Understanding How Pet Insurance Works

Understanding How Pet Insurance Works
Pet insurance is relatively new in the insurance world, having first been offered only in 1982. But it is becoming more and more popular with every passing year, even if most pet owners still haven’t opted to invest in a policy.
Now, it’s true that a good homeowner’s insurance policy will protect you against liability for dog bites and the like in many situations, but as to protecting yourself against sudden, high-priced medical expenses needed to keep your pet healthy (or alive), only a pet insurance policy will do that.

Can Pet Insurance Really Save You Money?
You’ll see a lot of reviews and articles online saying that you can’t really save any money with pet insurance, but you’ll also see testimonials of people who did, in fact, save hundreds or thousands of dollars because they had pet insurance. So which is right?

The truth is, whether you save money through pet insurance depends on multiple factors, just like all other insurance does. Most dog/cat owners spend only $200 to $250 a year on routine check ups and vet visits, but a single case of doggie cataracts can cost $1,200. Pet gastric torsion can cost almost $2,000, and putting a pin into a pet’s broken leg can run you around $1,000.

Since pet insurance premiums are usually relatively low, maybe $20 to $60 per month per pet covered, it’s not at all unlikely you’ll save big if your pet needs a major operation and that you’ll break even with only routine check ups and a few minor matters per year.

How Pet Insurance Policies Work
Like other forms of insurance, pet insurance has premiums, deductibles, copayments, caps, and exclusions.

One thing you should check immediately before taking out a pet policy is whether the policy will give you maximum savings with your preferred vet. If not, you may want to find a new vet who will fully accept your pet insurance.

Deductibles are typically per incident, and caps will be per incident, per period (maybe a year), and life of the policy in most cases.

You will pay more for older animals, for more illness-prone breeds, and for animals with a history of expensive medical conditions. And some breeds have exclusions specific to them, if they are prone to specific diseases.

In most cases, unless you add a rider, congenital conditions the pet was born with and that were “discoverable” at birth won’t be covered. Hereditary conditions (typical of a particular breed) not discoverable at birth, may or may not be covered, depending on the policy.

Developmental conditions may also be excluded under certain circumstances, but other policies will be more lenient on these types of conditions, for a higher premium.

In other words, pet insurance is mostly a protection against accidental injuries and diseases your pet might suffer from, but you can always bolster what it covers with riders or, conversely, go with a bare bones policy to reduce the premium and still get adequate coverage.

There is great potential to save money and protect your pet’s health with good pet insurance policy, but you really need to discuss matters in detail with your insurer and with your vet. You also need to ask yourself how much it’s worth to you to be covered against sudden, unexpected and expensive veterinary care.

To learn more about pet insurance, or for a free quote, contact Flagler County Insurance Agency today!