The start of a new year is the time when many us of make resolutions to take better care of our health. But what about our pets? Do your wellness plans for your best friend include getting pet health insurance?
Many dog and cat owners consider pet insurance, and some employers even offer it as part of their employee benefits package. But is it the right option for you?
The decision to get insurance for your pet depends on many individual factors. Here are some questions you can ask yourself—and any potential insurance companies—before you buy.
What is the annual cost of pet insurance?
This can depend on your particular situation, including the cost of living in your area and the breed and age of your pet. Consumer advocates warn that the cost of your annual premium may be higher than the benefits you receive.
One study found that while the cost for coverage is around $500 a year, most pet owners saw only around $275 in paid claims.
Do you own a “high-risk” dog breed?
Cats are generally less expensive to insure than dogs, but not all dogs cost the same to insure. Some breeds are much more expensive than others.
The experts at the website I Heart Dogs report that some large breed dogs like the St. Bernard and Irish Wolfhound are especially pricey to insure.
They recommend choosing a plan that covers inherited and chronic health conditions (such as hip and elbow dysplasia). Make sure the plan covers all aspects of treatment for an illness or injury (like overnight care).
What’s covered and what’s not covered?
Make sure you understand what each insurance plan covers and what is excluded. All plans vary but there are some general guidelines to keep in mind.
According to the website Wag! you should be prepared to cover a lot of preventive care yourself. This includes things like dental cleanings, parasite prevention, vaccinations, spay/neuter, non-traditional therapies, and prescription diets.
What should be covered under a good plan? Farmers Insurance notes that plans should cover treatment for accidents and injuries, and certain illnesses like cancer, arthritis, and diabetes.
Remember to review plans carefully for details on coverage of hereditary and pre-existing conditions.
How can you compare insurance plans?
Ready to look into getting pet health insurance but not sure where to start? Check out this veterinarian-reviewed, comprehensive guide to pet health insurance plans from the website lendedu.com.