Should You Get Pet Insurance?


At first, your young pet may only require yearly checkups and booster shots, but as he ages, the visits become more frequent and the bills get higher. Although you’re 100 percent dedicated to the care of your furry family member, you can’t help but cringe every time you take him to the vet.

If you have your vet on speed dial, you might be wondering if it’s time to buy pet insurance and if it’s really worth paying a monthly or yearly fee to save on expensive treatments.

Pros

Investing in a policy that can help defray the cost of keeping your beloved pet healthy and happy can foster peace of mind, and to some pet owners, that solace is worth the price.

“Like any insurance policy, there’s no real way of knowing if pet insurance will pay off in the end, but for many pet owners, the potential reward — a long life for their furry family member — is worth the gamble,” reports Time.com writer Kristen Bahler.

Pet insurance is becoming customizable, allowing you to choose the coverage you need, according to ConsumerReports.org writer Mandy Walker. She notes that there are plans that cover tick and flea treatments, vaccines and wellness checks as well as more comprehensive plans that provide for injuries caused by accidents.

“Eighty-one percent of pet insurance policies are accident and illness plans for dogs; 14.6 percent provide the same kind of coverage for cats and other pets. Only about four percent of the market is made up of accident-only and wellness coverage,” Walker reports.

Pet insurance might be easier to secure than you think. Your employer might provide pet insurance in your benefits package, explains New York Times writer Susan Jenks, who calls pet insurance the “latest work perk.”

Cons

Navigating pet insurance policies and plans can be overwhelming due to the “dizzying array of options,” writes Jenks.

Walker reports that your pet’s age and breed as well as your chosen plan’s deductible and the cost of your preferred vet can warrant a higher price for coverage.

“Almost all policies exclude pre-existing conditions and may exclude breed-specific conditions (or charge you more to cover them),” adds Walker.

According to Jenks, canines are generally more expensive to insure than felines and large dog breeds will fetch a higher premium than small breeds.

Walker notes that most insurance plans for pets require you to foot the vet bill in full at the time of treatment and then (patiently) wait for your insurance company to pay you back. The reimbursement period will vary depending on your provider, though some claim same-day processing.

Just like choosing the right health plan for your human family is deeply personal and unique to your family’s needs, so is choosing a plan for your pet. With more companies playing the pet insurance game, your options for a plan that fits your budget are greater than ever before.

 

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