If your pet was critically injured and needed to be hospitalized tomorrow, would you be able to afford the bill?
We all want to do the very best we can for our pets, and we are fortunate that today, we have access to ever advancing veterinary medicine. From cancer treatment, to blood transfusions, to laser therapy and advanced surgical procedures, it’s now possible to treat almost all pet injuries and illnesses.
This advanced care comes with a cost, however. Standard pet care costs already average $1800 per year, making it easy to see how a pet accident, illness, or emergency can put a financial strain on many families.
That’s where pet insurance comes in. Just as human health insurance is designed to bridge the gap between needed cost and care, pet insurance can offset the financial burden of unexpected injury or illness to our pets. The big question is – is pet insurance right for you? It’s an individual decision, but it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits for your own situation. Here, Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital shows you how.
Pet Insurance Basics
Pet insurance is typically designed to cover unplanned injury or illness to our pets. There are plans designed to include wellness care – such as exams, dental cleanings, and vaccinations – but these plans usually have higher monthly premiums.
Pet insurance companies can expect pet owners to pay for veterinary services up front and get reimbursed after care is complete. However, we work with Trupanion Pet Insurance, which has a direct pay option, making reimbursements a thing of the past.
Unlike human health insurance, there is no network of veterinarians. This means your pet can see any veterinarian they need. You can rest assured your pet’s coverage is effective even if they need to see a specialist or emergency veterinarian.
How to Pick a Plan
It may seem daunting with all the insurance companies out there now. But with a bit of research and comparing apples to apples, you can get a good idea of plans that might work for you. Here’s what to look for.
- Monthly costs
- Deductible amounts
- Waiting periods
- Lifetime limits
- Exclusions, including breed and congenital conditions
- Pre-existing conditions
- Payout maximums
- Age limits
It’s always smart to check online reviews and call your top 3 companies to learn about their customer service and claims process.
Remember that the sooner you sign up for pet insurance, the less expensive the monthly premiums will be. Consider enrolling your puppy or kitten before any pre-existing conditions arise.
Pro tip: many companies are now offering pet insurance to their employees as a benefit, so check with your employer to see if your company offers this.
The X Factor
Perhaps the biggest plus to purchasing pet insurance is the peace of mind it can buy. Pet insurance can literally save your pet’s life. If your pet is critically injured or has a diagnosis of a life threatening disease, pet insurance can let you focus on what’s most important – your pet’s medical care – rather than worrying about how you’ll pay for that care. It’s different for everyone, but for many, that kind of peace of mind is priceless.
If you have questions about pet insurance, please call us. Many of our team members have pet insurance for their own pets and are happy to share their experiences.