Pros and Cons of Pet Health Insurance

Pros and Cons of Pet Health Insurance

Pet insurance, like regular health insurance, has a multitude of both benefits and drawbacks. 

Like any other insurance we have, it provides us with peace of mind knowing that should something happen to our pets, we have the coverage to take care of it. The problem is, what kind of coverage do you get for your pet, and what are the prices you’d be paying for the plan you choose? According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, as of 2018 there were only 2.16 million pets insured, which sounds like a lot-without knowing that there are more than 80 million dogs and 96 million cats kept as pets in the US. 

Health insurance for pets works exactly like the health insurance we have for our children or other family members- you pay a monthly premium, the price dependent on the plan you’ve chosen- and should your pet become sick or injured, some or all of veterinary costs are covered by the pet insurance provider. 

 

There are three main types of plans available for pet health insurance, and they can be broken down as such:

  • Accident and Illness
  • Accident only 
  • Wellness 

There’s more information for each category, and depending on the provider, a difference in what would be covered in each. Here is a more in-depth look at what it would cost and what would be covered based on your pet’s needs. There is also an age limit, among other restrictions regarding getting insurance for your furry loved one. 

 

Having the insurance for the health of your pet might sound like an obvious choice, but are the plans really worth the money you end up spending on them? The average premium varies greatly- it could be anywhere from $10 or $100, depending on the provider and plan. In a case where an emergency surgery is needed for your pet, it definitely seems like you would want to have the coverage so that you’re not worried about your finances and being able to afford a surgery that might be needed to save the life of your furry friend. Surgeries for pets are often incredibly expensive, and not having to think about how you would afford them is definitely a positive. 

 

On the other hand, paying out of pocket for a monthly fee that most often will go unused could potentially be a reason someone would opt out of having their pet on a health insurance plan. Beyond that, a lot of the providers are selective in terms of what they will cover for a specific animal. For example, an older dog or a cat with preexisting conditions will often not be covered in an emergency care situation, which oftentimes is  not made clear when signing up for the plan. Regular check ups and vaccines are also often not included in the plans, regardless of the provider. The final point with insured animals is that the owners actually have to pay for the services up front, and send in a claim to the insurance provider for reimbursement , instead of insurance paying the veterinary office directly. 

All of these points are to be taken into consideration before signing up for pet health insurance, to decide whether or not it is something you’d like to have for your animals. Do you currently have health insurance for your pets? 

 

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