Owning a pet can be expensive. Dogs and cats alone can rack up to about $2,000-$3,000 a year. Pet insurance for dogs and cats can cost anywhere between $25-$75 a month depending on what kind of policy you choose. Making sure your animal has insurance is a critical part of owning a pet. Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but if you do, you will be happy that you have it.
- First thing you should think about before purchasing pet insurance is what kind of pet insurance does your pet fall under and what type of policy does it need? If you own a cat or a dog, then your pet falls under general pet insurance. However, if you own a different type of pet, like as a gecko, chameleon, frog, hamster, or even a goat, those animals fall under the purview of exotic pet insurance. Keep in mind: pet insurance is not like human health insurance. It does not cover pre-existing conditions and regular checkups.
The most popular pet insurance policy is the the accident and illness plan. This covers any accidents or illnesses that occur anytime after the policy was purchased.
Usually, the cheapest type of policy is the accident only plan. This plan will take care of any accidents or emergencies that may happen to your pet. However, it does not cover any illnesses.
Last, but certainly not least, is the comprehensive plan. Comprehensive plans are accident and illness plans with a wellness/routine care add-on. Routine care includes vaccines, worm, tick, and flea medications and treatments, along with dental, behavioral, and any preventative treatments. Clipping and chipping your pet would be categorized under a routine care plan as well.
- How old is your pet? Is it eligible for a lifetime plan or only a time-limited plan? If you’re looking to get the best coverage at the best price, then obtaining pet insurance at an early age is critical. As pets get older they are more prone to illnesses and injuries. Many insurers won’t offer lifetime insurance if a pet is considered old or has exceeded a certain age. A time-limited plan, also known as a 12-month plan, will cover the injury or illness your pet acquires within that year. If your pet still has to go to the vet after the 12 month mark, then you are responsible for the remaining bills.
- What breed is your pet? Yes, this matters too. Cost and coverage depends on the breed of your animal. For example, purebred animals are usually more expensive to insure than mixed breeds. There is such a thing as breed-specific conditions, wherein a defect in certain genes passed on by parent to offspring causes a genetic or hereditary condition. This may sometimes lead to a physical defect. Cancer, hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, and allergies are some of the many common genetic conditions. When an animal is born with noticeable abnormalities, it is called a congenital condition or birth defect. However, some conditions may or may not be noticeable immediately after birth because symptoms may remain dormant until later in life.
- How many pets do you own? If you have more than one pet, you could be entitled to a multiple pet discount. Whether it’s 2 cats, 2 dogs, or 1 cat and 1 dog, they are all eligible for a multi-pet discount. Did you know that you can even insure your pet twice? You can actually have two separate policies from two separate carriers. However, if something were to occur to your pet, you are only allowed to file a claim under one policy. If you file the same claim on both policies, it would be considered fraud.
- Pet insurance does not pay for vet costs up front. The pet owner must first pay for all the bills incurred then submit proof of payments to the insurance company who then reimburses all the costs. This method is used by all pet insurers, so if time and money are a major aspect in purchasing pet insurance for you, then you may need to research which pet insurer has the fastest pay back time and best method of payment.
Pets add happiness and comfort to a home. More than that, they become part of the family. Making sure they have the utmost care should be a top priority for any owner. You may want to do some research before purchasing a pet to find out which types of animals and breeds are less prone to illness, making them cheaper to insure.
You can’t put a price on life, so remember to ask all the right questions and don’t forget to shop around and compare quotes before purchasing a policy. At Frontlight, we’re here to help your furry family members get the best coverage paw-sible.