About Pet Insurance
Most pet owners pay between $30-50 per month depending on coverage levels, type and age of animal and your location. Cat plans are less expensive than dog plans. Pet insurance helps cover the cost of veterinary care when your dog or cat gets sick or injured. Planning ahead for these costs can save you considerable out-of-pocket expenses. But most importantly, it can prevent every animal lover’s worst case scenario – having to delay or forego treatment for your beloved pet because of the financial burden.
Pet Insurance Coverage
Although every pet owner should read the policy closely before signing up, there are generally three types of plans.
Comprehensive - For both injury and illness (excluding pre-existing conditions), these types of plans cover most of what you need. All plans will clearly define what they cover. This usually covers diagnostic testing, surgery, hospitalization and prescriptions at a minimum.
Injury Only - If you have a healthy pet, but you’re worried about not being able to pay for their unexpected injuries, this type of plan gives you coverage for these kinds of situations and is a less expensive option than comprehensive.
Preventative - These plans are often “add-ons” since most pet owners will budget for routine visits and vaccinations.
How Pet Insurance Works
Pet insurance works very much like your own healthcare plan. Let’s take a look at some of the terms you’ll see.
Co-Pay - Some plans require that you pay a small amount or percentage for each non-routine visit.
Premium - This is the amount you pay monthly to maintain the pet insurance plan.
Deductible - Some plans require that you pay a certain amount out-of-pocket first before the coverage begins each year. Certain plans have per-incident deductibles.
Benefit Limits - Plans may cap benefits on an annual, lifetime, or per-condition basis. There are plans that offer unlimited benefits, but these are more expensive.
Pre-Existing Condition - Almost all plans exclude pre-existing conditions, which are illnesses your pet had before you bought the plan. Some plans cover them if the condition is curable.
Reimbursement - All plans require that you pay vet bills up front, then submit a claim for reimbursement. Reimbursement can happen within 2-5 days.
Waiting Period - Plans have a period of waiting before coverage begins.
Evaluating Pet Insurance Cost
Pet insurance cost depends on the level of coverage chosen, type of pet, age of pet, and where you live.
You have control over the cost of your plan by adjusting the deductible and benefits. If you want your monthly premium to be as low as possible, then choose a higher deductible or lower annual limit. Many pet insurance companies have tools so you can see the difference in cost by changing certain variables of the plan.