Pet Insurance: What is it and is it worth it?

Daniel Crichlow
Written on March 9, 2020

Pet insurance is relatively new to the insurance world. We’ve been covering your business and personal belongings for years, but covering your pet? Come on, that’s crazy, right? Actually, it may not be as crazy as you may think. Several insurance companies have started to offer plans to cover your four-legged friend. Surprisingly, coverages can be quite broad with deep benefits. But, to really understand if it would be worth it for you to get pet insurance, we need to know a few things first. Here are some of the keys to understanding pet insurance:

What type of deductible does it have?

Pet insurance typically has a traditional health insurance style deductible. Meaning, once you hit your deductible, you don’t pay anything for the rest of the year. Deductibles range from $100 to $500 a year. However, there is another subtle type of deductible included in this type of insurance. That is how much your policy will reimburse you for. So, there are really two things to know about this. First, you have to front the money and then turn in a claim for reimbursement. If you are tight on cash, this could be a problem. Second, most pet insurance policies don’t reimburse you for 100% of the cost. This is the other deductible I mentioned. You can usually choose to have 70-90% of the expense reimbursed, where the less you get reimbursed results in a lower premium.

What is typically covered?

The major things you would want to have coverage for are covered in most policies. Things like accidents, illnesses, surgery, and emergency care. However, when more pet insurance started being offered, a few coverages became available that surprised me. Some policies cover hereditary conditions, chronic conditions, diagnostic costs, and even alternative treatments. However, the major things that seem to be always excluded are pre-existing conditions, preventative or routine care, spay and neuter procedures, and office visit fees. So it seems from what the policy says that as long as your claim is not from one of those items, it should be covered.

How much does it cost?

This can change from carrier to carrier, but in general, the larger the animal, the more expensive it is to insure. So, a cat could be as low as $9 a month. If you select more reimbursement, and a low deductible, that number could go up. If you have a large dog, such as a German Shepherd, it could be as much as $50 a month. This can change from carrier to carrier, but prices have been somewhat standard across the industry.

Is it worth it?

So now, the question we’ve been waiting for! Is it worth it? Well, I really don’t know. This is something that is up to each person. There are certainly benefits to having pet insurance. Even for a large dog, the annual cost of insurance could be far less than major surgery, especially if the animal has a recurring injury. According to APPA, American’s spend over $70 billion a year on their pets! So, what do you think? Is it worth the monthly fee to insure your pet’s health? I would be happy to get you a quote today!

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