What is Pet Health Insurance?
Pet insurance exists to help pet owners pay for veterinary bills for their pet. While most pet health insurance covers only injuries or illnesses, some plans also have wellness programs that assist in payment for routine healthcare services. With health insurance, pet owners are better able to avoid having to make difficult health decisions based on finances.
What are the Benefits of Pet Health Insurance?
Though pet health insurance isn’t right for everyone, it can help to relieve much of the anxiety that can be caused by the rising costs of diagnosing, treating and managing your pet’s illness or injury. If your pet is in good health and their risk of injury is low, you may benefit from skipping the premium payments of insurance and paying out-of-pocket for your pet’s vet bills. However, benefits of pet health insurance include:
- Peace of Mind– In case your pet is injured or becomes ill, you’ll feel confident in knowing that you can afford his care immediately.
- Ability to Give Your Pet the Best Care– Veterinary research and treatment has come a long way. With health insurance, you’ll better be able to choose and afford some of the more expensive treatments that may be best for your pet.
- Several Options to Choose from– There are many pet health insurance providers and plans to choose from, so it’s easy to find one that best fits the needs of your pet.
Tips for Choosing the Best Pet Insurance for Your Family
There are several things to consider when deciding upon the right insurance for your beloved four-legged friend.
- Be Sure That Your Pet is Covered– Many insurance providers will not cover expenses for a specific type of pet or breed, or for those with preexisting conditions. Before choosing to work with a company, you should fully understand how they define and handle pre-existing conditions. It is also important to know if your pet is considered “high risk” based on his breed or type.
- Understand Reimbursement Status– Pet insurance is cheaper than insurance for humans and functions on a reimbursement basis. You should have a clear understanding of how the insurance company processes claims as well as the timeframe for reimbursement of expenses. Some veterinarians also offer payment plans to help pet owners handle the upfront costs.
- Ensure Your Ability to Choose– A pet insurance company should not force you to work with a certain veterinarian for your furry friend’s care. You should be able to freely choose your vet, as you will be responsible for the upfront costs of all care.
- Know your Limitations– The insurance provider should give you full details around the limitations and exclusions that are associated with your plan. Some plans have specific limitations for coverage of routine/wellness care, as well as emergency situations and long-term care. You should also understand the grounds and amounts for any premium increases that may occur.
Though it does have many benefits, pet insurance is not for everyone. If you’re the type that likes to plan for anything, follow the guidelines above and find a pet insurance plan that can help ease the financial stress of caring for your beloved pet.
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- “Do You Need Pet Insurance?” American Veterinary Medical Association. Accessed January 22, 2014. https://www.avma.org/public/petcare/pages/pet-insurance.aspx