illnesses are covered, including arthritis, ear infections, hypothyroidism, and even cancer. It includes diagnostic costs and treatments but does not include pre-existing conditions unless they're curable and there have been no symptoms for a set amount of time. Accidents are not covered by this policy.
- Accident and Illness Insurance
As you could expect, an Accident and Illness pet insurance policy includes what you would get with Accident-only and adds provisions for if your pet gets sick. Preventive care and pre-existing conditions aren't covered, but most other things are. 98% of pet insurance policies are Accident and Illness.
Lastly, wellness plans are add-ons to other policy options. This will help with routine and preventive care, vaccines, and checkups. Wellness isn't a plan on its own, needing to be bundled with other policies.
Reasons to Buy Pet Insurance
1. You Love Your Pet(s) And Want to Protect Them
If you have a special connection with your pet and don't want to see them suffer, pet insurance can be an invaluable safeguard. If your pet is ill or injured and needs expensive veterinary treatment, pet insurance may give you peace of mind about the cost of their care. Nobody wants to be in the position of making hard decisions based on the balance in their bank account.
2. Your Pet Is a Major Investment
If you have a pedigree or purebred pet that has a high value, pet insurance can help you protect that investment. If your pet becomes injured or ill and needs medical treatment, pet insurance could help you pay for that treatment. If your pet needs to go on medication for the rest of its life, pet insurance could help you cover the cost of that medication.
3. You Can Pick Your Veterinarian
Pet insurance doesn't operate using networks, so you aren't limited in what vet you can take your pet to. After you've paid your vet bill, provide the bill to your pet insurer for reimbursement according to your coverage.
4. Act Quickly When Your Pet Is Sick or Injured
If you notice that your pet is sick, injured, or acting strangely, it's important to get them to the vet as soon as possible. The sooner you address health issues, the less complicated and expensive they will be to treat. Pet insurance allows you to take action quickly with less concern about how you'll cope with the cost.
Pet insurance is probably one of the last things that comes to mind when you think about getting a pet. However, pet insurance can be an incredibly useful tool for pet owners. Without pet insurance, unexpected vet bills could put a serious strain on your finances. When you're ready to get a new furry friend, make sure to also consider pet insurance. You can choose the type that's best for your situation, budget, and the needs of your furry family member.