Factors to consider before investing in pet insurance


From the age of your pet to understanding what your coverage is. Use these expert advice to decide if pet insurance is right for you.

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Every devoted dog or cat owner knows there’s nothing they wouldn’t do for their beloved furry friend. But as the cost of pet health needs begins to rise due to advancing age, chronic illness or the need for emergency care. Balancing your pet’s health with your finances can make emotional decisions more difficult.

Nicole Savageau, VMD of The Vets of Austin said, “We have had incredible medical advancements. This allows us to treat our pets much more than we could just a few decades ago,” says Nicole Savageau, VMD of The Vets of Austin. “Pet insurance can help owners. Unexpected increase in medical expenses due to accident or illness and allows for diagnosis and treatment. which otherwise would cost one family a lot.”

Companies that offer pet insurance plans From large underwriters like Nationwide, Progressive and Allstate, to specialized pet brands like Spot and Trupanion, they offer coverage for a wide range of services and animals at a range of prices. Take these six key factors into account when comparing plans to decide if pet insurance is right for you.

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How does pet insurance work?

This is unlike the complicated task of finding an in-network doctor for your own appointment. Choosing a veterinarian does not require information from your insurance company. There is no insurance network for pet care.

Paying through pet insurance providers usually works on a reimbursement plan. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, pet owners pay for their medical bills themselves and send receipts to the insurance provider. This means that you will need an advance to pay the veterinarian while waiting for reimbursement. (If you don’t, the AVMA recommends setting up a payment plan with your veterinarian’s office.)

What does pet insurance cover?

The specifics of your pet insurance plan will vary by insurer. The breed and age of your pet. and your insurance premium “Because pet insurance plans are not as standard as human health insurance plans. It’s important to understand all coverages and exclusions. And it’s not just buy-by-price,” says Karen Davis of Nationwide. The most comprehensive nationwide plan includes coverage for fees for testing, vaccinations, hospitalization, surgery, x-rays, ultrasounds, prescription drugs. Medicine and food, injuries and allergies (among other health issues).

But not all companies will cover the testing fee. and the specific limitations and permissible costs for accidents. chronic illness And emergency treatment varies from provider to provider. as well as waiting periods for certain diseases and injuries. “Consult with your veterinarian when considering the different levels of coverage. Ask about your pet’s usual care routine. Considering breed/mixture, size, lifestyle factors. and possible inclination,” Davis suggests.


Factors to Consider

The financial benefits of pet insurance depend on a number of factors. Include the type of insurance you choose and how often you usually visit the veterinarian.

your pet’s age

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If you are considering getting pet insurance for your old animal. Make sure you understand your insurance company’s policies regarding pre-existing conditions and age-related issues. You can still register older pets. But current health needs will not be covered retroactively.

“Because pre-existing conditions are not exempt in the pet insurance industry, getting pets registered at an early age before pre-existing conditions arise is the best way to maximize coverage. maximum,” Davis said. “The older the pet, the more However, age-related issues that arise after a pet is insured are more likely to be covered.

Types of Deductions

A key component of any pet insurance plan is the type of deductible you choose, Davis says. And after pet owners have reached this amount Additional treatment will also be covered. Other plans offer a conditional deductible.

“With conditional deductions A new deduction must be paid for every new condition shown. This could lead to more unnecessary expenses for pet owners in a given year,” Davis said.

Pet Insurance vs. Health Plan

Davis says pet insurance and health plans may sound similar. But they don’t provide the same coverage. Health plans, usually offered by individual veterinary offices This is typically a combined service that may include a medical examination. Flea or tick protection annual blood test and other scheduled treatments every year, all done at the same veterinary group that proposed the plan.

“The health plan is for routine veterinary care. While pet insurance is medical insurance that may cover preventative care. Office visits, treatments, illnesses, injuries, prescription drugs and foods, telehealth and more depend on the plan you choose,” says Davis. “Pet insurance is only offered by licensed and accepted underwriters. ”

Your general pet care routine

Although pet insurance can cover the cost of emergency care, But pet owners who use it regularly tend to get a better return on their investment, says Davis. “Pet insurance is most helpful for pet parents who visit the veterinarian,” she says. Some pets don’t go to the veterinarian aside from life-threatening emergencies or end-of-life treatments.” Adding to the benefits of pet insurance plans means taking advantage of coverage for physical exams, blood tests and chronic illnesses.

This preventative care is the best way to save money for your pet’s long-term health needs, says Dr. Savageau. “Preventing problems before they become problems ultimately saves a ton of money!” she says. . “For example Heartworm prevention can cost $10 to $15 a month. It will cost thousands of dollars to kill adult heartworms. Pet insurance can help you focus solely on your best friend. Instead of stressing whether you can afford to pay for your pet’s treatment or not.

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