04 Oct Why is pet insurance a good idea for pet parents?
Pets are not just akin to family, they are family. Like a loved one, we wish for them to have a healthy, happy, and prosperous life, free of hardship and discomfort. Life tends to be unpredictable, and while we never wish for any misfortune to befall our pets, unforeseen circumstances can put them in harm’s way. Medical emergencies, accidents, chronic illnesses, and unexpected circumstances can all happen with practically zero notice. The cost of medications and consultations can add up fast, not to mention how expensive a surgical process can be.
The reality is, an exceptionably small part of the population is prepared for such a situation, and are covered by pet insurance. Many pets live without any safety net, meaning if an emergency does present itself, there are precious few options other than borrowing a sizeable sum from a bank or a generous lender. No pet should go through such a situation, and neither should a pet parent have to resort to extreme measures because they cannot afford such expenses. To help you avoid ever being in such a scenario, we’d like to walk you through the basics of pet insurance and everything you need to know before investing in a pet insurance policy.
What is Pet Insurance?
As humans, it is commonplace to invest in insurance policies against various circumstances. Insurance is the process of exchanging risk for a certain premium. You pay a certain premium to an insurance company, for which they assume some of the risk for your coverage. As an example, nobody actively hopes for a car accident, but suppose you do get into one, the insurance company assumes the monetary risk instead of you. These days, we have insurance for our health, home, vehicle, education, and even our electronics at this point. Therefore, it only makes sense to have a policy which covers our beloved pets.
As with other forms of insurance, pet insurance offloads the risk from a pet parent. It relieves a pet parent of economic risk if their pet needs a life-saving procedure or has immensely expensive medical bills. You should also choose your insurance according to your needs. For instance, if you get coverage for almost every minor medical expense, you will have to pay a higher premium. Thus, it is important to choose a policy that best fits your pets needs and your ability to pay the premium for it.
How Expensive is a Pet Insurance Policy?
The cost of pet insurance usually varies based on what breed your pet is, and the level of coverage your policy provides. A majority of your vet bills can be covered by insurance, provided you have a policy which has this provision. The amount of coverage and the premium can be chosen by selecting the co-insurance, your annual policy limit, the deductible, and your budget. The premium also varies by type of pet and their breed. For example, the premium for a cat will generally be lower than that of a dog, as cats reside indoors and have a lower probability of getting into an accident. Cats are also less likely to suffer from genetic issues, which makes their premiums less expensive than those for dogs.
What Benefits Does Pet Insurance Have?
- It Saves you Money
This is the first, and most thought-of benefit most people have. Your pet insurance plan will save you money. Normally, there is a deductible amount which you must pay, after which the insurance will take care of a major chunk of expenses, leaving you with a smaller, significantly lower amount than you would have to pay without insurance.
- It Helps You Focus on Your Pet
Having an insurance policy for your pet provides a pet parent peace of mind. It lets you focus on the health of your pet rather than the cost incurred by the vet. if your pet has an accident or needs a surgery, for instance, it allows you to focus on their health instead of being worried and anxious about bills.
- It Provides Multiple Treatment Options
Pet insurance provides access to life-saving surgeries and operations. If not insured, an operation or chemotherapy appointment will cost an exorbitant amount, which may be extremely expensive or even unattainable. With insurance, you can select different coverages and treatment options; given how life is unpredictable at the best of times, insurance can help soften the financial blow in such a circumstance.
- Available for all pets
Regardless of whether your pet is old or young, pet insurance is available for them. The breed and age of your pet are not factors which define coverage. However, various coverage limitations may be applied to senior pets. As always, consult your vet, as they can provide a recommendation on the basis of your dog’s medical history.
Types of coverage
As is the case with humans, there are various kinds of pet insurance available. Knowing the various types of insurance is necessary, as it is important to choose the policy which best suits your and your pet’s needs. There are three basic types of pet insurance coverages: accident coverage, illness coverage, and wellness coverage.
- Accident Coverage
This is usually the most popular type of pet insurance. Since accidents never occur with a warning, accident coverage is a safety net for the future, for coverage in unforeseen situations. Bite wounds, broken bones, swallowing a foreign object, poisoning, and most emergencies are all covered under accident coverage.
- Illness Coverage
While accident coverage manages to address many situations, illness coverage is also important for both your pet and your wallet. While accident coverage pertains to mostly external or physical issues, illness coverage is for conditions like cancer, arthritis, allergies, vomiting, ear infections, parasites, and skin infections.
Certain insurance companies may refuse illness coverage if your pet is in an advanced age, which is why it is imperative to get this coverage before any health issues crops up. The earlier you start, the lesser the monthly cost you end up paying to the company.
- Wellness coverage
This form of coverage is usually an optional one, but covers minor things you’ll need to get done throughout the year, like spaying/neutering, vaccinations, routine tests, flea and tick treatments, and teeth cleanings. While you could do without the wellness overage and go out of pocket for these, it makes sense if your coverage can help lower the billed amount. This will depend on your pet’s needs, so consult your vet for the best possible choice for your pet.