As the cost of veterinary services continues to rise, people are starting to look for ways to help them pay for their pets’ care. Sometimes owners want to do everything they can for their pets but can’t afford to. It is heartbreaking when decisions come down to money, but there are times when it happens.
Fortunately, pet insurance can help!
Pet insurance reimburses owners for a part of, or sometimes the whole, veterinary bill. Most plans cover injuries and illnesses, although owners can purchase more comprehensive plans that include much more. Some plans help when pets are lost or stolen. Some insurance will help when pets die. There are even plans that cover preventative medicine including examinations, vaccinations, and medications like heartworm prevention and flea and tick medicine.
Many companies offer pet insurance. Complicating the choice, they each offer multiple plans so owners can find the perfect plan for their pets (and their wallets). Owners can choose plans depending on how much they want to spend each month, how much they want to pay for a deductible, or how much co-insurance they want to pay. Each plan has its benefits and disadvantages, so owners need to study each plan before deciding which one is right for their pets.
Here are some other things owners have to consider when they are looking for insurance for their pets:
- How much they can afford to pay each month. Many owners have to choose a plan that fits their monthly budget. Even if they can’t afford a big plan, any plan will be helpful in an emergency.
- Whether preventative medicine is included in the plan. Many plans are for injuries and illnesses only. Preventative medicine is usually extra. The decision to include this will depend on how much owners can afford each month.
- Whether pre-existing conditions are covered. A pre-existing conditions are ones that are diagnosed before the pets get covered by insurance. Most of the time insurance will not cover pre-existing conditions. It is important to note that some plans consider pre-existing conditions to be things diagnosed the prior year.
- Whether congenital and hereditary conditions are covered. These include hip dysplasia, heart defects, and similar problems. These may vary by breed, so owners really need to look at the fine print of their plans.
- How much of the bill will be reimbursed. Some plans cover all of the bill while others cover only a part of it. Some plans require owners to send in the bill so they can be reimbursed. Other plans go by the prices they believe veterinary hospitals should be charging, no matter what owners are actually charged. Owners may or may not be able to get a copy of these fees.
- Most pet insurance plans have limits. Some plans have annual limits while others have lifetime limits. Some will cover certain problems only up to certain limits. They may cover only a certain number of veterinary visits for a condition or per year. Owners need to understand their plans’ limitations so they understand what they will be paying out of pocket.
Owners should definitely consider getting pet insurance, especially if their pets are younger. However, it is not something to just jump into. It takes time to go through the various plans to find the perfect one.
Pet insurance can be quite confusing, so feel free to call us here at (301) 270-4700 if you have any questions. We will do our best to try to help you through the process.