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Do You Need Pet Insurance?

More and more people are getting pet insurance. It is an insurance meant to protect owners from paying expensive medical bills when a pet gets injured or falls ill. Although pet care policies may cost you more money monthly, it can provide peace of mind so when that accident occurs, you may be very glad you have it.

In short, pet insurance helps cover medical expenses. When illness or accidents occur, you will take your pet to the vet to get the care it needs, pay the bill upfront, and then file a claim with your pet insurance company to be reimbursed for some of those expenses. Pet insurance typically covers things like diagnostics (blood tests, urinalysis, x-rays, MRIs, lab work, CT scans, and ultrasounds), procedures (outpatient, specialty and emergency care, hospitalization, and surgery), and medication (injections and prescription meds) but can go so far as to cover things like vet visits, physical therapy, and more.

A few months back, we had to take our sweet dog to the emergency vet, where she stayed the night. The cost was nearly $1,800 and we ended up being reimbursed for about half of that, which included the one time deductible. Without pet insurance, we would have been stuck with a much larger bill. For a couple like us who share monthly expenses, paying that extra monthly bit is worth it so that down the line we don’t have to take such a hard hit all at once.

When you choose a pet insurance policy, you will choose a deductible amount, which is the amount you pay before pet insurance starts to pay. Common pet insurance deductible amounts range from $50 to $1,000. Generally, there are two different types of pet insurance deductibles.

  • Annual deductible: You’ll be responsible for paying the deductible each policy term. Once your deductible is met during the policy term, you won’t have to pay it again until the next year.

  • Per-condition deductible: You will pay a deductible for each condition or incident. For example, if your pet has chronic allergies, you would pay a deductible for medical expenses related to that treatment. Once your deductible is met, you won’t have to pay it again for vet expenses related to that condition. However, you will have to pay another deductible if your pet develops a new condition or incident.

You will select a reimbursement level, which is the portion of vet expenses your insurer will pay (after the deductible). Common reimbursement levels are usually 70-90%. However, some insurance companies will reimbursed 100% of your vet expenses.

Your pet insurance company may also let you choose an annual coverage cap, such as $5,000. Some have unlimited coverage.

The cost of pet insurance varies based on a few factors such as your pet’s age, gender, breed and location. Average monthly costs range between $20-$60 a month depending on annual coverage and the variables listed above.

When deciding if pet insurance is worth it, you might ask yourself:

  • What are you willing to pay out-of-pocket for vet bills?

  • How would you pay for costly vet expenses if something did come up like an accident or an illness such as cancer?

You might have an idea now of how much you’d be willing to pay in vet bills for an emergency. But if your pet is actually faced with a life or death situation, you might be willing to stretch the budget further than you ever imagined.

Overall, buying pet insurance can give pet owners peace of mind and options so they can make the best care decision possible for a pet, without the financial risk.




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