TLTR: This blog provides information on contents of a pet insurance policy, cost, and resources for low- income pet owners.
Pet insurance pays for a majority or part of your pet’s medical expenses, depending on the type of coverage you are opting for. The United States spent $103.6 billion on their pets in 2020. Veterinarian bills amount to a large part of pet expenses. Avoiding full payment on medical cost is financially beneficial for pet owners.
Altogether, it makes sense to opt for insurance to cover the hefty costs of keeping a pet, so that you enjoy all the benefits of your furry companion worry-free.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Once you have narrowed down on an insurance plan, the coverage will ask you for a series of personal information and information regarding your pet. The type of policy you choose should depend on details about your pet, your budget, along with your concerns including your living situation and a brief risk assessment.
You should also note that most insurance policies work on reimbursement basis, so the insurance will refund what you have spent in, like medical bills. Lastly, choosing a carrier who have a lot of insured on their pet coverage pool will reduce your premiums. It’s always a good idea to ask the company how many pet insurance policies they are currently selling.
Types of Pet Insurance Policy
Choosing the right type of insurance for your pet is depends on your personal needs. The coverage you need for your pet depends on:
- Age of your pet
- Pet breed
- The pet’s medical history
- Your budget
When you are comparing insurance deals, you need to look for 4 types of general coverage options:
- Accident pet insurance: Although this type of insurance doesn’t cover long-term complications and ailment, your pet’s medical bills are covered when they are hurt on an accident.
- Limited time pet insurance: A time limited insurance covers both illnesses and accidents. However, the insurance is on a time limit. Furthermore, the policy is generally non-renewable.
- Lifetime pet insurance: This is the most complete insurance package. It covers accidents, injuries and for as long as the illness is valid. This type of policy is also renewable.
Pet Insurance Cost
When comparing pet insurance costs, you will soon find that prices vary for similar coverages. According to Rolling Stone, a medium sized breed maintenance costs $5000 annually. According to a report by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) published in Money, the average cost of insurance pets, including cats, has gone down from $349 in 2019 to $341 in 2020. The discount accounts to the pool of insurers rising in the span of 3 years, as well the double digit growth of insured pets.
A pet insurance amount comes with a range of choices. A low annual limit can be $2,500 and can go to unlimited amounts. All in all, the higher your yearly maximum, the more your monthly premium will be.
Pet Insurance Deductible
An insurance deductible is the amount you pay out of your own pocket in bills after your insurance coverage reimburses you. Deductibles are determined either annually, or per-condition. If your deductible is around the figures of $100, $200 or $300, then it’s a normal amount. The higher the deductible, the lower your monthly insurance payment will be.
When utilizing your insurance plan, have a look at your policy or consult the arrangement in advance. An unexpectedly large vet bill offsets your finance in unimaginable ways. By any means, select a pet insurance policy that is within your budget. You can also speak with your insurance company or an agent and speak about tailorized and budget-friendly policy options.
What Will Your Pet Insurance Cover?
Most insurance policies are focused on covering veterinary bills. When looking through policies, look for what the policy covers within medical bills. Usually, it should treat illnesses and injuries, including surgery, prescribed medicine, and x-rays and tests. But what if you are hospitalized and need to sign your pet up for a hostel stay? Or if you are on vacation and your pet falls ill?
If you look further or opt for a higher premium, the policy may include costs that cover searching for missing pets and injuries caused by your dog. If this kind of coverage is a priority, you can also check home insurance, where liability fees caused by pets cover well.
The only way to know what your policy is covering is to speak with an insurance agent or check with your carrier.
What Will Pet Insurance Exclude?
As with any insurance policy, your contract will come with an exclusion section. Be thorough with your needs before the contract is set up, if one of the exclusions is what you are prioritizing in your coverage, you can either request an add-on, where the premium price may go up, or you can opt for a different coverage altogether. At the end of the day, your policy’s job is to reduce your stress and provide reassurance. Worrying about exclusions is not what you are paying premiums every month for.
