Our Tips Can Help You Make an Informed Decision
You’ve been lucky if you’ve never had to deal with surprise veterinarian bills. However, in an emergency or an unexpected diagnosis, they can be financially crippling.
You and your pet can significantly benefit from the best pet health insurance available at every life stage. However, any pet can get sick or sustain an injury, so it’s wise to be prepared so you can better afford to care for your pet.
Pet Insurance Basics
Think of pet health insurance as your human health insurance. You enrol your pet into a plan and pay a monthly premium to maintain coverage. In addition, your policy gives you and your pet access to covered veterinary care if they get ill or hurt.
Some plans even cover preventative care and wellness visits, such as vaccinations and annual check-ups. Expect a more significant monthly premium for these policies.
Determine How Much You Can Afford
Your best bet to find a pet health insurance plan that works for you is to shop around and compare them. Then, consider how much each type of coverage costs you in your monthly premium.
Consider your current financial situation. For example, if your pet needs urgent care, do you have enough saved to cover it? Or are your finances in good enough shape that you’d qualify for a loan or other line of credit to pay for it? Your answer to these questions can influence the type of plan you ultimately purchase.
Know What’s Covered
If your dog or cat is a specific breed, research the common health conditions they’re prone to, and confirm that the insurance plans you’re considering will cover them. You should also check the conditions that develop as your pet ages, like dental disease, are protected. This way, you won’t need to schedule time each year to shop around for a new insurance plan for your pet.
Once you’ve found insurance plans that offer the kind of coverage you want at affordable prices, it’s time to compare the financials beyond the monthly premium.
Let’s Talk Costs
Aside from the amount you pay each month to purchase the pet insurance policy, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with three other costs: the annual limit, the annual deductible, and the reimbursement percentage.
The annual deductible is the money you’ll need to pay before your reimbursement benefits begin. You can often choose the deductible that works best for you, but the more expensive the deductible, the cheaper the monthly premium. Conversely, lower deductibles come with higher monthly premiums.
The annual limit is the most your plan will reimburse you. The yearly limit is often between $3,000 and $10,000, but some annual limits are unlimited. Although such coverage can save you a lot of money toward your pet’s care, plans with endless annual limits also have higher monthly premiums.
The reimbursement percentage is the amount you’ll get back on your pet’s health expenses. Rates start around 70 per cent and go up. Reimbursement for certain types of care may be a different percentage, so read the plan information carefully. Like with annual limits, the higher the reimbursement percentage, the more you can expect to pay toward the premium.
So, Which Plan is Best?
It’s impossible to predict accidents and their associated veterinary bills, but you can estimate the regular medical expenses your pet could accumulate.
To do this, take a look at last year’s veterinary bills. Barring anything unusual happening, you can expect to pay the same or slightly more (thanks to inflation and increased cost of living) for the following year.
Next, think about your pet’s age. Younger pets are less likely to have a severe medical condition requiring regular blood tests and medication, but they’re more likely to eat something they shouldn’t. Older pets are less likely to be accident-prone and more likely to be diagnosed with a chronic condition that requires continual management. Based on your pet’s age, choose the plan that covers the right conditions and reimburses you enough to justify coverage.
It’s Decision Time!
With so many pet insurance options available from various companies, the choice truly is yours. Before hitting the “buy now” button on the insurance website, review the plan to ensure you’re getting all the coverage you need.
Then, once the plan’s waiting period is up – usually no more than two weeks – you’re ready to start saving money on your pet’s veterinary visits.