August 8, 2021
Do You Need To Buy Pet Insurance?
The technology for veterinary medicine becomes more advanced as time goes on which affects the cost of veterinary care. The more advanced training, facilities, and equipment needed to provide high-quality care bring the costs higher. A pet insurance plan can help pet owners offset a huge chunk of the costs of diagnosis, treatment, and management of a pet’s injury or illness.
There is no formula or template that will determine if you should get pet insurance. It’s important that you discuss this with a veterinarian and do your research regarding your options. There are several important provisions that must be considered for pet insurance according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The following are some of the basic points:
- As part of the veterinarian-client-patient relationship, the veterinarian should monitor the health of the pet regardless of the pet insurance provider.
- The insurance provider should lay out details in a clear manner which include exclusions and limitations on routine and wellness care, emergency treatment, and conditions that need extensive care. Pet owners should also aim to find out how insurance premiums increase when they make a claim or when their pet starts to age.
- Find out if there are any additional options you can purchase to get coverage for specific needs such as travel insurance and dental care.
- Determine how the insurance provider defines pre-existing conditions which include conditions and illnesses that your pet has been diagnosed with now or before you signed up for the plan.
- Some insurance providers exclude certain types of pets or breeds or they may place a limit on how many pets you can enroll in an insurance plan, especially if the breed or type of pet is high risk.
- Some insurance providers will offer discounts if you enroll multiple pets.
- The provider should explain clearly all charges such as deductibles, co-pays, add-on fees, and more so that you completely understand the policy you’re getting as well as the limitations to the coverage.
- You should have the option to select the veterinarian responsible for your pet’s medical care.
- In general, pet insurance plans are reimbursement plans. You pay the vet for their service and then you get a reimbursement from your insurance provider. Ask your provider how they process claims as well as the expected timeframe for reimbursements. If you’re worried about huge expenses that you need to pay upfront, ask your vet if they have flexible payment options so that you can arrange your finances when the time comes. It’s better to get an idea about the available options so you don’t have to panic over payment arrangements when an emergency occurs.
Pet Insurance Companies
Veterinarians can provide you some recommendations according to their experience but the final decision is still up to you. Whether you choose to enroll your pet in an insurance plan, the type of coverage you get, or which provider you sign up with is your decision. Several consumer websites allow you to easily compare coverage options, costs, and reviews to help you decide. This list of pet insurance providers, arranged alphabetically, should be a good starting point for your research. We do not recommend or endorse any of these companies.