We all worry about taking our dogs to the vet. How much is it going to cost? What happens if something is seriously wrong? When we are face with an emergent situation we don't hesitate to come up with the money so why wouldn't we plan ahead for our pets the same as we do for ourselves? Here is some information and helpful tips on deciding if Pet Insurance is the right thing for you and your pet.
But the fact is that today, pet medical care rivals what’s available to humans in complexity and cost. For example, an MRI is a diagnostic tool once reserved for humans but now available for pets as well–at an average cost of $1,200. Sophisticated procedures such as radiation therapy, can start at $900 and quickly reach $5,000.
Statistics show that one out of three pets will need emergency treatment every year, and two out of three experience at least one major health crisis in their lifetimes. Remember to do your research for the best coverage at the most reasonable price.
How does pet insurance work?
In many ways, pet insurance plans aren’t much different from what’s available for humans. Most cover accidents and illnesses, and some have preventive medicine options available as well. They all have a deductible, and all have exclusions for preexisting conditions. Here are a few examples of some options and terms on different insurance plans!
Healthy Paws covers any accident or illness including hereditary and congenital conditions. They are one of only two companies to offer unlimited lifetime benefits with no per incident or annual limits on your claims.
- VPI covers accidents and illnesses based on a pre-defined benefit schedule and have a long list of exclusions. They offer a $14,000 policy term maximum and an annual deductible. They offer a wellness plan for an additional monthly fee.
- Pets Best covers accidents and illnesses but has some exclusions. Read the policy to be sure of coverage. They offer a $20,000 lifetime limit on claims and have a per incident deductible. They also offer a wellness plan for an additional monthly fee.
- ASPCA pet health insurance offers a number of plans, from those that cover accidents and injuries only up to lifelong plans for older or chronically ill dogs. The midrange plan has a limit of $7,000 per year and $1,500 per incident.
Just as in human health insurance, there are some fairly major differences among policies, so make sure you get the answers to the following questions (along with any others you may have) before you sign on the dotted line:
- What is covered? Is the pet insurance plan easy to understand?
- How is Reimbursement calculated? Look for companies that pay on the actual veterinary bill and not on benefit schedules to ensure the highest reimbursement on claims.
- Are there claim limits?
- How good is their customer care?