Every member of the family needs insurance, even pets. Pet insurance works in a manner similar to health insurance for people. Individual characteristics of the pet will influence the cost of pet insurance. There are different plans available from a variety of pet insurance carriers. The amount of coverage will also change the cost of the pet insurance premiums. It is important to compare the cost and the amount of coverage available to determine if pet insurance is needed.
The cost of pet insurance will depend on a few characteristics of the pet in question. First, the type of animal will affect the cost. Premiums for insurance for cats and dogs differ, with dogs costing slight more per month. Premiums for a cat usually range from $15-$20 per month, while premiums for a dog usually range from $20-$30 per month. The age and breed of the pet will also influence the premium cost, as does the current health of the pet. The lowest premiums will be possible for a young healthy pet, especially if coverage is obtained when the pet is less than six months old.
Types of Pet Insurance Plans
Most pet insurance carriers offer varying levels of coverage to meet the needs and budget of any pet owner. A typical pet insurance plan may cover a broad range of illnesses or injuries, such as diabetes or cancer or even a fracture. Pre-existing conditions typically are not covered.
Additional supplemental coverage may be added on to handle the cost of regular care. Regular care could include teeth cleaning, medication to prevent fleas or heartworm, and annual exams.
If multiple pets are owned, it may be possible to receive an additional discount if more than one pet is covered.
Coverage typically is for a one year period, with premium amounts set for that period. The premiums may increase if the policy is renewed. However, each pet insurance company may have their own terms and conditions regarding their policies.
How Pet Insurance Plans Work
Generally, pet insurance plans offer a specific amount of coverage and places caps on the amount allowed per year and per condition. There may be a minimal deductible which typically is around $50.
Any veterinarian may be use. The pet owner pays for any services as usual and then usually files a claim to the insurance company with supporting documentation from the veterinarian. The insurance company processes the claim and will send a check to the pet owner for reimbursement of costs paid. Usually the cost paid is more than the amount reimbursed. However, not all pet insurance carriers may work the same way, thus it is a good idea to read all the terms and conditions of any policy before proceeding.
One way to figure out if pet insurance is necessary is to compare the cost of veterinary care with and without pet insurance. One visit to the veterinarian for an annual checkup and shots could cost hundreds of dollars alone. Compare the potential savings against the insurance premium costs.
Obtaining pet insurance when the pet is young before any serious medical problems develop could provide needed coverage later. If the pet does develops a serious illness as he or she gets older, the policy will cover any needed treatments, as it would not be a pre-existing condition.
Or, if an unexpected accident occurs and the pet gets injured, coverage is already in effect and will help minimize veterinary costs. Pet insurance provides coverage for potential medical problems that may or may not occur in the future, like any other kind of insurance.
How to Obtain Pet Insurance
Pet insurance can be obtained in a very short period of time, with an application filled out and coverage in effect within a few days. Prior medical health information may have to be confirmed before coverage is approved, depending on the current health of the pet in question.
Pet information such as date of birth, breed, and weight may be needed for the application process. Veterinarian contact information may also be needed at time of application. Having this information ready before applying will simplify the application process.
Many pet insurance carriers have websites and application for insurance may be made online for faster processing.
Pet insurance offers pet owners peace of mind regarding medical care for their pet. Unforeseen medical problems may arise as a pet ages, but pet insurance can help cover these costs at an affordable monthly premium. Obtaining coverage before any serious illnesses develop could save any pet owner hundreds of dollars in the future.