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Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

by Kylie Johnson

Pet insurance helps pet owners pay the cost of medical expenses if their pet becomes ill or has an accident. Pet insurance plans can cover routine checkups and wellness procedures, such as annual exams, spaying, neutering, etc. We created this simple quiz to help you decide if pet insurance is a good idea for you.

What does pet insurance cover?

Like your health insurance, pet insurance exists to make it affordable for pet owners to get their pets the medical care they need without paying exorbitant fees. It is designed to cover unexpected accidents and illnesses. The amount you’ll be reimbursed will vary depending on the plan you choose. While coverage will vary from plan to plan, here are some things that are generally covered by pet insurance:

  • Infections
  • Ear illnesses
  • Eye illnesses
  • Flea borne illnesses
  • Foreign body ingestion
  • Car accidents
  • Lacerations
  • Insect bites
  • Bone fracture or break

What does pet insurance not cover?

If you have pet insurance, you might assume that it will cover all medical issues and expenses, but many times it has exclusions. Here are some common things not covered by pet insurance:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Examination fees
  • Preventive Care
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Owner negligence
  • Breeding costs

How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance works differently than human health insurance. When visiting a veterinarian, you will pay for the services out of pocket at your appointment. After, you file a claim to get reimbursed for what is eligible. If approved, funds will be delivered to you via direct depost or by mail.

How much is pet insurance?

On average, expect to pay anywhere from $25–$50 per month for a comprehensive pet insurance plan that covers illnesses and accidents. Accident-only coverage only costs around $10–$20 per month. The cost of pet insurance varies according to your location, what type of pet you have, your pet’s age and what type of coverage you choose. Similar to human health insurance, pet insurance also has premiums, deductibles, co-pays and maximum payouts.

  • Premium: The premium is the amount you pay monthly, quarterly or annually for your insurance policy.
  • Deductible: The deductible is the amount of the vet bills you have to reach before the insurance company starts to pay. Higher deductibles usually mean a lower premium, but more of your money is invested over the initial medical expenses.
  • Co-pay: Most insurance policies will cover only a portion of medical expenses even after you’ve met your deductible and expect you to cover a portion. For example, your policy might stipulate that you pay 20 percent and the insurance company pays 80 percent. Higher co-pays will lower your premium as well but will increase your out-of-pocket payments for each expense. When determining reimbursement, also keep in mind that some pet insurance policies pay out as a percentage of the invoice while others pay out on certain amounts for certain conditions or operations, no matter what the bill was.
  • Maximum payout: Most insurance policies will determine a maximum amount of money they will give you, whether it is a certain amount each year, per event or during the lifetime of your policy. Once it is reached, you will not receive any more money.
  • Extra costs: Pets with existing conditions or advanced age may be refused coverage or might require higher premiums to cover their medical insurance. Be sure to read carefully to determine if your pet will incur any extra costs.

Is pet insurance worth it?

Pet insurance can be worth it if you anticipate having high medical costs associated with your pet. People who benefit the most from pet insurance are pet owners with older pets, first-time pet owners who appreciate the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can take their puppy or kitten to the vet without paying out-of-pocket, and owners of multiple pets who might have to pay medical expenses several times throughout a year.

If you are getting a new pet and are concerned about what will happen if your new pet gets sick or dies soon after you bring him home, make sure to research pet purchase protection laws to see what is required in your state.

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