The decision to own a pet is life-changing and a huge commitment. Most people enjoy their pets, and they are an important part of the family. When you have a pet, you are responsible for all of their needs. This includes food, shelter, social interaction, safety, and health care. Pets require regular check-ups, and they may be required to get shots periodically. There can be serious health problems too that can make it hard on the budget.
Pet insurance is a way for you to get the care your pet may need without it being a huge investment. Nothing is harder than having to put down a pet, because you don’t have the money to pay for surgery or other medical needs they may have. The cost of such insurance is very reasonable, and it can give you peace of mind knowing you have it. Be aware of the options available, premiums, and take the time to ask any questions you may have.
As is the case with all forms of insurance, you have various coverage options. The cost of the coverage often depends on the age of your pet and the types of coverage you wish to have in place. Plans that cover basic care and emergencies are going to cost more than a plan only covering emergencies. The more a plan is able to pay for, the higher the cost will be. The trade-off though is a lower premium can mean a greater out-of-pocket cost.
It is a good idea to find coverage that offers preventative care. This is going to cover most of your routine visits for check-ups, blood work, heartworm, fleas, and vaccines. All of this is considered preventative action that can reduce the risk of your pet developing health issues. By paying for such care, the provider is less likely to need to pay for more expensive forms of treatment later on.
It is important to understand not all of the plans out there are good ones. Some of them, unfortunately, give you a false sense of security. Then you go to use the benefits, and there are reasons why you can’t. Always read everything and ask questions so you don’t end up in such a predicament. Some providers have a waiting period too, so if your pet needs services before that span of time is up, you pay for them out of pocket.
Be aware of policies that won’t cover pre-existing conditions also. This means if your pet has already been treated for something, then the plan won’t cover it. For example, if your dog was previously treated for heartworm and then gets it again, even with insurance, you will pay out of pocket. If your dog was to get worms though and it hadn’t been treated for that condition, then the coverage would be there as long as that health care need was part of the policy.
Know the Terms and Conditions
Before you sign up for any insurance to cover your pet, know the terms and conditions. Find out what procedures it will cover and the stipulations that apply. If it covers basic care too, find out at what intervals. It may be limited to only once per year. Will there be co-pays or deductibles that apply? A co-pay is an amount you pay out of pocket each time you take your pet to the vet. For example, it can be the first $25 per office visit.
With a deductible, you have to pay a certain amount before the insurance pays anything. For example, the deductible may be $1,500. If your pet needs emergency care that costs $2,500, you will be required to pay the first $1,500, and then the insurance will cover the rest. Take the out-of-pocket cost into consideration when you’re thinking about the plan and the coverage that’s right for your pet and your budget.
There is typically a maximum payout annually through any insurance program for pets. Once this amount has been met, the insurance won’t pay anything else until the following calendar year. For example, if the maximum amount is $4,000 per year, once they have paid that amount, then you are responsible for all costs for your pet’s care that occur until the plan amount resets the following year.
Some insurance plans for pets cover dental care too. This is a commonly overlooked need. Your pet may need his teeth cleaned by a professional. Sometimes, animals need to have teeth removed due to an infection or abscess. Coverage for such health care needs can be very helpful.
There are insurance plans for pets that also cover some burial expenses. This can be something you are interested in too. It will sure make their passing easier knowing you have the money for a memorial for them or other options. You won’t have to worry about the cost to make your wishes for them a reality.
Most veterinarians encourage their pet owners to get insurance in the event there is an emergency. The cost of care for pets can be very high based on the types of tests and treatment, and you don’t want to be in a position where you can’t afford it. You do need to make sure your vet will accept the insurance provider you have for your pet. Otherwise, you won’t have coverage for your pet, or you will have to find another vet.
Most people don’t want to change vets; they love the person they have in place to care for their pets. If that is the case, make sure you ask them about the types of insurance they do accept before you shop around. Then you can make sure the provider you choose is one that vet office is able to bill on your behalf. With insurance in place for your pet, you can work closely with your vet to determine the best treatment plan. You won’t have to rule out treatment due to the cost and that is important.