If the past couple of years have taught us anything, it is that things can change in the blink of an eye. Our health is the most important priority we have, and we take all types of precautions to preserve it; we exercise, eat right, and make sure we have health insurance so we can see a doctor when needed.
Doesn’t your pet deserve the same? One of the most important aspects of caring for your pet is to be prepared for potential emergencies and health problems that your pet may develop during its lifetime. An important step towards that security and peace of mind is to consider purchasing pet insurance.
Most major health issues can be kept at bay with proper and regular preventative care. Services such as wellness exams, dental cleanings, vaccines, and routine blood tests are crucial to maintain your pet’s overall health – but those costs can really add up!
Pet insurance can help alleviate a lot of the expenses associated with preventative care. Much like a human’s medical insurance program, pet insurance usually covers up to a predetermined amount for routine care and procedures, for a much smaller monthly premium. An insurance plan for your fur baby can save you between $250-450 a year, and that’s just for the routine stuff!
In addition, some pet insurance policies will cover up to a predetermined amount for spays and neuters, encouraging population control and overall healthier animals.
Accidents & Illness
We are never emotionally prepared for something to happen to our pawed family members, but accidents and illness can happen at any stage of a pet’s life.
If injured, pet insurance can help cover X-rays, poison control fees, surgery, or hospitalization. If your pet becomes ill or develops something more serious like cancer, a percentage of the cost treatments can be covered as well.
If your pet is diagnosed with a manageable condition, it is possible they will require medications for most or all of their lives, which can really put a strain on you financially. Pet insurance helps to cover prescription medications, keeping your pet healthy.
Another huge benefit that pet insurance can offer is financial assistance with end of life expenses. Insurance providers like SPOT, cover euthanasia, burial, and cremation expenses if related to a covered condition. That is always one of the most expensive aspects to pet ownership and comes at the worst possible time. It is a relief to know there is financial support available, so you can focus on the more important moments.
What Isn’t Covered
Not all pet insurance providers are equal, but there are some consistencies in regard to what services are not covered by policies. The first item not covered may sound familiar; no pet insurance provider covers pre-existing conditions. This clause has been a thorn in the side for human beings and healthcare as well – but back to the pets.
Not surprisingly, if your pet has a pre-existing condition, a pet insurance policy won’t go very far to help. However, some providers like SPOT, don’t consider a condition as pre-existing if your pet hasn’t suffered from it for 180 days. When searching for a pet insurance policy, it will be important to read the fine print. While none are perfect, some will offer some assistance for contributing symptoms.
Treatments, medications, and supplements that have not been approved by the FDA, are also not covered by most pet insurance policies (nor would you want them to be). Pet diets aren’t usually covered, however if a special prescription food is needed due to an on-going covered condition, it’s possible your policy will cover a portion.
Daycare, boarding, and grooming are also not covered, but these types of needs could be added to pet policies in the future. Many animals fare better in a daycare environment. The argument could be made that spending time in a boarding facility with interactive play, versus being crated at home during the day, is a health service. Time will tell. Meanwhile you can use the money you save on other services that are covered by policies, and put towards these costs.
How it Works
If you are a pet owner, you probably already have a veterinarian that you and your pet trust. The great part about most pet insurance policies is that you can take your pet anywhere for treatment (even emergency services or facilities).
Simply pay for your bill up front, then use documentation from the veterinarian and hospital you visited to file a claim online or via fax with your pet insurer. You will be reimbursed within the parameters of your policy (which you can customize to your pet’s specific needs).
It’s important to care for your pet, and a good pet insurance policy can help.