As the pet insurance marketplace grows, it has come to include different types of insurance so it pays to read the small print to know what’s covered and what’s not.
The most basic, and therefore cheapest, type of insurance is meant to cover only accidents, like your dog being hit by a car. It will not cover routine care, annual wellness visits, or illness.
The next level up is accident and illness care. This type of plan will cover everything an accident plan covers, as well as paying out when your dog gets sick, whether the illness is chronic or short-term.
Wellness plans cover the routine stuff like shots and annual check-ups.
Things to keep in mind
It’s generally much cheaper to insure a dog when s/he is young and healthy than after they begin to show the effects of aging.
No one covers pre-existing conditions.
Just like human insurance, pet insurance has a maximum payout – usually $10,000, but may go as high as $20,000.
Deductibles vary between plans.
To decide if pet insurance is worth it for your dog, consider how much you spend on vet care each year. Remember first year costs will be higher due to puppy shots and spay/neuter. Pet insurance premiums are often about $50 per month or $600 per year. Are your average costs higher than that?
Then consider if you have or can save up for an emergency fund to cover catastrophes like getting hit by a car or needing chemotherapy. It may turn out to be more cost effective if you put the money you would have spent on premiums into a savings account to be used when emergencies crop up. Or it may make sense to get an injury only plan and use your savings on premiums to cover the routine visits.
The bottom line
Compare policies from different companies, but make sure you are comparing apples to apples as far as coverage, maximums, and deductibles. Then go a step further and compare the cost of the plan you are thinking of getting to your actual expected expenses.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!