Although pet insurance is one of the least expensive types of insurance to get doesn't mean that it...
Features of a Basic Pet Insurance Plan
If you have a pet, then you probably understand that you're responsible for paying for their medical care. While a young, healthy pet usually doesn't have many costs, the pet could end up being expensive if they have a medical emergency or develop a condition over time. This is why many pet owners decide to get pet insurance. Just like insurance for yourself, pet insurance covers some of the medical costs for your pets.
If you're not sure about the features of this type of insurance, these are what you can expect although coverage may vary slightly from plan to plan.
The plan will specify a certain deductible. This is the amount that you can expect to pay before your insurance will start to cover costs. This may be a cost per year or a cost per incident. Each plan typically has a range of deductibles you can choose and the common range is 0-$1,000. When you choose a higher deductible, you'll end up with a lower monthly cost for the insurance but may have to ensure that you can actually cover the cost.
After you pay your deductible, the insurer will pay a percentage of the bill. This is also an area where the range can be from 50%-100%. If you choose a plan with a higher reimbursement level, you can also expect the cost to be higher although it may be worth this if your pet faces a serious medical problem with a high cost.
The plan will also have a maximum amount that it will pay in medical bills each year. You'll have to cover any charges that are above the max. This can be highly variable from plan to plan. However, you should be familiar with your max so you can be prepared for this cost as needed.
Inclusions and Exclusions
All plans are going to state what they cover and do not cover. Standard pet insurance will cover most accidents and illnesses that your pet may have. However, the typical exclusions include grooming, routine checkups, dental disease, preexisting conditions, and hip dysplasia. The denial of preexisting medical conditions can be news for many pet owners but it's unusual for pet insurance to cover these types of illnesses. You should be prepared for this as well as having to pay for some basic care out of pocket. The role of pet insurance is to pay for serious and expensive diseases and conditions that are not expected. As a pet owner, you will still have to pay for basic pet care.
These are the primary features of pet insurance that you should know before you purchase. Since pet insurance has some differences from medical insurance, many pet owners are surprised at its specifications. Knowing what you can expect to have covered or not covered will help you make an informed decision when choosing a pet insurance plan. Reading through each plan as well will give you an idea of what to expect.
Reasons to Carry Pet Insurance?
Most people understand the concept of insurance for cars, home, and people but what about pet insurance? The idea of pet insurance is fairly recent and many people have not decided to choose this type of insurance. What are the reasons to carry pet insurance? While not required, it may provide some benefits for pet owners today.
Peace of Mind
This is probably the most common reason why pet owners choose to carry pet insurance. Just like insurance for your own health covers the cost when you run into expensive treatments and procedures, pet insurance does the same thing. Having pet insurance allows you to choose a treatment for your injured or sick pet based on the best option available and won't be limited by your finances. Most policies reimburse you up to 80% of the costs after a deductible so it can change a highly expensive procedure to one that's more affordable. You'll know that if you pet gets a disease or has an accident, that you can afford to pay for their care.
Budgeting Pet Care Costs
Pet insurance costs can be paid on a scheduled basis and most come with a payment plan. You may also be able to bundle your coverage if you have multiple pets in the household, enjoying additional discounts for more pets. This can be a benefit when trying to determine how to budget for your pet expenses. It's difficult to anticipate what medical needs your pet may have over time. While you can budget for pet insurance and the deductible, knowing this amount makes your financial planning easier. This is a key reason to consider getting this type of insurance.
No Discrimination on Age or Breed
If you're concerned that coverage may be limited based on the type of pet that you own, keep in mind that pet insurance is available any time. It's typically best to obtain coverage as soon as you adopt the pet, you can also opt into insurance for an older pet. This will allow you to adopt an older pet without having to worry about not being able to obtain pet insurance coverage. Knowing that you'll be able to get insurance at any time allows pet owners to pick the pet that they really want.
Improves Family Finances
When you have pet insurance, you'll know that you won't have to dip into the family's finances in order to pay for your pet's medical needs. Emergency funds are usually designed to cover your family when you run into serious problems so you probably don't want to spend this on your pets. However, by having pet insurance, you'll be protecting that account if your pet needs a pricey procedure or test.
Keep in mind that pet insurance may not make sense for every pet owner but it's a good idea to consider obtaining. These are just a few reasons why you may want to consider obtaining pet insurance for your family pet to enjoy peace of mind throughout their lives.
Saving Money on Pet Insurance
Although pet insurance is one of the least expensive types of insurance to get doesn't mean that it doesn't have a cost at all. There are a number of ways that you can reduce the price though so use these tips if you want to get lower monthly costs.
Choose a High Deductible
The higher the deductible, the cheaper your monthly cost for insurance. The downside to this option would be that you are responsible for more money when you need to make a claim. This isn't a bad thing, especially if your pet is young and in good health. If you don't anticipate making any claims except in the case of an emergency, you probably can choose a higher deductible. This probably isn't a good idea if your pet has chronic health conditions with high costs though.
Choose a Lower Reimbursement Plan
Most pet insurance plans have a few different options available. Because your pet insurance company is going to reimburse you rather than paying the vet directly, you can choose which percentage of the bill your insurer will pay you after the deductible. You can typically choose between 70-90%. This means that if you choose a lower reimbursement rate, you can expect to pay more out of pocket but you'll also save money on your premiums. This may mean that you should budget more for vet bills but this can be a way to save money for an overall healthy pet.
Not all types of pet insurance are created equal. Today, there are more plans than ever to choose from. Depending on their structures, each pet insurance company is going to weigh those factors differently. This simply means that you can and should shop around a little before you end up on a policy. Most pet owners find that just comparing two or three companies is a great way for them to save money and also end up with a plan that meets their needs best.
When you purchase pet insurance for a younger pet, you can expect to save money. You'll also lock that rate in for life so as long as you keep the same policy, you can expect to pay the same low rates forever. This won't be an option if you adopt or get insurance for an older pet. However, while it may seem counterintuitive to purchase insurance for a younger pet, you'll probably end up saving money in the long run. You can also save money by insurance multiple pets on the same plan as most insurers offer discounts for several pets. Keep this in mind when setting up a plan.
Pet insurance isn't usually very expensive but it may be possible to save even more money by following a few simple recommendations. These are a few options that you can use to get low cost pet insurance. The health of your pet is a key priority for most people and having pet insurance helps you safeguard their health.