Why Pet Insurance Is Growing In Popularity

Why Pet Insurance Is Growing In Popularity
With over 80 million dogs and 80 million cats living in the U.S. as pets, veterinary care is big business. And veterinary care can also be quite expensive, costing over $200 a year for routine annual visits and sometimes thousands of dollars for emergency visits or advanced surgical operations.
In the face of these potential costs, many pet owners are now investing in pet insurance to ensure they are not caught unprepared for a major, unforeseen veterinary bill.

The Benefits of Insuring Your Pet
Not only is veterinary care rising in general in the U.S., but specialty vets are becoming more and more common. And if you want the best available care for your pet who is suffering from, say, vision loss, neurological problems, on organ failure, you may need pet insurance to make that level of care truly affordable.

If you fail to buy pet insurance, it is possible you could be forced to choose between going into debt for your pet’s medical care or losing your pet. That is a choice no one wants to have to make, and for premiums of around $20 to $50 per month, the peace of mind pet insurance brings is worth it to many pet owners.

Both accident and illnesses are covered by pet insurance policies. In fact, many policies cover the full gamut of veterinary expenses, from preventative care to chronic conditions to prescription medications to ER and pet hospital runs to spaying/neutering.

Selecting a Pet Insurance Policy
Like health insurance for people, pet health/accident insurance has premiums, copays, deductibles, and caps. Obviously, the lower your premiums, the lower your copayments, and the higher your deductibles, the more coverage you will receive.

But what about the benefit caps? There are three major types on most pet insurance policies:

  • A lifetime benefit cap is simple: you can use up to the cap amount for the lifetime of your pet.
  • Period caps limit how much you can get in payouts within a specific period, such as during a particular year.
  • Incident caps cover only up to so much per incident. Each insurer may define “single incident” slightly differently.

Note that many policies have all three cap-types, and maxing out on a period cap would disallow payouts per incident during that period. Maxing out on the lifetime cap would effectively end the usefulness of the policy. And note that insurers are not obligated to guarantee policy renewal.

Another factor to look at when choosing a pet insurer and policy is the exclusions. Again, there are three main types of exclusions on most policies:

  • Congenital conditions: Any condition the pet is born with and that is “discoverable” at birth or soon thereafter.
  • Hereditary conditions: A condition that the pet is born with and inherited genetically but that is not discoverable at birth.
  • Developmental conditions: Any condition that develops early in the pet’s life. This would be an abnormality or anomaly of some sort.

Not every policy will exclude all of the above, but most at least exclude congenital conditions. You can purchase extra riders to cover conditions otherwise excluded, in many cases.
Finally, you want to be sure that your policy not only covers all you deem necessary for your pet, but also specifically allows you to use your vet of choice. Be sure to ask if your vet qualifies.

To learn more about pet insurance or to consider investing in a policy, contact Flagler County Insurance Company.