Affordable pet insurance. This is a topic that I never thought I would be writing about since we have never been a “pet family.” Boy have things changed!
Earlier this year, the cutie above, Ollie, joined our family. As any good pet mom, I looked into all the various options to ensure we could keep our new family member healthy. Lucky for us, our vet's office gives all new patients a free trial to a pet insurance plan at their first visit. I immediately signed up for the trial, and opted into a monthly plan.
After having Ollie and utilizing pet insurance, I am a huge advocate for pet health insurance. There are pros and cons to each company and each plan. I want this post to answer many of the questions you may be having on which pet insurance company is the best. I know I had a ton!
How Does Pet Insurance Work
If you have ever had a pet ingest something they should not have, or get ill and needed a trip to the vet, you know how expensive those visits can get. An overnight visit due to dehydration or after-surgery care can be several hundred dollars.
Just like with humans, the unexpected can happen to our furry pals as well, and be just as costly. Knowing what we have gone through, I tell people that pet insurance gives you options. Not all plans or pet insurance companies are as easy to work with. Some plans pay you once you've paid your vet. Other plans will pay the vet directly.
Best Pet Insurance
I found through doing my own research that there are some great benefits to many pet insurance plans because you don't have to worry about networks. Most veterinarians are able to work with all types of pet insurance.
Our vet's office had a pre-approval process with our pet insurance company so the vet would be paid directly by the pet insurance company and we would simply pay the remainder (deductible and other amounts not covered by the plan limits). This was SO NICE since we didn't have to have the money up front and wait for a reimbursement.
The other benefit of no networks for pet insurance plans is that your furry family member can be seen by your favorite vet, without having to worry about out of network charges. This comes in handy if you’re traveling or trying to get your pet into the vet quick. Sometimes your pet just can’t wait for care.
Pet Insurance Pre Existing Conditions
Does your fluffy pal have any pre-existing conditions? If so, you will have a hard time getting coverage. I really appreciated getting the free trial for our pet insurance plan at one of Ollie's first visits. We knew we had coverage and had at least 30 days to make a decision.
Having a plan right as soon as we got Ollie was also beneficial because there weren't any “major” pre-existing conditions that could be discovered (normally, not in pups from where you know the history anyway). For example, if you find out that your new puppy has cancer at his initial vet check, unfortunately you likely will not be able to get affordable insurance to cover any upcoming charges.
You may not even know that your pet has a pre-existing condition. Some pet insurance companies may require that your pet get checked out before they approve them for pet insurance.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover
There are plans all over the place, covering examinations and medications to only covering emergency treatments. The latter is actually what we chose (check out the Healthy Paws pet insurance plans). I had budgeted for regular exam fees, so I wasn't concerned about having a plan cover those or medications.
I also heard from a few people in various pet Facebook groups that said the plans that covered medication had a max. So the monthly fees for those plans are higher and it didn't benefit them in the end.
Pet Insurance Cheap
There may come a time when your pet’s emergency treatment may cost more than you can afford. When this happens, often times people resort to euthanizing their pets, or taking them home and letting them suffer. I can't even imagine making this type of decision.
By having pet insurance, this can help with the costs of treatment, even if money is tight at the time. Let’s be honest, pet care is needed when you least expect it or when you don’t have the funds to take care of the medical issues at hand. Pet insurance is a responsible financial way to care for your pet.
Our vet was very laid back about pet insurance, meaning he didn't “push” it on families. He said he always encourages families to set money aside each month so if there were an emergency they would have it to fund treatment. I would agree with that approach, but I am thankful that we had a pet insurance policy to utilize during Ollie's treatments.
Pet Health Insurance Cost
There are a variety of plans that you can choose for your pet. Ranging from about $10-$100 a month, the most affordable plans generally will not cover all types of pet care, such as routine visits and vaccinations.
There are also price differences depending on your deductible. We opted into a plan with a higher deductible ($750) that paid 90% of all expenses after the deductible was paid. The trial was actually at a lower deductible of $250. Lucky for us, we were still on the trial when we needed to get treatment for Ollie. Be sure to search different plans to make sure the services you think your pet will need will be included in your coverage.
Pet Insurance Reviews
You will find tons of reviews all over the internet about this company or that company. As I've mentioned, some are easier to work with than others, and the cost of taking your pet to the vet has skyrocketed. I will admit that having our pet insurance company pay the vet directly was nice since we didn't have to have the money up front. Regardless of the company, pet insurance is a good thing to get for your pet!
As I mentioned above, Ollie was our family's first pet. She passed away last month from a genetic liver shunt. She was the most precious and perfect little Goldendoodle (a petite size so she was teeny tiny, around 3 pounds in these photos). It goes without saying, but we miss her terribly. I am thankful we had a pet insurance plan so we can honestly say we did everything to try to save her life. We will be getting another pet but none will ever replace this girl.
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