Pets are not just akin to family, they are family. Like a loved one, we wish for them to have a healthy, happy, and prosperous life, free of hardship and discomfort. Life tends to be unpredictable, and while we never wish for any misfortune to befall our pets, unforeseen circumstances can put them in harm’s way. Medical emergencies, accidents, chronic illnesses, and unexpected circumstances can all happen with practically zero notice. The cost of medications and consultations can add up fast, not to mention how expensive a surgical process can be.
The reality is, that an exceptionably small percentage of the population is prepared for such a situation and is covered by pet insurance. Many pets live without any safety net, meaning if an emergency does present itself, there are precious few options other than borrowing a sizeable sum from a bank or a generous lender. No pet should go through such a situation, and neither should a pet parent have to resort to extreme measures because they cannot afford such expenses. To help you avoid ever being in such a scenario, we’d like to walk you through the basics of pet insurance and everything you need to know before investing in a pet insurance policy.
As humans, it is commonplace to invest in insurance policies against various circumstances. Insurance is the process of exchanging risk for a certain premium. You pay a certain premium to an insurance company, for which they assume some of the risks for your coverage. As an example, nobody actively hopes for a car accident, but suppose you do get into one, the insurance company assumes the monetary risk instead of you. These days, we have insurance for our health, home, vehicle, education, and even our electronics at this point. Therefore, it only makes sense to have a policy which covers our beloved pets.
As with other forms of insurance, pet insurance offloads the risk from a pet parent. It relieves a pet parent of economic risk if their pet needs a life-saving procedure or has immensely expensive medical bills. You should also choose your insurance according to your needs. For instance, if you get coverage for almost every minor medical expense, you will have to pay a higher premium. Thus, it is important to choose a policy that best fits your pet’s needs and your ability to pay the premium for it.
A pet parents’ reasons for purchasing a pet insurance policy are the same reasons we buy any sort of insurance coverage. While nobody would want any harm to befall their pet, life can be unpredictable, and it is best to be cautious. With insurance, the crucial thing is to get covered before any mishap. An insurance policy should be bought well ahead of time before any issues present themselves or an accident happens.
It is especially important for certain breeds; for example, certain dogs such as brachycephalic breeds will most likely need care in the future due to their snub-noses, so it is wise to invest in insurance ahead of time. So, if you worry for your pet’s safety, or worry about their healthcare and the cost of it further down the line, you should consider an insurance policy for your pet.
While buying your insurance policy, you’ll need to choose one or more beneficiaries. You may ask, why can my pet not be a beneficiary, given that I’m taking this policy primarily for them? well, your pet lacks the documentation required to be a beneficiary. A bank, social security number, and the opposable thumbs required to make a claim, to be exact. Therefore, you can choose the person you name as the guardian of your pet to be the beneficiary and leave detailed instructions about how best to use the fund to keep your pet happy.
The cost of pet insurance usually varies based on what breed your pet is, and the level of coverage your policy provides. Many of your vet bills can be covered by insurance, provided you have a policy which has this provision. The amount of coverage and the premium can be chosen by selecting the co-insurance, your annual policy limit, the deductible, and your budget. The premium also varies by type of pet and breed. For example, the premium for a cat will generally be lower than that of a dog, as cats reside indoors and have a lower probability of getting into an accident. Cats are also less likely to suffer from genetic issues, which makes their premiums less expensive than those for dogs.
Available for all pets – Regardless of whether your pet is old or young, pet insurance is available for them. The breed and age of your pet are not factors which define coverage. However, various coverage limitations may be applied to senior pets. As always, consult your vet, as they can provide a recommendation based on your dog’s medical history.
As is the case with humans, there are various kinds of pet insurance available. Knowing the various types of insurance is necessary, as it is important to choose the policy which best suits your and your pet’s needs. There are three basic types of pet insurance coverage: accident coverage, illness coverage, and wellness coverage.
Wellness coverage – This form of coverage is usually an optional one but covers minor things you’ll need to get done throughout the year, like spaying/neutering, vaccinations, routine tests, flea and tick treatments, and teeth cleanings. While you could do without the wellness overage and go out of pocket for these, it makes sense if your coverage can help lower the billed amount. This will depend on your pet’s needs, so consult your vet for the best possible choice for your pet.