Pet Health Insurance Plans for Your Dog or Cat – Can You Afford Veterinary Medical Care?
Do you own a cat, dog, or other house pet? If so, you are probably aware that vet bills can quickly add up. Over the past three years, more and more cat and dog owners have decided to purchase pet insurance. According to Embrace Pet Insurance, there are nearly one million active pet insurance policies in the United States. Before you join hundreds of thousands of others in making this purchase, it is essential to learn more about the pros and cons including what a policy covers and how much it will cost.
Cost of Pet Insurance
Most people base their decision on whether to buy pet insurance on the overall cost of a policy. In other words, what is the monthly premium? Just like health insurance for humans, the cost of pet insurance varies based on the coverage and the company you are buying from. The same as health insurance, pet insurance can include deductibles, co-pays, annual limits, and much more. As you tweak these details, the cost of pet insurance will rise and fall.
On the low side, a basic pet insurance policy can cost anywhere from $5 to $10 per month. If you are interested in a more comprehensive policy, expect to pay closer to $100/month. It is important to compare many policies before making a purchase. Also, be sure to ask for discounts. Some companies offer a “multi-pet” discount, as well as those for paying several months in advance.
Age matters. As you know, older people pay more for health insurance coverage. The same holds true with pets. The younger your pet, the less you will pay for a policy. Additionally, some companies impose age limit restrictions.
What does Pet Insurance Cover?
As noted above, there are many types of pet insurance. What your policy covers may not be the same as the next owner. Most basic pet insurance policies cover all of the following: accidents (attacks from other animals or cars), poisonings, surgeries, x-rays, and foreign object ingestion.
If you decide to pay for a top of the line pet insurance policy, you will also receive coverage for some or all of the following: treatment related to cancer, diabetes, heartworm, allergies, common ailments such as diarrhea, ear infections, arthritis, and preventative care.
Should I buy a Policy?
The question remains the same: is pet insurance worth it? This is a decision that you have to make based on your financial situation, as well as the type of pet that you have. For many pet owners, a basic, low cost insurance policy is the way to go. This offers basic coverage (outlined above) and can go a long way in keeping vet bills to a minimum.
While some owners feel that basic pet insurance is more than enough, others decide early on that buying the best possible policy is the way to go especially if they have a high maintenance or expensive pet. And of course, there are those who take the risk and forgo a policy altogether.
If pet insurance interests you, compare several providers and policies to ensure that you make the right purchase. Choose a company that has a large client base, as well as several policies for your type of pet. Feel free to request referrals as well.
The bottom line is simple: you can pay anywhere from a few dollars to $100 or more per month for pet insurance. Is it worth the money to you?
(photo credit: mikebaird)