According to the Nationwide Purdue Veterinary Price Index, “veterinary pricing during the last three years, inclusive (January 2015 through December 2017), has increased by 10.2 percent.”
If this trend continues, veterinary bills will only get even more expensive. The cost of medical care for your pet can take a major chunk out of your bank account, especially if your pet has a serious emergency that requires special procedures.
But there is a way to get help with vet bills. Pet insurance can decrease medical expenses, making it possible for you to provide your furry family member with the best possible care.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Pet insurance covers medical bills that you might struggle to afford on your own. Insurance Information Institute states that health insurance is available for many different types of animals.
Some of these animals include:
- Exotic birds
- Potbelly pigs
- Various rodents
Here’s how pet insurance works:
- You pay an initial fee for the procedure or examination.
- You request an itemized receipt.
- The receipt gets sent to the pet insurance company, along with a filled-out claim form.
- The pet insurance company reimburses you.
The reimbursement amount depends on:
- The particular plan you have.
- The cost of the appointment or procedure.
There are three different pet insurance categories:
Don’t fret when your beloved pet has an injuring-causing accident. With accident coverage, your pet will receive the necessary treatment without it being a financial burden.
There are many different illnesses that your pet could suffer from. If you get pet insurance now, possible future illnesses will be taken care of.
There is no need to include wellness coverage in your plan, but it can be beneficial. This coverage may help with:
- Blood tests
- Heartworm testing
- Fecal testing
- Teeth cleaning
The Simple Dollar claims, “The average vet visit can be anywhere from $50 to $400.” If your pet’s routine visits are costing more than you feel comfortable with, wellness coverage might help with vet bills.
Benefits of Pet Insurance
Are you wondering if pet insurance is really necessary? We think so! To understand why, just read the benefits of getting pet insurance that are listed below.
It Might Save Your Pet’s Life
No one plans for emergencies, but when they happen your pet will need medical attention.
Sadly, the high cost of treatment and/or surgery might not be affordable. But you can avoid a heartbreaking situation by getting pet insurance to help with vet bills.
You’ll Recoup the Cost of Veterinary Care
Although medical expenses quickly add up, the pet health insurance company you choose will reimburse you.
Your Plan Will Be Right for Your Pet
With pet insurance, there is no one size fits all. You will have plenty of options to pick from, meaning you can get the best pet insurance for your pet’s unique needs.
You Get to Choose the Vet
You don’t have to be stuck with a vet that gets assigned to your pet. Instead, you can choose the provider that you and your pet like best.
Available to Any Pet
No matter what your pet’s breed or age, you can get pet insurance for your furry friend. However, we recommend getting insurance when your pet is young.
You Can Rest Easy
When you have pet insurance, you won’t have to worry about how to afford emergency procedures. Instead, you will know that future medical issues will be covered
No Need to Use Up Your Savings
If you’ve built up a savings account, vet bills won’t have to steal from it if you have pet insurance. This will allow you to use your savings for other unforeseen expenses.
How to Choose the Best Pet Insurance
When looking for pet insurance, you have to choose the right one. But how do you know which company offers the right plan for you and your pet?
Keep the following points in mind when searching for the best pet insurance company.
Investigate Multiple Companies
Your research should include more than one pet insurance company. When you compare each option side by side, it will become clear which one provides the best plan.
Look at A.M. Best
When considering a specific pet insurance company, review its A.M. Best rating. This will give you an idea of the company’s financial security. A++ ratings are excellent while D is the lowest rating a company can get.
Check Out BBB
Take your research a step further by looking up each pet insurance company on Better Business Bureau. You will find out if there are any complaints about the company and what actions were taken to resolve those issues.
Find Out Exactly What Will Be Covered
Read every company’s contract to make sure you know exactly what the plan will cover. You definitely don’t want to be taken off guard when an emergency arises.
The AMVA says the company you are considering needs to, “clearly spell out to you the details, including the limitations and exclusions, of coverage for routine and/or wellness care as well as emergency treatments and conditions that require extensive care.”
Here are some examples of coverage exclusions:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Specific health problems
- Wellness care
Look Over Every Cost
When researching prices, you should look into:
- Monthly costs;
- The difference in cost between various options;
- The increase in cost as your pet ages;
- Reimbursement percentage. This percentage depends on the policy you choose. Some plans offer as much as 100%, while others are in the 70-80% range.
How Many Incidents Will Be Covered?
If your four-legged friend has a tendency to struggle with health issues, an insurance plan with an annual deductible will help with vet bills more than an insurance plan with a per-incident deductible.
The former allows you to apply the year’s total claims to the annual deductible, while the latter forces you to start over for each incident.
We hope that this article has helped you realize that pet insurance can help with vet bills. Getting the best pet insurance for your situation could actually end up saving the day when your beloved pet’s life is on the line.
5 Smart Reasons to Buy Pet Insurance. (n.d.). From NEA Member Benefits: https://www.neamb.com/family-and-wellness/5-smart-reasons-to-buy-pet-insurance
Alt, K. (2019, December 17). Is Pet Insurance Worth It? (Comprehensive Guide). From Canine Journal: https://www.caninejournal.com/is-pet-insurance-worth-it/
Colley, A. (n.d.). 6 Ways to Get Help with Vet Bills – Lower the Costs of Veterinary Care for Your Dog or Cat. From Money Crashers: https://www.moneycrashers.com/get-help-with-vet-bills/
Do you need pet insurance? (n.d.). From American Veterinary Medical Association: https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/do-you-need-pet-insurance
Facts about pet insurance. (n.d.). From Insurance Information Institute: https://www.iii.org/article/facts-about-pet-insurance
Johnson, H. (2018, October 31). Do You Need Pet Insurance? Here’s How to Decide. From The Simple Dollar: https://www.thesimpledollar.com/insurance/pet/do-you-need-pet-insurance-heres-how-to-decide/
Nationwide, Purdue University. (2018). Nationwide Purdue Veterinary Price Index. From http://nationwidedvm.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/NWP-VPI0708182.pdf
Pet Ownership Costs Guide for 2019. (2019, September 15). From The Simple Dollar: https://www.thesimpledollar.com/save-money/pet-cost-calculator/
Kristina Tyler is a full-time freelance writer who specializes in pet care topics. With her life-long love of animals and passion for learning, she thoroughly enjoys researching and writing about how to care for pets. In her spare time, she teaches Sunday School classes, creates hand drawn pictures of animals, and devours the latest books by her favorite authors. She lives in California with her adorable kitty named Chloe and attends classes at the local community college.