For many households, pets are part of the family and often receive the same commitment to care and well-being as other family members. However, a commitment like this may come at a cost – and an unexpected one, too. CNBC reported that the average cost of an emergency veterinary treatment runs between $800 and $1,500 for cats and dogs. If you are not prepared for an unexpected vet bill, it may be beneficial to look into pet insurance to offset unexpected expenses.
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance, like human health insurance, is an insurance policy bought and owned by a pet owner to lessen the cost of expensive veterinary bills. Pet insurance may help give pet owners peace of mind in knowing that their pet’s medical bills may be partially or completely covered.
What does pet insurance cover?
Pet insurance is commonly broken down into three different types of coverage: accidental, illness, and wellness coverage. Depending on the provider, pet owners may have the option to sign up for all three types of coverages, or just one.
- Accidental coverage may help to cover most injuries and emergencies caused by accidents, such as torn ligaments, bite wounds, broken bones, and toxic ingestions.
- Illness covers minor and major illnesses, such as cancer, arthritis, allergies, and more. It is encouraged to get illness coverage while your pet is young before any pre-existing conditions arise.
- Wellness coverage may include annual exams, heartworm testing, teeth cleaning, and more. Wellness coverage is only offered by a few companies, so it’s important to review the policy and understand what is actually covered under it.
What are some benefits to having pet insurance?
Having pet insurance may empower pet owners to focus on their pet’s health rather than financial stability. Pet insurance increases the options available for treatment plans for your pet to help extend or save your pet’s life. It also provides a way for owners to budget pet care costs with periodic payment plans or help pay for unexpected emergency costs.
Comparing pet insurance policy providers and researching the insurer’s track record will help you to find a plan that may work best for you and your pet. Some factors to consider when choosing your coverage are: health history records commonly known for your pet’s breed, your pet’s age, and your pet’s environment. For example, do you live close to the road where your pet may be hit by a car? Is your pet’s breed known for having a specific type of illness (i.e. blindness, hip dysplasia, ear infections)?
There are many providers for pet insurance. A simple online search will give you many options and countless reviews. However, before you do that, make sure to check with your employer first! An increasing number of employers in the United States have started offering pet insurance as an employee benefit!
In 2017, $69.51 billion was spent on our pets in the United States and $17.07 billion was spent on vet care. That is nearly 25% spent on only vet care in one year. Signing up for pet insurance can help pet owners offset some of these costs or to budget these annual expenses.
Let's Keep The Conversation Going
Send Emma Bahneman a note.
Tags: pet insurance