The question is actually one of preparing for the worst. You need pet health insurance and hope you never have to use it. Having pet health insurance and not needing it is much better than needing it and not having it.
Molly Bee is a very sweet, lovable and absolutely wonderful West Highland Terrier. When she came into my life when she was 12 weeks old, I thought she was the best because I got her from a reputable AKC breeder. I can’t know what’s in store for her. I’m not prepared to spend thousands of dollars in vain trying to save her life.
Molly Bee has a genetic disease that causes her liver to shut down. Our good vet told me her test numbers were higher than anyone he had ever seen, which was devastating. I pray (and pay) until I can pray and pay no more. Molly Bee had to fall asleep when she was 18 months old. I was devastated and lost thousands of dollars. Thinking of the pet health insurance flyer I read in her doctor’s office, I swear I’ll never be without pet health insurance again.
Here are six helpful tips you might need to know about this topic. remember: Having pet health insurance and not needing it is much better than needing it and not having it.
Most people don’t consider their pet’s breed, temperament, whether the breed lives an active or sedentary lifestyle, and how nearby children or other wild and domestic animals interact with their pet. Small children can pose a real danger, and a rottweiler living on the street or a coyote in an open-air park can create a $1,000 vet bill with a single jack russell terrier.
1. Be sure to read the brochure!
Just like human health insurance, there are various plans to fit your budget. Most pet health insurance plans offer 80% coverage (20% deductible or $100 initial treatment threshold), which can go up with your monthly premium. For about $12.95 per month, you can insure your pet for most accidents and the costs associated with treating them in an emergency. For routine pet care, vaccinations, etc., you may be better off paying as you go or out of pocket.
2. When does coverage begin?
There is usually a waiting period, usually 14 – 30 days, before your pet health insurance begins. Make sure your veterinarian has documented your pet’s health in detail at the last visit so it can be said that there are no pre-existing conditions (or waived or insured for that). After a visit to the veterinarian is a good time to purchase pet health insurance.
3. Can I choose my own veterinarian?
Most plans allow you to choose your own pet healthcare provider, especially in an emergency. I recommend that you discuss with your veterinarian what insurance plans he or she accepts for routine or routine and emergency pet care.
4. Six million dogs and six million cats are diagnosed with cancer each year. Will my insurance cover these costs too?
Be sure to read your pet health insurance plan to find out what’s covered or not. Usually, your insurance policy will allow you to add some coverage for additional premiums. Please contact your carrier for more information.
5. Are there age requirements or restrictions on pet health insurance?
Yes, most plans do not cover the first 8 to 12 weeks of your pet’s life. Some plans are limited to pets under the age of 12 (varies based on the age of the pet at the time of insurance purchase) and have additional restrictions based on your pet breed. For example, Great Danes don’t usually live past the age of 8 or so. Also, my cat lived to be 20 years old! Most policies impose age and/or breed restrictions on their coverage.
6. But I have more than one pet! Can I save by insuring them all?
Yes, most plans offer a discount (usually 10% per pet) when you insure your entire “family.”
Finally, you need to carefully consider all options for pet health insurance. Not having insurance at all is completely irresponsible. If your pet needs urgent care and you cannot afford it, contact your local Humane Society or ASPCA for help.
Remember, pet health insurance doesn’t need to be expensive, it’s not limited to a single veterinarian, it’s uncomplicated to use, can provide coverage for general care or examinations, and can be applied for online!
Regardless, we’d love to answer your questions about this important decision. Send us an email or comment on this article and we will get back to you as soon as possible.