The first pet insurance policy was sold in 1982 by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co, a subsidiary of Nationwide. Today, there are 12 major companies that offer pet insurance plus some lesser known companies. Many employers are even starting to offer it as a benefit to their employees.
Pet insurance is health insurance for your pets. The difference is that with most policies, you will pay for services upfront and the insurance company will reimburse you. Pet insurance could save you thousands in the event your pet gets sick or injured.
Your monthly or annual premiums will vary based on different factors.
Type of Pet: Dogs usually cost more than cats. Sex of the pet as well.
Breed: Larger breeds of dogs will cost more as they have shorter lifespans and more health issues.
Age: The younger your pet is, the cheaper the premium will be
Where you live: Premiums could be based on your state and town.
Premium Care: Upgrades and add-ons that are not part of a basic plan, will run you more.
Multiple Pets: You could save money insuring multiple pets in the household.
You most likely will have a deductible and max allowable benefit per year.
What is Covered?
Basic Coverage is for accidents or illnesses.
Comprehensive Coverage will help cover costs of vet visits, prescriptions, x-rays, labs, and vaccines. A small percentage of companies will cover pre-existing conditions and hip dysplasia but make sure to read the fine print. There are usually stipulations.
You will find most companies offer a combination of the above.
The monthly cost of pet insurance is $10-$100. With the average being $30 a month to $50 a month for decent coverage. So $360 to $600 a year. The average life of a dog is 10-13 years. Average life of a cat is 13-17 years.
Accidents and illnesses can be very costly, running up thousands of dollars! If you don't have the funds, you can find yourself and your pet in a difficult situation. Tough decisions will need to be made. So if you can afford the monthly premium, I would say you should at least have an accidental/illness insurance policy.
Routine annual vet care like visits, tests, and vaccines for dogs averages about $200-$400. For cats, $90 to $200. So whether or not to get a comprehensive plan would depend on what's included in the policy and how much the premium and out of pocket costs would be.
Its important to research coverage and get quotes from several different insurance companies. Ask your veterinarian who they recommend, this is also important as you may be limited to what vet you can use depending on insurance company. Ask other pet owners who have pet insurance. Read reviews online.
Like with most insurance, you are paying for peace of mind and a possible future need.
If you are wondering what companies to check out, be sure to read this informative article 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies of 2020 from Money.com