What to Consider When Choosing a Pet Insurance Plan
There are around twenty pet insurance companies, all of which offer a wide variety of plans. Here are the top five things to consider when evaluating a pet insurance policy:
1. What kind of coverage do I expect my pet to need?
Typically cats and dogs receive the most veterinary care, with larger purebreds requiring the most care. If you own an exotic pet, you might need not only coverage for regular care but also insurance for theft or death. If you have a dangerous pet, you should consider liability coverage too.
2. Can I fit the cost of the plan into my monthly budget?
The average plan costs around $40 per month for basic coverage. When you add wellness visits, vaccinations, and the possible need for emergency care to the bumps and bruises that come with owning a pet, that doesn’t seem like too much money.
3. Is my pet likely to need emergency care or have serious health problems?
Mixed breeds and midsize dogs don’t run into as many problems as large dogs and specialty breeds. Cats don’t usually have as many injuries as puppies. Care for exotic birds and other nontraditional pets can get expensive quickly. Think about your pet and do some research on what types of problems they’re likely to encounter and how much those problems will cost out of pocket.
4. Is a physical exam required to qualify for coverage?
Many insurance companies will require this because they will not insure animals with preexisting conditions. That physical will cost you money up front and you’ll need to plan accordingly.
5. Do pet insurance plans have annual or lifetime caps, and how high is the deductible? What about prescription drugs?
Just like health insurance for humans, pet plans have a lot of different options and coverage levels. For many of your pet’s needs, it might be cheaper to pay out of pocket if you’ve got a high deductible. Some plans might cover common drugs but not other medications. Some plans might not cover meds at all. Be sure to look into the details!