Insurance is something that most people don’t like to deal with, especially when it comes to loved ones in the family, and that absolutely includes cats, dogs, and other pets who are precious to you. Having a pet is a huge responsibility, and one of those responsibilities is keeping them healthy and happy.
When your pet gets sick or if an injury occurs, they must see the vet to be diagnosed and treated properly. A vet visit costs anywhere from $60 - $120 just for the animal to see the vet. Additional costs will incur when tests and examinations must be performed, and when medications are prescribed.
In the event of an injury, special equipment may be needed for the animal to help with the healing process. For catastrophic events that require surgery, the cost can skyrocket into the thousands.
Few people can put up their life’s savings for surgery if they even have that much money on hand. So, pet insurance is the best way to ensure that your animal friend will get what they need at any point in their life without hassle or having to pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars out of pocket when tragedy strikes.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Pet insurance shouldn’t be compared to health insurance for people because the process is quite different. Most pet insurance providers do not hand out a card that you can give to your vet so that they can bill the insurance provider later. The cost will most likely come out of pocket but will be paid back by the insurance company within a certain amount of time. While this process isn’t ideal for most people, it is a step in the right direction, and some insurers are looking at different ways they can better help people in the future. It is believed that pet insurance providers will streamline the process and change their ways to be more comparable to health insurance for people.
During the enrollment process, you’ll select an option from a list that best suits you. There is a long list of pet insurance providers, but most have very similar policies at similar rates. So, how do you find the best one? Well, Consumersadvocate.org released a list of best pet insurance companies that they meticulously rated with data-driven facts. According to Consumersadvocate.org, the best pet insurance providers are:
- Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation
- Embrace Pet Insurance
- Progressive Pet Insurance by Pets Best Pet Health Insurance
- Petfirst Pet Insurance
- Nationwide Pet Insurance
Average Prices for Pet Insurance
Once you research the policies a bit, you can find one that best suits your needs, and you can then register your pet. Most of the sites will include a $25 fee for signing up. It is best to find one that doesn’t have that fee, or billing fees as well. Regardless, pet insurance is relatively cheap for what you get. Most plans average out to be around $40-$50 for mid-range plans. Some plans can even go as cheap as $20 a month.
How to Get Pet Insurance
To get a quote, simply input your pet’s name, age, breed, and size into the website. Then, you’ll be taken to the list of policies and other features you can opt for. Usually, there will be three options, a cheap plan, an average plan with more coverage, and an expensive plan with all the coverage the insurance company provides. The price is based on the information about your pet, like age, size, and breed type.
Another important thing to understand is that there is currently NO pet insurance companies that provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. There is a waiting period anywhere from 14 days to 60 days where after you may then begin to use the insurance benefits. Some policies are different with injuries and illnesses coverage, so you’ll need to read the policy details for yourself.
How to Use Your New Pet Insurance
Once your waiting period is over, you can then gather the necessary documentation from your vet to give to your pet insurance company. They will then take anywhere from 5-30 days to process the reimbursement payment. Some companies send a check in the mail, and some actually use technology to everyone’s benefit and send the money to your bank account directly.
Speaking of technology, it is a good idea to find a pet insurance provider that offers a free mobile app that you can use to file claims, change information on your policy, and other useful features. There are even some companies that offer features that put you in touch with a licensed vet to ask questions. You can even chat with them via live video so that they can see the animal and give you their recommendation on what you should do. Once you have that information, you can then speak to a company representative to ensure everything will be covered. It really is quite convenient and great to know that what your pet needs will be covered beforehand.
Now you know everything about pet insurance, how it works, what it can do for you, how much it costs, and all the other features and options that come with modern pet insurance. It is incredibly important to make sure that your pet will have the care they need when they need it. And, it isn’t expensive, so it turns out to be a great deal when your pet needs serious care.