Pet insurance, just as human insurance, is always a touchy subject. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reviewed its policy on pet insurance in 2019. The AVMA recommended veterinarians educate clients and pet owners about animal insurance.
We are not preparing this article to promote any providers or encourage our clients to get such products; instead, we want to review a couple of recommendations and remind our readers what they should keep an eye out for when analyzing insurance plans.
Why Some Specialists Recommend a Pet Insurance Plan
The principle is the same as with human insurance. Peace of mind goes a long way when you face veterinary emergencies.
The costs of veterinary care continue to rise as innovative technologies, and cutting-edge procedures make their way into mainstream treatment. Furthermore, the costs of veterinary emergency care can quickly rise as your pet’s specialist works against the clock to stabilize the patient.
Specialized care for pets who suffer from neurological conditions or require cancer treatment can set you back several thousands of dollars in the blink of an eye. Nobody’s fully prepared for a $5,000 bill as part of your pet’s veterinary care, and this is why some people prefer hiring pet health insurance beforehand.
Still, there are ways you and your pet’s veterinarian can work out payment plans to make the cost much more manageable. Other resources, such as CareCredit, can provide pet owners with an alternative to traditional animal insurance policies and finance large medical bills over longer periods.
What to Consider Before You Get Pet Insurance
There are a lot, and we really mean a lot, of things you should consider if you are planning to get pet insurance.
For starters, a pet insurance company will rarely, if ever, cover a pre-existing condition. Other companies will refuse to offer coverage for certain breeds or high-risk animals.
As usual, make sure they lay out all the options available to you and mention what the limitations to your pet’s care coverage are. The process will vary from one provider to another, but you should consider the following:
- Vaccinations are important. Some companies exclude pets from coverage for failure to vaccinate against some conditions such as canine influenza, kennel cough, and parvovirus.
- Periodontal disease. Even if some coverage plans do include dental revisions and cleanings, you may be surprised to find out that they won’t cover treatments for gum disease.
- Pre-insurance exams. Your chosen pet insurance company could ask that you complete a series of exams to get a medical history of your pet before coverage begins.
- Your choice of a veterinarian. If you are going to choose one pet insurance policy over another, make sure they’ll let you choose which veterinarian to visit whenever your pet requires routine care.
How Pet Insurance Coverage Usually Works
The primary reason why pet owners might consider this service is to make sure their vet bill is much more manageable. Most pet health insurance providers work through a reimbursement policy. The arrangement dictates the pet owner pays the veterinary service upfront, and the insurance company later offers a reimbursement option.
Most providers offer a reimbursement rate of around 80%, though, on some occasions, you might get a 90% and even a 100% reimbursement. Make sure you ask your desired provider about how much you’ll really pay for your pet’s health insurance.
Your premium will change depending on your pet’s age, breed, medical history, and coverage type chosen. Have the sales team detail what your annual premium, deductibles, co-pays, and incident caps will be. During an emergency, your pet’s health is no joking matter, and you want to avoid any nasty surprises when you get in touch with your pet’s insurance provider.
Where You Really Need Help
Smart spending is the name of the game.
Many experts recommend against spending your resources on wellness coverage. Consider that when you factor in how much your pet’s routine checkups cost and how often you will require some of those services (spaying and neutering, by definition, can only occur once), you might lose quite a lot of money if you get wellness coverage.
Where many pet owners consider they get the most out of what they invest is on emergency coverage. The average monthly premium for such coverage plans ranges between $11 to $16. Emergency medical care can be quite expensive. Even if your pet avoids swallowing something they shouldn’t, severe cuts, or traumatic injuries, you might still find it reassuring to know that a visit to an emergency veterinarian center won’t break the bank.
Get Emergency Care When Your Pet Needs It
Talk to the experts about what could work best in the case of an emergency; furthermore, if an emergency does strike, the most important thing is that you take your pet to a qualified center to receive treatment.
Here at BrightCare, we offer emergency veterinary care and neurology specialized care. Browse through our website to learn which symptoms reveal your pet requires neurological care, and get in touch with our staff or set an appointment to learn more about how insurance plans help offset the care your pet requires.