The Pros and Cons of Pet Insurance

Collage of PetsEven the best of pet parents can’t always prevent their loyal canine or loveable feline from getting sick or injured and pet insurance is there to help cover the costs. Pet insurance allows pet owners to give their beloved companion the best treatment without worrying about what kind of financial burden it might cause. 

Pet owners should start out their pet insurance search by first identifying the kind of coverage they want, how much they are willing to pay a month, and what injuries/illnesses your pet is susceptible too. 

Then take a look at our list of the pros and cons of pet insurance. Take everything into consideration and determine if pet insurance is right for you and your pet.

Pros

Younger Pets Costs Less

Typically pet insurance companies allow dog owners to enroll puppies as young as 8 weeks old, while kittens can be enrolled as young as 10 weeks old. It’s essential to insure your pet when they’re young and healthy because no pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions. The younger you enroll your pet, the less likely they are to have pre-existing conditions, and therefore your premiums will be cheaper. 

Customizable Coverage

Many pet insurance companies allow you to customize your coverage. Some pet owners might only want accident coverage in case their pet swallows a favorite toy or breaks a bone playing fetch. Other pet owners will want a more comprehensive plan that covers hereditary conditions, congenital conditions, routine care, wellness packages, and preventive care. Pet insurance companies have come a long way, so nowadays you’re more than likely to find a provider that offers the unique coverage you and your loyal companion needs. 

Afford Expensive Treatments

Medical advances and high-end equipment gives your pet the best chance of living a long and happy life. However, cutting-edge equipment only contributes to raising veterinary costs. Pet insurance will help alleviate the pressure of paying for an expensive treatment(s). No pet owner wants to make the decision between life or death because of how much it will cost.

Expand Your Pet’s Treatment Options

For some pet parents surgeries, prescriptions, and other traditional methods aren’t what their pet needs. Many pet insurance companies are offering holistic, herbal, or alternative therapies to help animals overcome diseases and illnesses.

FIGO covers holistic, alternative and behavioral therapies

Access to Vets Across the Country

One of the great things about pet insurance is nearly all pet insurance providers allow pet owners to visit any licensed veterinarians, pet hospitals, emergency clinics or specialists in the U.S.

Nationwide Pet allows pet owners to go to any vet in the world

PetFirst allows its members to visit any emergency clinic or specialist in the U.S.

Available Discounts

Pet insurance providers will often provide a multi-pet discount that rewards pet owners who enroll at least 2 pets. Some pet insurance companies even allow stacking, meaning policyholders can receive more than one discount for their pet. 

Embrace offers several policy discounts (multi-pet, military, spay/neuter, annual pay, etc.) 

May Be Offered As Part of an Employee’s Benefit Package

Most millennials are holding off having children and treating their pets as their children. Pet insurance companies have taken notice and are starting to pop up in employee benefits packages. More pet owners are wanting coverage for their entire family, and that includes furry family members. Pet owners should ask their company if they offer pet insurance as a benefit.  

PetPartners has an Employer Benefits Program that companies can enroll in

Peace of Mind

Simply knowing your pet is covered against unexpected accidents and illnesses is a great relief to pet owners. Being able to focus on helping your pet to have a happy and healthy life, without having to worry about the costs if something bad does happen will aid in reducing your stress. 

Cons 

Can Be More Expensive Long-Term

Unfortunately, pet owners are more likely to pay more for insurance than they’ll ever get back from it. Some pet owners opt to start a pet health savings account in place of pet insurance, that way they avoid paying monthly premiums.

Pre-Existing Conditions Are Never Covered

If your dog or cat has struggled with conditions or health issues for the majority of their life, it might be better to put your money toward a personal pet health savings account and paying for treatments. 

Coverage May Not Include Routine Care

Routine care covers things like annual vet exams, routine tests or screenings, vaccines, microchips, de-worming, and sometimes pay/neuter services. However, most of these services are not covered under the base pet insurance plans. Most companies have the option to add wellness coverage or a routine care rider, but that will cost more.

Certain Pets Might Not Be Eligible

Finding extensive coverage for an elderly pet can be difficult. Owners will notice that many companies won’t offer a comprehensive coverage option for older pets, but they will provide an accident only policy. This can be frustrating for an owner who wants to get full coverage for their aging pet. Pet owners might also see that certain breeds that are prone to specific conditions and those can be excluded from your coverage. For example, Golden Retrievers are susceptible to hip dysplasia, and some companies will exclude the breed from coverage. 

Also, it can be extremely difficult to find a pet insurance provider that insures more exotic pets. Finding coverage for horses, reptiles, birds, and small animals can be extremely difficult.  

Upfront costs

Pet insurance is different than human health insurance in that pet parents pay the entire bill upfront. After paying for the treatment(s), pet owners send the bill to the company and will later receive reimbursement via check or direct deposit. This can be frustrating for some pet owners as it requires them to have the money available at the moment of accident or illness.

 

It’s important as a pet owner to take care of your pet’s health and well-being. No two pet insurance companies are going to be the same and it’s important to find the one that will provide the right amount of coverage, fit within your budget, and give you the peace of mind when dealing with unexpected vet bills.  

Interested in getting pet insurance? Look at our top-rated Pet Insurance Companies

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