Although the majority of us never anticipate getting into an accident or falling ill with something, we all pay for health insurance to protect us physically and financially in the event that something happens to us. For our pets, we can take the same precautions by buying pet insurance. But does it work the same as the health insurance that we purchase, and is it worth getting for your pet?

To help you better understand whether or not pet insurance is the right investment for you and your furry friend, let’s dive deeper into what it is and what it has to offer.

Pet Insurance: Dog In Veterinarian's Arms

What Is Pet Insurance?

Like the health insurance we have for our own medical bills and expenses, pet insurance is a type of insurance policy that is designed to help you cover the cost of certain ailments that your pet may develop at some point in its life. Much like our own insurance, you’ll find that you have to pay a monthly premium, deductible, and, in some cases, a portion of the cost that it took to get your pet back to a healthy state.

You may be thinking, why would I pay extra monthly if my pet rarely gets sick? Much like we pay monthly premiums, it’s a necessary expense as many of us could not afford to pay out of pocket if we were faced with some emergency medical treatments. The good news? Pet insurance is often far more affordable than the insurance we pay for ourselves, making it more accessible for pet owners who want to keep their pets safe and healthy without breaking the bank.

What Does Pet Insurance Typically Cover?

It’s important to remember that every policy is different, and what may be covered in one policy that you’ve found online may not be offered in the next. Generally, plans are split into three different types of plans: accident plans (basic coverage), accident and illness plans (comprehensive coverage), and a plan that incorporates the latter with a focus on animal wellness (pet wellness care coverage).

The type of coverage that you choose will ultimately determine what you can make insurance claims for. If you decide to purchase a plan that covers accidents, you can expect to receive financial assistance for any accidental injuries and vet costs needed to cover treatment and any tests your pet needs. Meanwhile, more comprehensive coverage will offer the same type of support for any illnesses while all-around coverage will help you financially for items like check-ups with a vet.

To further illustrate what may be covered by your pet insurance policy, a few items that will likely be covered by your insurance provider include things like:

  • X-rays
  • Pet exams
  • Illness and accident tests
  • Pet prescriptions
  • Emergency vet visits
  • Surgery
  • Cancer treatment
  • Etc.

Before you decide to purchase any pet insurance policy, make sure that you reach out to the insurance company to understand the different plans available, what they will cover, and how much they’re going to cost you. Much like you wouldn’t purchase your own health insurance without doing your due diligence, you should purchase just any policy for your pet either!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pet Insurance?

As we can see from the above, pet insurance seems like it covers a lot and would be helpful in the event that your pet has an accident or contracts an illness. That being said, there are advantages and disadvantages to deciding to purchase pet insurance for yourself. Let’s weigh these pros and cons to help you make your decision simpler.

Advantages of Pet Insurance:

  • Pet insurance ranges from basic coverage for accidents to more comprehensive coverage to help you with wellness checkups and other basic health expenses. This gives you a wide range of coverage to keep your pet and your finances protected.
  • Pet insurance will help you afford costly treatments and tests that you may not otherwise be able to cover at any given moment.
  • This type of insurance is generally more affordable, making it easy for pet owners to take on monthly premiums without having to worry about straining their finances in the process.
  • There are a wide variety of companies out there offering pet insurance policies, making it easy for you to find the right plan for your pets.

Disadvantages of Pet Insurance:

  • Depending on the type of plan that you choose, there’s a lot that may not be covered by your policy. One of the biggest items that generally doesn’t get covered is preexisting conditions. If you go for a standard plan because that’s what’s most affordable, there are generally major exclusions as to what it will cover. Some of the exclusions include dental disease and hip dysplasia.
  • As it is with humans, policy prices will vary on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include breed, age, size, species, and location. Although many websites may offer a ballpark estimate, don’t be surprised if you don’t get the same monthly premiums that you expected.
  • The more animals you have, the more costly pet insurance becomes. Although we’d like to protect all of our pets, if you have a considerable number of animals, the price will continue to rise.
  • Pet insurance still comes with a deductible and you may still have to pay out of pocket for some of your vet expenses.

Is Pet Insurance Right for My Needs?

So, is pet insurance the right fit for your needs? The answer depends on what you’re looking to achieve by purchasing it. On one hand, it gives your pets the coverage they need to stay healthy and it gives you the support you need to avoid costly pet bills. On the other hand, some of the exclusions that come with standard pet plans can be a major barrier to affordable treatment and not all policies are friendly to your finances.

If you think that pet insurance is something you may want to consider purchasing for your animals, speak with multiple insurance companies and consider the pros and cons. In the end, we all want what’s best for us and our animals!