Your pet is a true member of your family, so you obviously want to do whatever you can to make them as well cared for as possible. One of the most commonly overlooked details that you can consider for your pet’s best interest and overall health is pet insurance. This is something that you’ve probably thought about, but perhaps you’re not entirely sure if it’s right for your pet. Here’s what you should know.

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance is a specialized kind of personal insurance that pet parents can take out on behalf of their furry family members. It works like health insurance would for humans, but it provides medical (aka vet) coverage for your pet. The whole focus is that your insurance will help cover the costs of some of the vet bills for your pet if you were to file a claim. Since vet bills add up quickly, this is a great choice to consider when you want to do everything that you can to help protect your budget and your pet’s medical care.

How do I get pet insurance?

You can get pet insurance by contacting a provider of it. Some personal insurance companies offer a separate policy for your pets if you want to. There are also dedicated providers. Some examples are Trupanion, Petsecure, , Pet Plus, Fetch, and others. They offer several tiers of plans that will help you get the right kind of coverage for your pet. If you research them online, you’ll find several options that will help you to compare and contrast.

Pros of pet insurance

To help you in your decision, here are the top pros of getting pet insurance for your furry family members:

It offers coverage for emergencies and accidents

Often, emergency visits and surgeries tend to be the largest costs for out-of-pocket expenses at the vet. Many pet insurance policies will offer coverage for emergencies, be they specialized exams, tests, or even surgeries. While there will be a deductible, it can offer reimbursement for the cost of a lot of those emergency procedures. For those that just want to do whatever it takes to stop their pet’s suffering, this can often soften the blow of the expense.

It offers coverage for breed-specific conditions if they aren’t pre-existing

Many purebred dogs have pre-existing health conditions associated with their breeds. Quite a few of the insurance companies will still offer coverage for those breed-specific health conditions if they aren’t pre-existing at the time of applying for insurance. While the insurance may be a little higher for specific dog breeds (more on that later), it is reassuring to know that you can get the protection that actually applies to your dog or cat.

The deductibles can vary and can be tailored to your needs 

Just like any insurance policy, there will be a deductible. Some pet owners choose higher deductibles so they can have lower monthly payments. Some choose lower deductibles and higher monthly payments. You can talk with your provider to determine a plan that you’re your needs. As with all insurance, you make payments to protect against unfortunate circumstances that you hope will never arise. However, you’ll be happy to know that if your pet is unlucky and does have an expensive health condition, then your insurance coverage can cover expenses you might not normally be able to afford.

You can discontinue at any time

Another perk of pet insurance is that you can cancel whenever you feel that you don’t need it or if the premiums increase to the point where you aren’t sure if you want to continue. Just cancel it before the next renewal term, and you’ll be able to start pocketing the money that you were previously paying out.  

Just keep in mind that you might not be able to start back up with the same coverage again at a later day if you need it. Rates, pre-existing conditions, age of the pet can all affect this situation. 

It offers peace of mind if you are financially unstable

We all take on pets with a positive assumption that we’ll be able to put away money to take care of them in the future. But things happen, and life gets in the way. If you are worried that you don’t have enough spare money to handle a pet’s potential emergency, having a monthly payment for protection against emergencies and accidents can really offer a lot of peace of mind and comfort. After all, knowing that your pet is protected in the case of an emergency is a positive thing.

These are just some of the leading pros that will help you to determine if pet insurance is going to be the right choice for your furry friend or not.  

Cons of pet insurance

On the flip side, here are some of the main cons to consider when looking at getting insurance for your dog or cat:

The premiums can add up over time if you don’t need to submit a claim

If you don’t need to file a claim, you may find that you are paying out a lot of money without really needing it. This is much the same as any insurance policy, of course. If you are someone who counts every penny to meet their bills, this is something to consider since you’d still need to pay the deductible before submitting a treatment claim.  

It doesn’t often cover routine health checks 

Many of the pet insurance programs don’t cover health checks, procedures like a spay or neuter, or immunizations. Anything that is considered routine care often must be paid out of pocket. However, you might find some plans that do offer routine coverage.

There tend to be loopholes by some providers

Some providers of pet insurance may include loopholes in coverage contracts to get out of paying for expensive surgery or emergency procedure. To protect yourself here, make sure that you pick a trusted and well-reviewed provider. Ask your vet for recommendations on brands, and do your homework before taking out a policy!

Most vets don’t direct-bill to insurance providers

In many cases, you’ll need to submit the paperwork for the claim yourself to your insurance provider. While this isn’t a big hassle, it is something to think about if you’ve already got a million things to do every single day. There is no option to direct-bill in most cases.

How do I know if pet insurance is right for me?

There is no such thing as a wrong answer when you’re looking at whether or not pet insurance is right for your family or not. However, the pros of pet insurance — should you need them — can often provide great peace of mind to focus on enjoying your life with your furry family member protected the same way that all of your human members are.

If you’ve been considering pet insurance for your pet, these pros and cons can help you to determine whether or not to take out a policy for your pet’s health. So don’t put it off, take some time now to think about it and decide what you want to do for your pet’s best health!

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