There may be no rational explanation for our unconditional feelings towards pets, but here we are walking them, petting them, and loving them just as much as we love our family members. There’s no use denying the unique bond that people and pets have developed and strengthened over centuries and decades, the one that makes us adore our little fuzzy ones when they ‘sploot’ or ‘derp’ and the same one crying out for “help!” whenever they get sick.
We adore our pets, but not all of us are informed enough to take care of them in a proper way. There are numerous gaps to fill, and pet insurance is arguably the most abysmal. Wonder why?
Here’s a piece of statistics:
The good news, though, is that more and more pet owners are beginning to get worried about the health conditions of their four-legged friends. The pet insurance market has been growing at an impressive rate of about 23.4% for the last half of the decade, with anticipations of more growth to come.
So if you’re reading this, you’re already on the right path towards insuring your furry friends. Not only will pet insurance protect your little companion, but it will also save you money that would otherwise be spent on unexpected and expensive exams and treatments.
But enough small talk. Let’s move to what you’re here for: hitting the bull’s eye with your pet insurance. The lines below will provide you with everything you should know before making that big commitment.
If you’ve ever dealt with health insurance for humans – and, as the mentioned statistics unequivocally indicate, there’s a massive chance for that – then you will have no hard time understanding pet insurance.
It covers the costs of veterinary bills – just like health insurance does for humans – and even the death of your furry friend. Like human health insurance, pet insurance has a deductible and a premium, which should be considered. Besides, sheep, horses, goats, and other livestock are not considered pets and therefore are excluded from the coverage.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Though policies may differ, in addition to veterinary expenses and death, most pet insurance policies cover:
No, it doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. Even though pet insurance is almost all-encompassing, there are a few exclusions, such as pre-existing conditions, routine treatment, waiting period, and pregnancy.
Neither history condition nor chronic conditions are covered. However, sometimes the pre-existing conditions that have been dormant for a long time can be covered.
This may seem like a long list of uncovered cases, but the truth is, the most common mishaps are covered, whereas all uninsurable cases are logically justified.
Aside from illnesses and accidents, special hereditary and congenital conditions can affect the animal’s welfare by transmitting to puppies from their parents and taking a toll over the years. These are heart, eye, neurologic, hip abnormalities and defects, and other genetic conditions inherited by puppies and kittens.
Standard pet insurance won’t cover hereditary and congenital conditions, but there’s a special add-on for that, called hereditary coverage. It covers diabetes, arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia, heart disease, eye disorders, and other conditions.
Traumas can cause anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, but the age of the dog and the breed itself are also important factors. German Shepherd, Rottweiler, and Labrador Retriever are all in the risk group, which is why owners of these breeds should be especially cautious as to whether they need ACL insurance.
Luckily, most pet policies cover ACL surgeries, although under some specific conditions:
With the ever-growing premium volume for pet insurance in the U.S., the average pet insurance monthly premium is about $50 per month. The actual price of pet insurance, though, depends on over a dozen factors, such as the type of insurance, the status of the particular insurer, the pet’s breed, age, gender, history of claims, and location.
Pet insurance for dogs is approximately two times more expensive than cats. You can expect to pay about $20 to $80 a month for dog insurance, depending on the specific factors of your case.
Pet insurance for cats is approximately two times more expensive than dogs. You can expect to pay about $8 to $30 a month for cat insurance depending on the specific factors of your case.
Your pet insurance may have either an annual deductible or per-incident deductible. The former is the amount of money you have to pay each year before the policy kicks in; the latter is the amount you have to pay out of pocket for each condition (not claim, keep this in mind).
The amount of annual deductible varies from a hundred to a thousand dollars. Most companies offer a few options, starting at $50 (MetLife) and climbing upwards of $100.
As you already know, pet insurance policies aren’t fully standardized. The coverage excluded by insurer A (for example, cruciate ligament surgeries) may be provided by insurer B, which is why it would only be wise to review at least a few options before taking action.
Among the pet insurance leaders are Embrace, Lemonade, Pets Best, Figo, Prudent Pet, and Nationwide, each of which has unique features. For example, Embrace is known for its abundance of benefits: Lemonade – for affordable prices for puppies, Pets Best – for a wide range of deductibles, and so on.
Use this comparison table to find out your best pet insurer.
To cancel your pet insurance policy, you have to call your insurer or notify them in writing. This can be done at any time, but – depending on the insurer – you may be required to pay the total amount of premium for the remainder of the current period.
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Oleksandr is an expert in deep research. He covers various insurance topics across verticals, adopting to every local law.