September is National Pet Insurance Month which is widely celebrated by veterinarians, shelters and rescues, pet owners and insurance companies in the USA. Not every pet owner is informed about pet insurance. If you don’t have coverage yet or want more information, keep reading.
What is Pet Health Insurance
The North American Pet Health Insurance Association (Naphia) states that “Pet health insurance is a unique, specialized coverage designed to reimburse pet owners for unforeseen veterinary fees and related expenses. There are three main types of pet health insurance coverage:
- Accident: Coverage for veterinary treatment for unexpected injuries.
- Illness: Coverage to treat sickness, disease and any changes to your pet’s normal healthy state.
- Wellness: (also called Routine or Preventive Care) which may include vaccinations, tests, and dental work. This is also sometimes called “Routine” or “Preventative” care”.
Pet insurance is a relatively new industry in the U.S. Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) offered the first policy in 1982. Today, many companies offer policies, which is good, but it also makes choosing the best policy for you and your pet more complicated. Before you sign on the dotted line and write that first check, do your due diligence.
Should I Consider Pet Insurance?
Are you a pet owner? If your pet gets sick or injured, can you give your pet the best medical care possible? Should you consider pet insurance? Or are there other options? Let’s look at the possibilities and considerations.
Why Do I Need Pet Insurance?
First, what could happen to your pet and why would you even need pet insurance?
Accidents and Emergencies
Animals can have accidents and/or emergencies ranging from injured knees and swallowed socks — to stings from bees and cuts from rocks! Some are affordable and other could break the bank.
Your pet can be under the weather just like us, including dental disease, ear infections and stomach bugs.
Hereditary and Chronic Conditions
Lingering problems pester pets and pocketbooks. Chronic issues like allergies, and hereditary conditions like hip dysplasia and cancer.
Veterinary Exam Fees
Per vet visit routine care.
What does Pet Insurance Cover?
Almost all pet insurance providers cover injuries and illnesses to some degree. While you are reviewing a pet insurance plan, you need to consider or ask about:
- emergency care,
- genetic conditions,
- veterinary exam fees,
- imaging – mri, cat scan, ultrasound,
- diagnostic treatments,
- prescription medications
- cancer treatments,
- dental treatments (non-routine),
- surgery + rehabilitation, and
- alternative care.
Most people know about CareCredit for dental and mental help for people. They have it for Veterinary Financing too. This is a line of credit specifically for use at participating veterinary clinics. Like a credit card, this line of credit can be used for routine care and/or extraordinary care. There are no up-front costs and you select the monthly payment option you can handle. Depending on the amount put on the card, you can take from six to 60 months to pay off the balance (check the annual percentage rate before you sign up).
Google has an entire list full of insurance companies. You can even find a pet insurance review website to help make things a little easier when comparing. This is a very personal choice and involves your risk level and knowing your pet.
Set up a savings account for your pet and deposit in it the amount equal to what you would pay as a premium, then use it only for extraordinary care. This works best if you’re disciplined and if your pet doesn’t require expensive care early in his life. Better yet, start out with a large initial deposit and add to it each month.
Talk with your Veterinarian
If you have any questions about whether you should get pet insurance, speak with your Vet’s office to get their recommendation and options.
MainStreet Veterinarians practices both conventional as well as alternative animal healthcare from our friendly office in Stone Mountain, GA. Offering mainly conventional veterinary medicine and surgery to also offering a wide array of alternative and holistic treatments to the veterinary community as well. Call us today to make an appointment with your beloved pet at 770-498-4620 or send us an email.