As the field of veterinary medicine continues to advance, the costs associated with pet medical care are also on the rise. While it’s truly wonderful to be able to offer our beloved companion animals the best in medical treatment and life-extending procedures, the costs associated with modern technology can sometimes strain our financial resources.
Health insurance helps us to offset our medical bills, and in many cases pet insurance can provide similar peace of mind. Although pet insurance is not the right choice for everyone, it’s worth looking into and deciding for oneself if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Pet Insurance for Beginners
In most cases, pet insurance is designed to help pet owners cover the costs of unplanned events, such as emergency surgery, sudden illness or injury. Some policies also allow for certain routine wellness procedures, including, examinations, vaccinations, and teeth cleaning.
Unlike human medical insurance, pet insurance companies don’t pay the veterinary fees directly. In most cases, the pet owner pays the fee for their pet’s care at the time the service is provided, and is reimbursed by the insurance company after filing a claim.
You’d Better Shop Around
With over a dozen companies currently offering pet insurance, it pays to do your research, prior to selecting a company and an individual plan. Each policy should be closely scrutinized and a few key factors to consider are as follows:
- Reputation – Look at reviews, get references, read the fine print, and call the companies directly. Be sure to insist that your questions are answered to your satisfaction.
- Cost – You can purchase coverage to pay for routine care, major medical expenses, or both. Decide where insurance may be helpful and what you might be better off just paying out-of-pocket. Make sure you can budget for the monthly or bi-annual fees.
- Premiums and deductibles – If your pet is in good health, you may want to look into the options for lowering the monthly premium and deductible. You may be required to submit blood work and other laboratory test results, as well as proof of wellness checkups to justify a lower rate.
- Pre-existing conditions – Most companies do not cover pre-existing conditions and breed-specific diseases, although some will offer coverage for certain congenital issues. Take time to understand what the limitations are.
- Waiting period – Many pet insurance companies employ a waiting period before the policy goes into effect, so make sure you know when your pet will be officially covered.
Although pet insurance can be purchased at any point in a pet’s life, we recommend starting an insurance policy for your pet when he or she is young and healthy, in order to derive the best rate and maximum financial benefit.
At Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center, your pet’s well-being is our top priority. If you are struggling with the pros and cons of pet insurance, please don’t hesitate to contact our staff with your questions and concerns. We are happy to share our experiences with you and to direct you to additional information as needed.