Vet Blog

Resolve to Insure Your Pet: A Guide to Buying Pet Insurance

January 29, 2024

Health insurance is a must have commodity for humans. Without it, few people would be able to afford all of the medical expenses that accrue during a year. And, if there is an illness or accident, the costs of treatment can be surprisingly high. Fortunately, health insurance helps cover a lot of the costs.  The same is true for our furry, animal friends. With specialist needs for sick pets, it can start getting more difficult for owners to afford the costs of keeping their pets healthy. If there is an unexpected illness or accident, pet owners must often face the difficult decision of how much they are willing—and able—to spend to treat their beloved pet. Most pet owners will take drastic measures to help their furry family member through a curable condition, which can mean thousands of dollars in unexpected expenses. How can you hedge yourself against these unexpected expenses? Pet insurance!

BPAH is one of the best animal hospitals in Richardson to educate you about pet insurance. Call us at (972) 690-6900

Unlike human health insurance, pet insurance functions more like property insurance. Different types of coverage are available, so it’s important to research what type of policy is best for you and your pet. Health insurance for pets is still a relatively new industry, so there are not as many companies to choose from. Generally, you can choose your own veterinarian, and the policies are pretty simple to understand. Premiums vary based on the type of animal (usually dog or cat, but there are some policies available for other species), breed, age and chosen areas for coverage. Also, premiums are a lot less than what we humans pay! It is important to note that pet insurance reimbursement comes after you have already paid your veterinarian for services and filed a claim, so you will likely be paying fees up front. Some offices will wait for payment from the insurance company, but that is not standard practice.

Similar to human insurance, pet insurance policies will include:

  • A monthly or annual premium
  • A deductible
  • A co-pay

It is imperative to know what the terms and limitations of the pet insurance policy, and what items are customizable.

  • Pre-existing conditions—what is and is not included, based on your pet’s health records?
  • Breed—are there exclusions in the policy that coincide with potential hereditary issues of your pet’s breed?
  • Maximum reimbursements and deductibles—how much are they and are they per incident, per annum, or for the life of the policy?
  • Waiting periods—when does the coverage begin?
  • Covered procedures—are preventative wellness visits included, or just issue-related visits and emergencies?
  • Rates—do they go up over time as your pet ages? (starting at puppy/kitten stages can save money)
  • Qualification—is a veterinarian examination required with the application?

Pet Insurance Protects Against Unexpected Emergencies

As a savvy consumer, it is always a smart idea to research the reviews and ratings of any pet insurance company you are considering. Are claims easy to file with prompt turnaround? Is the policy affordable and gives you the options you need? Is the policy customizable to give you a deductible, copay and coverage terms that meet your budget? Do you want more inclusive coverage, or just catastrophic? Getting quotes from at least 2 or 3 companies will help you find the best pet insurance for you and your pet.

Is pet insurance worth the cost of the premiums? That depends on you. How much are you comfortable spending to treat your pet for catastrophic accidents and illnesses? Do you have the cash on hand to pay large veterinary bills? If your pet stays healthy, and you only have regular exams and preventative care costs, it is likely that pet insurance is not necessary for your situation. However, it is impossible to predict the future and assume that your pet will never have a condition or accident that requires more extensive, specialized care and expense. Pet insurance, like human insurance, is available to help protect against unforeseen catastrophic events. Its purpose is not to save money, but lessen risk.

Contact One of the Best Animal Hospitals in Richardson

Are you considering a pet insurance policy for a new or current pet in 2020 and need an examination? Breckinridge Park Animal Hospital earned an AHAA Accreditation for meeting the highest standards in veterinary care. Our friendly staff and compassionate, highly trained veterinarians are focused on helping pets and their families. We provide the community with some of the best veterinarians in Richardson, Garland, Plano, Murphy, Wylie, Sachse and Mesquite. Call (972) 690-6900 or click here to schedule an appointment.

This information is not a substitute for professional veterinary medical advice. Prior to starting any new treatment or questions regarding an animal’s medical condition, always seek the advice of your veterinarian.