Have you ever considered getting a pet medical insurance policy? In the United States, only about 1-2% of pet owners have pet insurance, but it can make a difference if your furry friend ends up needing emergency surgery or gets seriously ill.
Since Americans generally don’t have (or even know about) pet medical insurance, you might be wondering what it includes and whether or not you should invest in a policy. In this post, we’re answering those questions. We’ll also discuss the variables that influence how much your policy will cost and let you know how to purchase a plan to protect your four-legged friend.
How does pet medical insurance work?
Broadly speaking, pet medical insurance is quite similar to human health insurance. That means you’ll pay a monthly premium and have an annual deductible, as you would with your own policy.
Although individual policies can vary by provider, you’ll find some similarities across most pet insurance companies. Your animal’s routine care and exams likely won’t be covered. Neither will pre-existing conditions or grooming procedures.
With all of those exclusions, you might be asking yourself: what does pet medical insurance actually cover? These policies make the biggest difference in illness, injury, and accident coverage. Since these are unexpected events, having a policy in place that protects you from extreme financial costs can be helpful.
What types of pets are covered?
In general, only cats and dogs are eligible for pet insurance since they’re the most popular companion pets. However, some insurers have started to offer policies that cover other animals. For instance, ASPCA Pet Insurance sells a plan for horses, and Nationwide has a policy for birds and exotic animals.
How much does it cost?
Your monthly premium will depend on a few different factors, including whether you have a cat or a dog. Coverage for dogs is generally more expensive than cats since they often require more expensive surgeries and treatments.
Your pet’s age will also impact how much you pay for insurance. As you might expect, senior cats and dogs usually have more costly vet expenses than kittens and puppies.
Also, if you have a dog, the breed of your animal could affect your premium. Certain breeds are more prone to genetic diseases and ailments (like hip dysplasia), so pet medical insurance is generally higher for these types of pups.
Where can you buy pet medical insurance?
There are dozens of pet insurance companies in the United States, so you have quite a bit of choice when it comes to choosing a provider. If you aren’t sure where to start, use a comparison site like Policygenius to explore different plans.
You should also ask your employer if they offer pet insurance as an employee benefit. These days, more companies are providing these sorts of perks as a way to retain their best workers. If your company doesn’t offer pet medical insurance, you could always request that they consider it in the future.
Buying pet medical insurance is a personal decision and should be based on various factors, including your pet’s age and breed and your finances. But if you can justify the monthly expense, it could help you save serious money in the future.
For more resources on pet ownership, check out the PetPonder blog.