Pet Insurance is an on-going debate within the pet community—to get or not to get coverage. A survey conducted by the Associated Press discovered that about 41% of pet owners, in the event of an emergency are concerned that they will not be able to afford medical bills for their dog or cat. So the question is, is it a wise decision to invest in pet insurance?
Most experts agree that it really depends on history and current health so deciding should be made on a case by case basis. What we do know is on average pet insurance on average costs about $300/month and can be as high as $500/month. Since insurance is such a significant investment, the best piece of advice is to do your due diligence. Here are the things to consider when looking into pet coverage.
Reviews—While researching different providers read reviews to get an idea of the level of service and feedback from other policy holders to know if the company will be a good fit for you and your pet.
Coverage—if you are going to go for it, you may as well go for a comprehensive plan to limit the costs on the back end. It’s important you clearly understand the different coverage levels and select a plan that covers the true cost of service. Look for plans that cover curable to chronic ailments, accidents, hereditary/genetic illnesses and provides preventative care.
Deductible—choose a deductible that is reasonable for your personal budget.
Reimbursement—reimbursement is generally calculated in two ways. 1. A percentage of the vet’s bill 2. A percentage of the benefit schedule which can restrict the amount insurance companies will pay.
Network— Options are critical especially in an emergency. It’s highly recommended to choose a plan that allows you to visit any licensed vet, emergency center or specialist.
Treatment—Ensure whatever plan you choose will not limit the treatment covered or available so you will be free to choose what approach you believe to be best for you and your pet.
Exclusions—Pre-existing treatments will not be covered. Be aware of what is NOT covered by the various plans.
Lifetime coverage—Don’t get caught in the “pre-existing” black hole, pick a plan that provides lifetime coverage for chronic illnesses otherwise once your policy renews conditions such as diabetes or cancer may not be covered.