We love our dogs like family and will do whatever we can to keep them happy and healthy. When it comes to their health, there is always the question of whether to purchase pet insurance. Of course, we never want to be stuck with a big medical bill that we can’t afford to pay. So, ultimately, should you purchase pet insurance for your dogs?
Pet insurance is similar to human health insurance as it helps to alleviate some of the costs associated with medical bills. Just like health insurance, you can choose different levels of coverage and pay a monthly or annual premium.
Different pet insurance plans offer different coverage and scenarios. Some offer accidents only and injuries while others include injuries, and genetic or hereditary conditions. The more comprehensive the coverage, the more ailments and/or conditions that are covered, but at a higher expense.
Pet insurance does not cover routine care
Even if you do have pet insurance, routine checkups usually aren’t covered, so you’ll still pay for those out of pocket. Certain hereditary/genetic conditions may also not be covered; be sure to check each policy’s specifics carefully. If you are paying the premium each month, don’t be surprised when you go to your vet for your dog’s annual check-up and you have to pay the entire bill. Most insurance companies only offer vet visit reimbursements if you have an additional wellness policy to cover routine care.
The Cost of Pet Insurance:
There are many costs associated with pet insurance which should be taken into consideration. Pet insurance really is for the unexpected illness or medical costs that can become unreasonably high. This is when the cost of pet insurance is more than worth it.
Each plan has a deductible
Most pet insurance plans have a deductible which is the amount you pay out of pocket before the coverage starts on your policy. Depending on the plan and policy you choose, the deductible typically ranges from $50 to $1,000 each year. The higher the deductible, the more you will receive back on each bill.
Reimburse for bills
Most pet insurance companies require that you pay your vet bill upfront, and then they reimburse you according to your coverage, usually between 70-90%. Some plans will pay the veterinarian directly.
It’s important to make sure that the reimbursement is based on the final total costs of the bill. Make sure to know what is covered in your plan. Also, try to choose a plan that has unlimited coverage so you are not reaching a ceiling each calendar year should you have multiple incidents for your dog.
The price of pet insurance
While individual costs will vary based on your pet’s breed, age, health, where you live and the policy you choose, the price of pet insurance can range from $25 to $70 for dogs.
How to find the best pet insurance for your dog
If you do decide to get pet insurance, enroll your dog when he or she is young when policies are cheaper and before they have any ailments. Talk to your vet to get an idea of your pet’s potential breed-specific health problems and see if they have a recommendation. If you decide to choose catastrophic coverage (generally the best cost-to-savings option), spring for the highest deductible you can afford. Make sure to go or a policy that has a high annual or even better unlimited benefit schedule.
In the end, it comes down to your budget and a combination of the following factors: your pet’s lifespan, the breed, how many vet visits (non –routine) you think you will take, if there is an emergency, and the type of coverage you decide to purchase.
Pet insurance is ultimately for the unexpected because you can never predict what would happen to your dog. And, of course, you never want to be left with a huge medical bill and no way to cover it. If you decide to buy pet insurance, make sure to take a look at the list of The Best Insurance Companies of 2018 for your dog.
About the Author
Lisa Fimberg is the founder of Petpav.com an on-line magazine with articles on dog health, reviews and news! When she isn’t writing articles for the site, you can find her at the gym, running or helping out at the local shelter!
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