Pet Insurance; What you need to know.

If you have a pet, you probably already know there are some serious expenses that arise along the way.  Visits to the Veterinarian on a regular basis can add up quite quickly, not to mention a sudden illness or emergency that needs to be treated. 

            Pet Insurance can be a way to cover some of those costs.  Cost of coverage is based typically on the animal’s age, health profile and the level of care you choose. Generally, older animals cost more to cover—and some companies have age limits. Also, there may be exclusions for pre-existing conditions, and some insurers may not cover certain breeds that are prone to hereditary conditions.  Usually, there are 3 different types of coverage – Basic, Comprehensive, and Pet Well Care.  When you are shopping for pet insurance, you may come across a variety of discounted plans.  In fact, some employers have begun offering pet insurance. 

The Pros

Most animals older than eight weeks are eligible for coverage, and you can choose any licensed veterinarian you wish. Plans that cover both accidents and illnesses can cost around $50.00 per month for dogs and about $30.00 per month for cats.  Coverage can significantly reduce the price of many treatments and surgeries, with some policies reimbursing up to 90 and even 100 percent of the cost.  Pet insurance, like any type of insurance, also offers peace of mind. 

The Cons

Comparing policies side by side can be difficult because of the many insurance terms.  If you enroll, you may have to front the money for veterinary bills and then request reimbursement from the insurer.  Many pet insurance companies will offer low premiums when your pet is young, but as they age, pet insurance rates may climb too.  And not unlike health insurance for humans, a large number of plans won't cover charges related to a preexisting condition.

If your pet is older and has had multiple surgeries or a chronic issue, pet insurance won't actually do much. And if your pet develops a chronic condition while covered, the company could drop your coverage or raise your premium unless you have a plan that offers "continuing coverage."

            Either way you see it, pet insurance is definitely something to research and look into.  A few pet companies are Healthy Paws, ASPCA, FIGO, Pets Best, and Pumpkin.  You can read more about them here.  Also, check out Pawlicy Advisor & State Farm for more information.  Remember, keeping your pet healthy with smart, preventative care their entire life will be key to less vet visits and less money spent.  Invest in good, quality food, vitamins, stimulating games, and lots of love. 

Written by: Anna Waters