Pet Insurance: What You Need to Know Before Buying

Lifestyle Editor

You love your pet and would do anything for them. When they need emergency care, you rush them to the vet and agree to any treatment they need. Then come the vet bills. Veterinary care can be just as expensive as human medical treatment. Emergency surgery or rare medication can cost thousands of dollars. How can you afford these invoices? The answer lies in pet insurance. Learn what to look for in an insurance policy to make sure your pet is covered.

Pet insurance costs depend on the individual animal.

Human health insurance is based on a variety of factors. Your insurer will base your coverage options on your age, current health, and risk factors. The same goes for pet insurance coverage. The insurer will ask about the age, breed, and health of your pet. Then they will use a formula to create a pet insurance policy.

This means you may pay a higher deductible or have different illness coverage for different pets. Older pets or different species could end up with different coverage terms. In general, it helps to start paying into pet insurance when your animals are young. This way your pet is covered into old age and you won’t have to worry about seeking coverage with pre-existing conditions.

Look for coverage that extends beyond emergency care.

A responsible pet parent won’t just visit the vet when their cat or dog is sick. They will take them in for routine care and annual vaccinations. Not only is this preventative care, but it allows veterinarians to catch problems early on before they become severe. While these annual visits aren’t normally expensive, the exam fees and invoices can add up.

As you look into different pet insurance policies, see if you can find an option that covers annual vet visits. Some insurers offer wellness rewards for keeping up with shots and heartworm medication. This can help you save money even when your pet is healthy.

Shop around to different pet insurance providers.

Just like medical insurance for humans, you need to shop around to different providers to find the right coverage for your pet. Many major insurance companies offer pet insurance plans. For example, Nationwide offers comprehensive coverage for pets. There are also dedicated pet insurance companies that specialize in covering animals. One of the biggest names is Embrace Pet Insurance.

Carefully review the exclusions, deductibles, and policy terms for each pet insurance provider you contact. What seems like a good deal at first could actually hurt you in the long run if important coverage is missing.

Ask your vet about accepting insurance.

Many licensed veterinarians accept multiple forms of pet insurance. However, you may want to check what brands your vet works with. They might also have recommendations based on their experience for the best pet insurance that has worked for other families.

By telling your vet that you have insurance, they can try to find treatments and medications that are covered. They will also work with you to provide the necessary documents and bills to submit for reimbursement. In some cases, your vet can build a treatment plan for a healthy pet that allows you to maximize your wellness rewards.

Your veterinarian wants you to seek out care. Knowing you have insurance can help them make recommendations so you have a healthy pet.

Your pet isn’t just an animal, they are a family member. Working with pet insurance providers can give you peace of mind in case of an emergency. The best plans will keep you covered even when your pet is healthy. Shop around to find a policy that works for your budget and provides the coverage you need.