If you run across a liability or medical expense because of your pet that is excluded in your contract, only to find out later, your deductible will be slightly more expensive than expected. Because a lot of policies don’t cover long-term illnesses, it is also a good option to self insure. To self-insure means that you have separated a pool of money in case a policy does not cover a specific mishap you run into or if you must pay more deductible than expected.
- Grooming and grooming supplies
- Behavioral training or regular training
- Supplements and vitamins cost
- Pre-existing conditions
Have a look at other policies that may include insurance benefits below.
Supplemental Insurance Plans
There are few other insurance plans that have provisions for your pet. Once you have shopped around for insurance plans, you will soon realize that there are many creative ways to customize your insurance plans. You can bundle policies, or cut out certain coverages you don’t need to reduce premiums. In the case of pet insurance, you can focus your pet insurance coverage on paying exclusively medical bills. Other liabilities due to pet accidents can be covered by renters insurance mentioned above.
Similarly, travel insurance may also have provisions for pets. If you are a frequent traveler and your current pet policy is not willing to take care of your pet when you are away, search for provisions within your travel insurance plans. If you briefly research all your options, you will discover ways to keep your pet protected from all kinds of risks.
Pet Insurance for Low Income Families
Being a low-income earner, or living in a tight budget does not mean that your desire to adopt a pet needs to wait. What you need is a plan, and direction towards the appropriate resources. Before you own a pet, it is crucial to have a game plan for how you will handle the financial responsibility of owning a pet.
There are many carriers who provide specialized insurance plans for low-income families and many companies are known to offer coverage plans targeted specifically for low-income households. The veterinarian you visit may also offer what is called pet-wellness plans. Pet-wellness plans are pre-pay and monthly installment options to cover medical bills.
When signing up for insurance, you can also ask your carrier if deductibles can be paid in installments, or if they know resources that offers loans for deductible. Also note that animal shelters and social groups usually offer free vaccination for pets. If you are facing an emergency situation with your pet, and you are currently unable to afford costs, social groups like Face Foundation offer incredible resources once you apply for their service and assistance.
Will My Pet Insurance Have a Waiting Period?
All insurance policies have a waiting period. The length of the waiting period varies on the carrier and type of coverage. This usually happens because insurance companies don’t want pet owners to have to use their policy for a medical problem immediately after they have purchased the policy.
Currently, there are no pet insurance available without a waiting period. This is not necessarily a fault in the insurance company’s part. Insurance protects you from future risks, and it is impossible to purchase insurance for a pre-existing condition. Because there no non-waiting period insurance plans, get a coverage as soon as possible, or as soon as you bring your new pet home.
To Sum It Up...
Pets help us cope with numerous types of pain, anxiety and medical conditions, even dental procedures. Noone wishes that their beloved pet will one day end up at the hospital battling a life altering illness, nor do they expect their pet to rack up liabilities due to accidents, but these things happen.
When it comes to a living with an animal, prepare yourself for the worst. Pets bring us great joy, but when their health and wellness is compromised, we might face tremendous levels of stress.
Was find this blog helpful? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.
If you’re looking for a pet insurance policy quote, please contact your local insurance agent.
Frequently Asked Question
What is the best pet insurance?
The best type of pet insurance is a comprehensive coverage. It specifies which pet it is targeting, addresses the budget transparently, mentions whether the policy applies for one or multiple pets and mentions whether the policy is also valid for older pets. You can also ask your carrier for dental coverage for your pet, as it is usually not included in the policy.
Always speak with your insurance provider to ensure all the boxes are checked regarding your needs.
Is neutering and spaying covered in pet insurance?
Spaying and neutering coverage is available as part of most coverages. You must ask your carrier if this is included in the coverage plan. Since these are one-time medical procedures, the carriers usually have no problem. Other policies will only cover any possible complications that arise after your pet has undergone the procedure.
The best bet is to always ask you carrier, or go through the policy thoroughly yourself before you sign up.
February 9th, 2023 · 5 mins read
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