As veterinary prices continue to increase, owners are conflicted. They want to be able to do everything they can for their pets. However, finances are often a deciding factor when it comes to figuring out how to take care of pets, even if that does not allow for the best course of action. It is heartbreaking when owners have to make veterinary decisions based on the money, but, unfortunately, it happens more often than we like.
For this reason, more owners are looking for ways to help pay for the care that their pets deserve. Fortunately, pet insurance can help!
Pet insurance is useful because it reimburses you for a part of, or sometimes the whole, veterinary bill. Most plans are used to cover injuries and illnesses, but more comprehensive plans are available. Some plans help when pets are lost or stolen. Some help when beloved pets die. Some plans even cover preventative medicine like annual examinations, vaccinations, and medications like heartworm prevention.
Quite a few companies offer pet insurance. Making things even more confusing, these companies offer different plans so you are able to choose the right plan for your pets (and your wallets). You can choose plans depending on what you want covered, how much you want to spend each month, or even what deductible or co-insurance you are comfortable paying. Each plan will have advantages and disadvantages, so it is important for you to really understand the plan you choose.
Here are some other things you should consider when looking for insurance for your pets:
- How much you can afford to pay each month. It is important you find a plan you can afford each month. Even if it is not much, it will be helpful if you are ever in an emergency situation.
- Whether preventative medicine is included in the plan or not. Most plans are for injuries and illnesses. Sometimes you just want to be prepared in case of emergency, but, if you can afford a better plan, it might be nice to have your pet’s preventative medicine included.
- Whether pre-existing conditions are covered. A pre-existing condition is one that was diagnosed prior to insurance. Usually they are not covered. You must be careful because some insurance companies consider conditions that stretch from year to year to be pre-existing conditions.
- Whether congenital and hereditary conditions are covered. These include hip dysplasia, heart defects, and similar problems. These conditions may be defined by breed, so you really need to understand the plan you choose.
- How much of the bill will be reimbursed. Some plans cover all or a part of the exact bill. You need to send the bill in so you can be reimbursed. Other plans go by prices that the insurance companies believe veterinary hospitals should be charging, no matter what you are actually charged. You may or may not be able to get a copy of these fees.
- What limits are set. Insurance companies often set limits. Some plans have annual limits for the company to pay out while others go by the lifetime of the pet. Some plans cover only a certain amount when it comes to a condition. Some will pay only for one or two examinations and not any follow-up appointments that may be necessary.
You should consider looking into pet insurance, especially if your pets are younger. However, it is not something to rush into. It takes time and some research to find the perfect plan for each pet.