August 8, 2021

A Guide To Pet Insurance

Peri Elgrot

Top 10 Pet Insurance Review Editor

Pets are part of the family. Just like any family member, pets can fall ill or get injured, and you’re the one responsible for damages caused by your pet. Fortunately, there are several insurance plans that can help alleviate the financial burden on your family when an emergency occurs.

Health Insurance for Pets

If you have dogs, cats, or other types of pets at home, you’re likely to pay regular visits to a veterinarian. And we know that vet visits can be expensive especially if you’re dealing with a serious illness or an emergency that requires several tests or even surgery.

Pet insurance is just like health insurance for people. Both have annual or monthly premiums, co-pays, coverage limits, and deductibles. There are insurance plans offered for almost all types of pets such as dogs, cats, reptiles, rabbits, exotic birds, ferrets, potbelly pigs, and rodents.

The cost of an insurance plan usually depends on the pet’s health, age, and level of care selected. More senior animals usually have higher costs of coverage and there are companies that set age limits. Pre-existing conditions are also often excluded from coverage and breeds prone to hereditary conditions may be excluded by certain providers.

Three Levels of Coverage

1. Basic

Basic coverage is the cheapest option. This has the lowest reimbursement levels for treatments and will cover poisoning, illnesses, and injuries from accidents. Basic insurance plans usually have an annual deductible, reimbursement caps per illness or accident, and term reimbursement limits as well.

2. Comprehensive

Comprehensive coverage is more expensive but offers more coverage and benefits such as reimbursement for emergencies, illnesses, and accident-related injuries, vet fees, diagnostic exams, prescription medicines, X-ray, and laboratory fees. Comprehensive plans usually have lower deductibles but will also have caps on reimbursements per illness and accident and term reimbursements.

3. Wellness Care

Pet well care will provide coverage for preventive care which includes vaccinations, physical exams, and heartworm and flea prevention. Although well care protection has no deductible, other medical services might have a nominal deductible.

When looking for an insurance plan, you might discover vet discount plans. Rather than an insurance plan, these are actually membership-based services. If you have a veterinary discount plan, you pay a monthly fee and you get lower rates on services, prescriptions, medical procedures, and products offered as long as you got a vet who participates in such plan.

Although a discount may be helpful when an emergency or costly illness develops, you still have to pay more out-of-pocket compared to when you have pet insurance. Veterinary discounts plans are also not regulated, unlike pet insurance.

Theft and Life Insurance

Theft and life insurance protect extremely valuable animals. This is usually purchased by owners of police dogs and pets that participate in competitions as well as zoos. This type of insurance offers reimbursement if an animal gets stolen and death benefit if the animal dies while in transport or during other covered situations.

Protection Provided by General Insurance

Some homeowner’s insurance policies offer protection that covers pets. For instance, liability protection is applicable if your dog causes a neighbor an injury and you get sued. Liability protection can be used to help when you need to defend yourself in court.

Take note that many policies will not cover dogs with a history of aggressiveness and biting. Many homeowners’ associations will have restrictions on the dog breeds that are considered dangerous. More and more communities are requiring owners of such breeds to have additional liability coverage.

Personal property protection covers items that are considered owned by the dog. Some pet owners give their pets lavish accessories and clothes. If Bella’s favorite crystal necklace gets lost, stolen, or damage, that’s covered under the personal property section.