Most pet owners would never dream of going for a walk or taking their pet to the park without a leash. That’s because they know that if their pet were to get loose and run into the street, it could be hit by a car and seriously injured or even killed. Similarly, you don’t want to let your pet go without health insurance. It can provide a safeguard to help protect your pet and your wallet. Just as we would want to be covered if we were to get hurt while out and about, our pets should be covered as well.
While pet insurance is important, you should note that not all insurance plans are created equal. There are a lot of things to consider when you’re looking into pet insurance, and one of the essential components is coverage. Depending on your situation, you might be interested in pet insurance that covers vaccines, routine visits, and emergency treatment. Other pet owners might only need accident and illness coverage. The type of coverage that is right for you will depend on the needs of your pet. Let’s take a look at some of the things that pet insurance might cover.
Accident and Illness Coverage
Some insurers offer stand-alone illness insurance. However, it is much more common to see it bundled with accident coverage. Accident and illness policies cover a wide range of illnesses, from minor problems like vomiting and diarrhea to serious illnesses like cancer or other chronic illnesses. They can also cover all veterinary examination and consultation fees, hospitalization, treatments, surgery costs, and prescription medications.
Most of these insurance policies also cover things like torn ligaments that are specific to certain breeds. However, this is only true if your vet identifies the problem after the policy is in place. If your dog suffered any of these conditions before you enrolled them, it is considered a “pre-existing” condition and therefore not covered. Some policies also cover specific conditions with a waiting period. For example, an insurance company might reimburse you for surgery to help with hip dysplasia, but only if treatment happens at least six months after the policy takes effect.
Wellness coverage, often called “preventive care,” is available as an add-on to a broader policy or, from some carriers, as a separate stand-alone policy. No matter what, your pet will still need some routine care, like preventative vaccinations and check-ups. Over time, the vet bills for routine care can start to add up. Wellness coverage with pet insurance can help offset some of those costs by reimbursing you 80 to 90 percent of the bills. Additionally, many policies offer discounts on routine procedures, such as spaying or neutering. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Accident Only Coverage
At some point, your pet might swallow something they shouldn’t or hurt themselves doing a certain activity. In these cases, you require accident coverage. Accident-only policies are a little less expensive than other policies and reimburse the cost of treating injuries or illnesses caused by mishaps or accidents. This includes self-inflicted injuries by the animal or accidents that are the fault of the owner. Claims for accidents stemming from such behaviors won’t increase your monthly premiums. However, breed disposition to accidents may affect the cost of accident insurance or comprehensive plans that include the coverage. For example, premiums might be higher for Labrador Retrievers in part because of the breed’s tendency to swallow things.
There are a number of pet insurance policies available, so it is important to compare rates before you decide which policy is best for you and your pet. Pet insurance is a good investment because it can help you pay for expensive veterinary bills if your pet becomes ill or injured and provide you with peace of mind. Additionally, pet insurance can help you save money on routine veterinary care, such as annual check-ups and vaccinations.