Pets are members of the family. Many pet owners would not hesitate to spend money if their pet gets injured or sick. But pets vet care costs are not cheap. Pet insurance is one way to prevent spending thousands of dollars on expensive medical care. With pet insurance, you want to pay for a plan that suits your needs and fits your budget.
Here we have some tips on how you can find the best plans at the best price.
It’s important to spend time to set your priorities when it comes to the coverage of your pet insurance. Many insurance providers have plans that cover accidents and illnesses which include broken bones, hereditary conditions, hospitalization, and surgery. You can also find accident-only plans. However, if you’re getting an insurance plan for financial protection, it will be more beneficial to get an accident and illness type of coverage.
Price is one of the key factors we consider when selecting the type of coverage we want. However, Alex Stone, the founder of comparison website PetInsurer.com says that you shouldn’t pay for a plan that wouldn’t work for you. You want to find the balance between coverage for items that your pet may be susceptible to and a price point that fits your budget.
If you’re interested in preventive care, you can also ask insurance providers if they offer a wellness rider. These add-ons are offered by many providers and cover annual checkups, flea control, vaccinations, and more.
Stone says that pet insurance has become more inclusive in the past few years. In the previous generations, insurance policies did cover both accidents and illnesses which include a cut on the paw, treatment costs when hit by a car, diabetes, meningitis, and heart conditions. Still, there were some downsides to the older type of insurance policies. Nowadays, pet insurance plans provide coverage for breed-specific conditions such as cancer which is common among golden retrievers.
Getting coverage that fits your pet’s needs is the best way the get the most out of your money.
When you’re looking at different brands and companies, you used to go to each company’s website to compare your options. Now, comparing different companies is an easy job with comparison sites that provide you everything from items covered and prices.
Don’t stop at the price when you’re comparing different providers. Check their waiting periods for the different types of coverage. Some would have a longer waiting period for certain conditions such as ligament problems. Comparison sites would also contain customer reviews so you can check feedback from people who already bought the policy.
You don’t have to spend so much time visiting websites to out forms to get quotes and trying to organize all the information you get. Now, you can have all the details on one convenient page.
The cost of your pet’s insurance will depend on these factors:
• Annual coverage limit – The maximum amount paid by the provider each year.
• Deductible – The amount you pay for vet care before your policy starts to reimburse you.
• Reimbursement level – The percentage of vet care cost that the insurance company will pay for. This is usually set at 70%, 80%, or 90%.
• Optional Coverage – Wellness and preventive care riders will add to the cost of the policy.
If you want to pay less for your pet’s insurance:
• Lower the reimbursement rate – you can go from the second-highest rate instead of selecting the highest option.
• Select a lower annual coverage limit – instead of choosing unlimited coverage, select an average limit.
• Increase deductible – set your deductible to the highest possible that you can afford.
Just remember that if you reduce the amount the provider needs to pay, you should be prepared to pay for more out-of-pocket expenses when you file a claim.
The cost of comprehensive coverage does not fit our budget or even the pet’s needs. If you have limited funds and are looking for an alternative, you can start with an accident-only policy. This is also a great choice for pet owners who want protection for their older pets that are disqualified from coverage because of their age. If your dog or cat swallows a random object or gets involved in a car accident, an emergency or accident-only policy will reimburse a percentage of the medical bills.
Take note that an accident-only plan does not cover:
• Dental illnesses
• Chronic conditions
• Breed-specific conditions
Another option you can take is to subscribe to a pet care membership. These subscription plans are different from insurance plans, but they can still help you cover medical expenses from an emergency or life-threatening condition. For instance, if your cat ingests something toxic, an emergency plan will cover the cost of pumping their stomach.
Pawp is an example of a pet care membership provider. Their plan offers $3,000 coverage which costs $19 per month. This has no deductibles and doesn’t require co-insurance. You can also cover a maximum of six pets. Since you can only use it once a year, the plan should be reserved for absolute emergencies.
Basic insurance plans will cover accidents and unexpected illnesses. Adding routine and wellness coverage does increase your premium but can help you save money on the costs of preventive care. It’s an excellent method to reduce the overall costs of pet care.
Your vet is a great resource to help you select the best providers with the right coverage for your pet’s needs. Take time to go through the options with your vet before you sign up for a policy. This way, you can prevent over-insuring or over-paying for a plan with coverage that you can’t maximize.
Some breeds of cats and dogs are more prone to hereditary conditions compared to others. Dr. Randy Aronson, a betterpet vet advisor recommends that with the help of your veterinarian, you can pinpoint health conditions to cover before your pet shows any sign of such.
Dr. Aronson’s advice is that it’s better to get pet insurance sooner than later. When your pet is still healthy and young, there is a smaller chance of pre-existing conditions being detected which often limits the coverage applied to older pets.
Look out for discounts offered by insurance providers. You will often find the following type of discounts for insurance plans:
• Annual payment discounts: Pay for the annual cost of your premiums can help reduce the total cost.
• Multiple pet discounts: Pet owners who have several pets at home can take advantage of this type of discount.
• Military discounts: If you are an active member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard, you can enjoy discounted rates from some insurance providers.
• Employee discount: Some pet insurance providers offer such benefits to their employees.
There may be other methods that pet insurance providers can offer to help you save money. For instance, Embrace Pet Insurance has a vanishing deductible scheme applied to pets in good health. Every year that no claim is submitted, you get $50 less on your deductible.