Our pets are a part of our family, and there’s no replacing their unconditional love, devotion, and the hours of joy they provide us. So it stands to reason why we go to great lengths to keep them healthy and to have them treated when they are sick or injured.
In this day and age, veterinary medical care rivals that of human health care. Advancements in veterinary medicine means that pets have access to medical care previously reserved for humans.
But these advancements don’t come without a cost. And although it’s wonderful to be able to offer your pet the best in care, these costs can sometimes place a significant financial burden on families, especially if they are unplanned.
This is where pet insurance comes in. Just as human health insurance is designed to offset unplanned medical costs, a pet insurance plan can act as a buffer if your pet is injured or ill. And while pet insurance is not the right choice for everyone, Sunrise Boulevard Animal Hospital wants you to have the facts so that you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for your family.
How Pet Insurance Works
Pet ownership comes with costs, some of which can be planned for, and some of which are unexpected. Average annual pet care costs are around $1,800, and that doesn’t include emergencies, treatment of illness, or accidents. Pet insurance is designed to help cover costs of unplanned catastrophic events.
Most pet insurance companies expect owners to pay for services up front, and submit the bills for reimbursement. Only one company to date, Trupanion, has an option to pay the veterinary care provider directly, so that the pet owner is responsible only for their portion upon check out. Many of our team members have this policy and we’re happy to talk with you about it.
Considering Your Pet Insurance Options
As a pet owner, you have the freedom to choose any pet insurance company that fits your needs. There are many of them, so it’s important to compare apples to apples. When you’re shopping for a policy, consider the following:
Reputation – look at reviews, make phone calls, and spend some time shopping around. Make sure the company can answer your questions to your satisfaction.
Cost – you can purchase pet insurance designed to cover injury and illness, or to cover wellness care as well. Make sure you understand where and when you want to pay for out of pocket expenses. Ask about annual fees.
Deductibles – many companies have a deductible, so starting your pet on an insurance plan while your pet is young and well will allow for lower rates. Some companies allow you to choose your deductible based on your own needs. Make sure you know how deductibles work with each company you research.
Waiting periods – a waiting period before the policy goes into effect is common, so make sure you know when your pet will be covered.
Lifetime maximums – some companies have a maximum payout they will allow, either lifetime or per incident. Make sure you know your coverage limits.
Pre-existing conditions – most pet insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing conditions or breed specific diseases. Make sure you understand the limitations.
Securing the Future
Perhaps the largest benefit to pet insurance is the peace of mind it can afford you. Grappling with how to pay for your pet’s medical care while they are sick or injured can be upsetting and heartbreaking. Having a pet insurance policy will allow you to focus on what’s most important – your pet’s care – rather than how you will pay for treatment.
We are partnered with Trupanion Express. We offer a free 30 day trial with every new exam, and if you sign up the waiting period is waived, so coverage can start immediately. If you’d like more information or have questions about pet insurance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.