The pets you have at home are family, so you likely want what’s best for them. Many people wonder about pet insurance but aren’t too sure of the benefits it provides. However, there are many reasons to consider pet insurance.
There are also some disadvantages that you’ll want to know about. If you want to learn all of the pros and cons of pet insurance, continue reading. We included everything about pet insurance a pet parent would need to know.
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance is very different from your home and auto insurance. The system works differently than your health insurance as well. However, it still provides the coverage you need when your furry friend gets sick or injured.
The insurance works by reimbursing you for certain veterinary expenses. You still have to pay the entire bill at the vet’s office- but the insurance plan will cover your costs. The insurance may not pay for pre-existing conditions or dental work, depending on the brand.
Many people worry about the monthly premiums since they can cost a couple of hundred dollars every year. However, the insurance can save you thousands of dollars if your pet needs surgery or other treatment. Many pet insurance companies also reimburse you for your regular vet visits.
What are the pros of pet insurance?
You choose your veterinarian
To start, you can take your pet to any veterinarian. You don’t have to visit with an in-network professional like you would with health insurance for yourself. This feature is much less restrictive and allows you to see the vets you like.
As long as the vet clinic or vet hospital is licensed, pet insurance will cover the vet visit.
You don’t choose between money and your pet
Unexpected vet costs can be extremely high and unaffordable for most people. You don’t want to have to make a choice between treatment for your pet and money. Pet insurance takes out that financial burden, so your pets can get the help that they need.
Some companies can even cover up to 90% of your claim. If your pet had surgery for $2,000 and needs post-op care on top of that, this coverage would give you the peace of mind that you need.
You can choose the plan
Many pet insurance companies offer different plans and allow you to create one that meets your needs. That way, you can still budget the program into your finances. You will likely want to find a plan that offers both accident and illness coverage to receive the most benefits.
Finally, insurers can even give you the option of selecting your deductible and tailor it to your budget. You should be able to create an affordable plan that meets all of your needs.
You get peace of mind
No pet parent wants to see their fuzzy friend get hurt or sick. You’ll have more peace of mind knowing you don’t have to worry about not being able to afford the treatment your pet needs.
Overall, pet insurance takes away the price tag on your pet’s health and wellbeing. You’ll feel confident bringing your pet to see a vet knowing that you’ll be able to afford their treatment.
What are the cons of pet insurance?
You have to pay upfront
Despite having the insurance, you will still need to pay the vet bills upfront. Your insurance plan will reimburse you a certain percentage of the price. You also will need to submit the claim to your pet insurer yourself.
That means you’ll still have to pay for the vet bills until the insurer reimburses your claim. This fact is the biggest con for most people.
Not all routine visits are covered
While some insurers include routine checkups and vaccinations, not all of them do. Some only cover accidents and emergency visits. However, that means you’ll need to cover regular appointments on top of the monthly pet insurance bills. This cost may be too much for some people.
If an insurer happens to cover appointments, the premium is likely to be higher. You’ll want to research the insurers and think about what your pet needs the most.
Pre-existing conditions aren’t covered
Suppose you have an older pet with some pre-existing health conditions. In that case, you might not even get approved for the pet insurance policy. You may want to aside some money each month for your pet’s vet visits instead.
Some pet parents will set up a monthly automatic transaction in their bank account. The money goes into your savings without you having to worry about it. This idea may work better for those who have pets with pre-existing conditions.
Also, if your pet develops a chronic condition, the company can bump up your monthly premium. If you’re worried about this happening, you’ll need to make sure you have a plan with continuing coverage.
There are out of pocket costs
Since most pet insurance plans only cover a set percentage of claims, you’ll still have some of the bills to pay. Some treatments can be expensive, so you’ll need to have an emergency fund set up.
Not every family can afford to do this on top of paying the monthly premiums. Additionally, recurring visits to the vet aren’t likely to be paid for by the insurance. You may have to pay for the next visit if your pet is continuously getting sick.
Weigh the pros and cons of pet insurance
You’ll want to think about the pros and cons of pet insurance before you buy it. Make sure that you consider your pet’s health and research their breed. Some types of animals are more prone to specific health issues, which you could pay for using the insurance plan.
You also will need to think about your finances. Consider your savings and how much you can realistically put towards your pet insurance each month. From there, you can browse pet insurance plans and find a price that suits you.
Keep in mind that many plans offer customization, so it’s important to think about your and your pet’s unique circumstance when deciding what is right for both of you.
Gabe Nelson is a content specialist with more than 7 years of experience. Just out of high school, he set off crab fishing on the Bering Sea in Alaska. From there, he went back home to finish his college degree at the University of Montana. He has written hundreds of content pieces in numerous niches.