Cover Your Cat or Risk Your Rabbit: Should You Buy Pet Insurance?
The average American pet owner spends $235 for a dog and $160 for a cat every year in medical costs.
Many pet parents have experienced the anguish of not being able to settle a medical emergency due to financial constraints. As a result, the discussion of whether to buy pet insurance is important.
If you’re thinking of getting your pet covered by an insurance provider, here are a few things you need to know first.
Reasons You Should Buy Pet Insurance
Pet insurance comes at a cost, but it presents certain benefits. The following are some reasons why you should consider taking a policy.
1. It’s Easy to Compare Options
Pet insurance policies are much easier to compare, unlike insurance for humans. Whether you are looking for an alternative to your current policy or are in the market for a new one, accessing the necessary information is easy.
There aren’t as many plans with complex structures and convoluted terms. To get a glimpse of what is on the market, use online platforms that compare pet insurance policies.
You will receive no-commitment quotes from providers, which will help you make an informed decision.
2. You Pick Your Vet
Another aspect of pet insurance that makes it such an allure is the ability to pick your own vet. Unlike with human insurance policies, there is no ‘out of network’ provider.
The main thing that will guide whether you will see a particular vet is whether they have valid qualifications. If they do, all the expenses covered under your policy are taken care of.
There is no stress on whether the vet will accept your policy. When you’re in an emergency, knowing that you can access any vet takes a great burden off your shoulders.
There is no limitation on the expertise you can tap into for your furry loved one due to out of network constraints.
3. You Can Customize It
Many pet insurance providers give you the ability to customize your policy. It is not every pet owner that will be looking for a comprehensive plan when buying pet insurance. Policy underwriters understand that.
If all you want is an emergency plan that will cover a broken bone or when your pet will swallow a toy, you can get that. If, on the other hand, you want the comprehensive plan, it is available to you.
There is a policy for each pet owner’s needs. You will not get locked into a plan you do not want.
4. It’s Part of the Employee Benefit Package
In today’s working environment, millennials are increasingly joining the ranks. Many of them are opting out of having children immediately and instead take up pets.
With the increasing trend to treat pets like children, providers are now working pet insurance policies into employee benefits.
5. You Can Get Low Premiums
Pet insurance premiums can be cheaper under certain circumstances. When you get a policy, the amount you pay on the premium depends on the risk level.
If you have a young or healthy pet, your premium will be much lower than someone insuring an aging or less healthy pet.
Pet insurers also give discounts to pet owners who enroll more than one pet. They also give what is known as stacking, which is where a pet owner gets more than one discount for their pet.
These kinds of offers can make your premiums more affordable. Combine them with other pet medication discounts for enhanced cumulative savings on your pet care costs.
6. Peace of Mind
The ultimate benefit of a pet insurance policy for many pet parents is the peace of mind it provides. No matter when or where your pet may experience a medical emergency, you rest assured that it will be cared for.
Reasons Why You May Hold off on Getting Pet Insurance
Even with all the benefits presented by pet insurance, it comes with some drawbacks. Here are some of them.
1. It Isn’t All Inclusive
Just like other forms of insurance, a pet policy does not cover everything. You will still find yourself paying up to almost 20% out of pocket for certain pet-related medical expenses.
Some hereditary conditions, for example, may not be covered under your policy. That leaves you with no option but to handle them at a higher cost upfront.
Routine wellness checkups for your beloved pet will also come out of your pocket as well.
The plans vary, and you need to pick one based on what you want to cover for your pet.
Basic plans typically cover preventive care like vaccinations. Medium-level plans tend to cover basic care plus certain conditions like hospitalization and surgery.
High-end plans tend to cover basic care, medium-even care plus cancer treatments, medications, and accidents.
2. Limited Coverage
For those conditions that your pet insurance policy will cover, it won’t be without a cap. Many plans will limit the amount you can claim on your pet’s medical expenses.
It will not seem like a big deal if your pet only needs minor medical attention from time to time.
But should your pet suffer a major medical emergency, it might cause you to max out your limit and settle the difference out-of-pocket.
3. Premiums Can Skyrocket
A pet insurance policy can make a dent in your account if your pet is old or has a pre-existing health problem. Your provider will perceive your pet as being more high risk, hence the higher premiums.
Do the math to see whether the total annual cost will be justifiable to you as you weigh when to get pet insurance.
4. Upfront Cost for Procedures
A pet insurance policy does not save you from having to fork out money for an expensive procedure. Unlike insurance policies geared towards humans, pet owners pay upfront for the entire treatment.
Once it has been administered, they turn over the bill to the provider and receive reimbursement later. What this means is that on top of paying monthly premiums, you will need to start a saving fund for such emergencies.
Protect Your Pet
Pet-related medical emergencies can occur at any moment. If you are unprepared for them, you will not be able to care for your pet.
As discussed above, there are advantages and disadvantages that you need to consider if you want to buy pet insurance.
At some point in their lives, a pet will get sick. Read this blog to know how to choose the best pet hospital.