Pet insurance is one of those beneficial items that pet parents have traditionally been able to do without. But as veterinary medicine becomes more sophisticated and available procedures and treatments carry the higher costs to correspond with the knowledge, materials, and expertise necessary to be able to administer them, pet insurance is becoming a way for pet parents to be able to make decisions about their furry family member’s health care in a way that doesn’t rely solely on current financial situations.
So how do you know if you need pet insurance or not? Unfortunately, pet insurance is one of those things, like home insurance or life insurance, that you don’t know you need until you need it and then you wish you had it. But there are ways to review the risk that your pet faces to help determine if pet insurance is a good choice for you.
One of the first things to know is the breed of your pet because this will help with knowing whether your pet is at greater risk for any conditions or afflictions based on breed. You’ll also need to know this information in case any of those afflictions or conditions are excluded for your pet’s breed by the insurance company you’re considering. For example, some insurance companies may not cover things like cancer for golden retrievers or hip dysplasia for giant breeds.
Another thing to consider is whether you would want to do anything you could to help your pet through a health crisis. When a health crisis strikes, your bank account might not be in a position to allow you to authorize providing the best treatment possible for your pet’s current situation. Pet insurance could make all the difference. So if the answer to this question is yes, a pet insurance policy may be the right choice for you.
You’ll also want to decide whether you would rather pay out-of-pocket for your pet’s routine care, such as preventive care exams, dental care, and vaccinations, or if you’d rather pay a little at a time for those services. Pet insurance companies are offering plans that cover catastrophic situations, such as those needing specialized surgery or extensive treatment, as well as plans that cover preventive care services. Your premiums will be determined by the type of plan you choose, as well as deductibles and the age of your pet, among other things.
One main difference that pet insurance has from human health insurance is that usually, policyholders pay their veterinarian and are then reimbursed for the expenses at the agreed-upon rate. Some pet parents may feel that if they are going to have to front the costs, to begin with, they may as well make their own arrangements to cover their pet’s health care. Options include maintaining an emergency line of credit or a savings account, but just like pet insurance, both of these options have their own pros and cons.
We’ve reviewed all the options available and have narrowed down our recommendations to the companies and policies we feel are the best options for our clients and will help us provide the best care possible for your pet. We’d love to discuss these options with you to see whether or not you feel pet insurance can help you provide your pet the health care she deserves. We do try to talk about pet insurance at every preventive care exam, but please feel free to bring up the topic before we do! We want to help you make the choices that are best for you, your pet and your furry friend’s health.