What Is Pet Insurance and Does Your Pet Need It?

Nearly 4.1 million pets get adopted from animal shelters each year. With pets, you inevitably have to cough a whopping $1,500 to $9,900 per year as part of their maintenance.

The average cost of emergency treatment is roughly $800-1,500. And, if your pet needs a complex procedure, it can exceed $5,000.

Luckily, pet insurance can be a lifesaver, protecting you from unexpected veterinary bills. They offer huge relief to families by adsorbing some expenses associated with pet ownership. Also, you get peace of mind knowing that you can afford veterinary care instantaneously.

What is pet insurance

So, what is pet insurance? How does pet insurance work? Do I have to pay a deductible?

If you are asking yourself these questions, this blog is for you. We’ll elaborate more about pet insurance and its benefits for your furry friend. Read on to learn more.

What Is Pet Insurance?

Pet health insurance is a policy purchased by the pet owner to offset the overall cost of their pet’s medical expenses. This policy reimburses the owner once their pets have received care and a claim is submitted to the insurer for compensation.

However, depending on the policy, there may be a deductible payment before a plan pays a percentage of the covered treatment. Pet insurance schemes exclude certain factors such as malicious harm to the pet, loss or harm caused by war, and much more.

Although these policies mainly cover cats and dogs, a few insurers offer coverage for other exotic species such as horses, rabbits, reptiles, birds, and more.

How Pet Insurance Works

Pet insurance policies, like most insurance policies, have a deductible. Your reimbursements depend on what you choose and will affect your premium. Higher deductibles typically lower your premium, while lower deductibles yield higher premiums.

They are two options for deductibles:

  • Annual Deductibles: the amount you pay for covered health care service before your insurance plan starts
  • Per-Incident Deductibles: The deductibles are applied each time your pet goes to the veterinarian for a new condition or injury

Types of Pet Insurance Policies

does my pet need insurance

It’s important to research and know the policy that will work best for you and your pet. There are four main types of pet insurance to choose from. They include:

Lifetime Cover Pet Insurance

Probably the most popular and comprehensive pet insurance you’ll find. It covers your pet for its entire life provided you renew it annually.

But not all lifetime pet insurance work the same. Annual policies cover a particular amount of vet fees annually. So, in one year, the insurance agency may pay up to $1000.

There’s also the per condition, per year policy. This would get you an annual limit for each diagnosed condition.

For example, you may get $1000 per year for claims relating to your pet’s injury. Higher limits have more costly premiums. Here’s what this pet insurance policy typically covers:

  • Boarding fee if hospitalized (often up to $1,500)
  • Veterinary treatment fee
  • Third-party legal liability and accidental damage costs
  • Emergency boarding kennel or cattery fees
  • Loss by theft or straying away
  • Cremation or burial fee

Lifetime insurance costs will be dependent on several factors, including your pet’s breed, age, species, and location.

Accident-Only Pet Insurance

This policy doesn’t cover illness-only injuries – it only covers vet fees for sudden, unexpected injuries. Pet accidents are more common than you might think. Nearly 86,629 pet injuries and falls are reported annually. 

These policies provide a fixed amount for every pet’s accidental injury treatment and often stop after 12 months. Ensure you get the right policy from the start, as it’s difficult to switch insurers once your pet has an illness or injury that’s considered a pre-existing condition.

Maximum Benefits Pet Insurance

Maximum benefits pet insurance will provide you with a maximum amount of money to cover the cost of treatment for each pet’s illness or accidental injury.

These can sometimes be referred to as per-condition or money-limited policies. Each accidental injury or long-term health condition is covered until the maximum benefits are exhausted for that condition.

There’s no time limit on reaching these maximum benefits. However, after this, you’ll no longer be able to claim for that illness or injury even if the pet requires further treatment.

Maximum Benefit vs Lifetime Cover: Which One is Better?

While maximum benefit policies offer a fixed, one-off amount per condition with no time limit, lifetime cover offers a fixed amount per condition, resetting when you renew your policy annually.

Because it offers more extensive coverage, lifetime policies usually cost more than the maximum cover. Therefore, only you can make the final decision on which type of pet insurance suits your pet and your budget. 

Non-Lifetime Cover Pet Insurance

These policies allow you to claim for a medical condition up to a specified amount for a limited time. They’re ideal if you want to cover a condition for one year or a shorter period and potentially pay the rest yourself.

When you reach the financial or time limit (whichever comes first) your pet will no longer be covered for that condition. You’re eligible if your pet acquires another condition. 

Learn More About Taking Care of Your Furry Friend

Hopefully, this post answers your question, “What is pet insurance?”

When it comes to determining which pet insurance plan is right for you, consider what’s best for your pet. What works for one pet may not work for another. It’s also important to consider your budget, especially if you have several pets.

Do you love pets? Then our blog is the place for you.

Browse our insightful posts to learn more about caring for and living with your pets. Don’t forget to sign up to be on our mailing lists to get the latest updates.

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