Everyone knows what health insurance is and most likely has their own policy for themselves and their family. But what about health insurance for our four-legged family members? Yes, there is such a thing as pet insurance, and because our pets are important members of our family, they deserve medical care just as much as we do. In fact, anyone with a pet knows how costly vet bills can add up, so today we will be discussing everything you need to know about pet insurance. 

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance is a healthcare plan that assists in veterinary costs. It is very similar to (human) health or auto insurance and will reimburse pet owners for incidents that are covered in their plan. Pet owners know how suddenly their beloved pets can become sick or injured, and most plans will help to cover these unexpected vet visits. 

Do I need pet insurance?

While it’s not necessary, it is recommended-unless, of course, you have an extra $15,000-20,000 saved up that you aren’t using. Emergency vet bills can get quite costly and unless you have that money upfront, or have a credit plan in place, your pet’s life may be on the line. This is where pet insurance comes in handy. It will reimburse you for those unsightly bills so that you don’t have to stress about the cost and will give you the ease of mind to put your focus on your pet and his health. Pet insurance ensures the best care possible for your beloved pet, regardless of the price. 

How does pet insurance work?

The very first thing you need to do is determine what type of coverage you may require. There are an abundance of pet insurance companies that provide multiple different policies depending on your breed and needs. Once you find which company you would like to go with, you will be advised to choose your policy, which may be personalized as far as the deductible or reimbursement options. Once you have chosen your policy, if your pet becomes injured or sick, you will pay upfront for the visits and medical care, submit the claim to the insurance company, and then get reimbursed based on what is covered in your policy. 

How much does pet insurance cost?

The cost of pet insurance all depends on which company you choose to utilize. Coverage in each plan will vary depending on if you want protection for injury, illness, or overall care. Many factors, such as breed, predisposition to or existing health issues, and age play a role in the cost of your policy. It’s best to shop around and get the best quote for exactly what type of plan you are looking for. Depending on the type of policy you select, you can expect to pay a monthly fee between $30-$50.

What else do I need to know regarding which plan I choose?

Some questions you may want to ask yourself regarding pet insurance include:

  • Can you come up with a few thousand dollars in case of an emergency?
  • Do you want to cover illnesses as well as accidents? 
  • Would you rather pay a small monthly fee than a large emergency bill upfront? 
  • Would you like a helpline that can provide assistance if a situation arises with your pet that you may need advice? 

Some other things you may want to focus on prior to selecting your plan is the deductible, waiting periods, pay-out limits, and exclusions. It is crucial that you shop around and compare multiple pet insurance companies, rates, and plans before settling on one. Be aware that not all plans offer the same things and prices will vary between companies. You can also refer to your vet regarding any questions you may have or advice that they may offer.

So, which company do I choose?

Which pet insurance company you choose is entirely up to you and the needs of your pet. There is a recent article that researched pet insurance companies and compiled a list of the top 6 companies of 2020. However, if you find that the companies on this list do not include the type of coverage you are looking for, continue to research various companies until you can settle on a plan specific for your pet’s needs. 

The only person who can determine if pet insurance is right for your pet is you. You never know what could happen with your pet or if or when an emergency could arise, but taking precautions is the best thing you can do. If you do decide to get pet insurance, regardless of which company you choose, the important thing is that you feel comfortable with your decision. This will be the company that will be responsible for paying your claims and assisting with your pet’s health. Make sure you select a reputable company that can answer all of your questions.