According to NAPHIA (North American Pet Health Insurance Association), close to 1.8 million pets were insured by the end of 2016 in North America. Approximately 1.6 million pets were insured in the United States and approximately 220,000 pets were insured in Canada. This represents an 11.5% growth in insured pets from 2015. There are currently 12 major pet insurance companies in North America, but the number of companies is expected to grow. This means that there are many options for you to compare pet insurance policies.
Pet Ownership Is On The Rise
Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). This is up from 56 percent of U.S. households in 1988, the first year the survey was conducted.
Currently, it is estimated that less than 1% of North America’s dogs and cats are insured. This number is quite low compared to other countries. For example, the UK reports about 25% of their dogs and cats as having pet insurance and Sweden is at over 30%.
However, in the United States, each year the number of insured pets continues to grow and more and more pet owners will explore pet insurance and will need to compare pet insurance companies and compare pet insurance plans to find the right company and plan for their fur family member.
Factors to Consider Before You Compare Pet Insurance?
With over 12 pet insurance companies, the prospect of finding and comparing pet insurance companies and comparing pet insurance plans can seem complicated. The good news is that it is actually not that complicated. We’ve created the following tips that should help you compare pet insurance and help you find the plan that is right for your pet and your family.
#1. Know the Players – Research all the available companies and plans to understand the details and differences. A simple “pet insurance” google search will provide the majority of players or you could visit this article: The Pet Insurance Providers In North America.
#2. Compare Pet Insurance Providers – Start a comparison chart to do a side-by-side comparison of pet insurance companies based on the key factors that impact your plan, coverage and costs. These details include: plans, premiums, deductibles, co-pays, sample reimbursements and plan details, including exclusions and any additional features.
#3 Research What’s Covered and What’s Not – Many plans may have exclusions or things that are not covered, which can impact your plan costs and coverage when you submit a claim. The top exclusion categories include: pre-existing conditions, hereditary conditions, congenital conditions, or conditions related to breeding.
#4 Pick A Plan For You and Your Pet – Determine what’s most important for you and your pet. Many providers offer custom plans that allow you to build options based on annual limits, deductibles and copay options. Research your pet’s breed and talk to your vet about breed-related health issues and your pet’s health history. Explore all the plan options for accidents, illnesses and wellness care.
#5 Compare Cost and Value – Compare the plan options based on your pet’s needs. Explore any details around deductible – are they per incident or annual? How do these factors impact your choice and cost? Most providers have quick quote tools that make getting this information simple.
#6 Get To Know The Company – How long has the company been in business, how many pets do they insure? Search for company reviews and find out what others have to say about the company and plans. Look for the most recent reviews to ensure accurate details on the current plans and customer experiences.
#7 Explore Discounts – Many companies offer discounts and there are also discounts when you enroll multiple pets. Does your employer offer pet insurance? Many employers are now offering pet insurance as part of your benefits package and there may be group discounts.
#8 Start When Pets are Young and Healthy – The age of your pet and current health status play an important role in costs coverage. The younger the pet typically means lower costs and less limitations for pre-existing conditions.
How To Find Full Pet Insurance Coverage
It is very easy to find full pet insurance coverage. However, in order to find full pet insurance coverage, it is important to understand what type of coverage pet insurance provides for our dogs and cats. Pet insurance plans were designed to cover unexpected and unplanned accidents and illnesses. With the rising costs of pet healthcare, having pet insurance and full pet insurance coverage can ensure that pet owners can provide both important and costly medical care for their dogs and cats.
Full pet insurance or comprehensive pet insurance coverage typically includes both accidents and illnesses and can include: breed and congenital conditions, chronic conditions, cancer, exam fees, alternative therapies and rehabilitation, behavioral therapies, ER and specialist care, hospitalization and surgeries. For more details on full or comprehensive pet insurance coverage see our article: How To Find Full Pet Insurance Coverage.
The majority of comprehensive pet insurance plans are designed for unplanned accidents and illnesses and don’t cover general pet wellness visits. This is one-way pet health insurance differs from human health. However, many pet insurance plans offer wellness plans, as a stand-alone plan or as an add-on, to provide you with the most comprehensive pet insurance coverage. Wellness plans typically cover wellness visits and can include: vaccinations, flea/tick prevention, microchipping, blood tests, deworming, etc. Additionally, almost all of the pet insurance companies and pet insurance policies allow you to visit any licensed veterinarian.
Findings full pet insurance coverage is easiest on the web. A quick Google search will provide many options. However, you can visit this article to learn more about How To Find Full Pet Insurance Coverage.
What Pets Can You Have Under Animal Insurance?
Pet insurance is not limited to just cats and dogs. Actually, the term animal insurance is used to describe the larger insurance category of companion animals.
According to the ASPCA, companion animals are defined as the species suitable to be companion animals, including dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, ferrets, birds, guinea pigs and select other small mammals, small reptiles and fish. The key distinction for companion animals is that they are not part of wild or the wild hybrid species of animals.
There is a pet insurance plan for many types of pet or companion animals you might have. The most popular types of insurance plans are for dogs and cats, but bird, rabbit and horse insurance have been gaining popularity. There are even some animal insurance plans for iguanas. Frequently coverage for new animal types are added to many company plans. To learn more about the animal insurance for more than just cat and dogs see our article: What Pets Can You Have Under Animal Insurance?
The Good and Bad of Cheap Pet Insurance
As with everything, there are always cheaper options and finding cheap pet insurance is no different. However, buyer beware or caveat emptor is a mantra you should adopt. There are both good and bad aspects of all pet insurance. Reducing the cost of pet insurance typically means a trade-off in the coverage area. The less insurance coverage, the lower the price. For example, having a wellness only plan is a great way to cover your wellness visits and reduce your monthly insurance cost, but this type of plan provides no coverage for major accidents and illnesses. We believe “you get what you pay for” applies to cheap or reduced rates for pet insurance.
You can learn more about the good and bad of cheap pet insurance by reading our article: The Good and Bad of Cheap Pet Insurance.
The average cost for a pet insurance policy (for a dog or cat) is about $41 a month or $492 annually. Your pet’s breed and age are major drivers of the potential pet insurance policy costs. However, your location can play an even bigger role in the cost of your cheap pet insurance policy. Cities with higher priced vet services, like New York, Chicago, and Dallas, will also have higher priced insurance premiums.
The best approach to finding cheap pet insurance is to get a variety of quotes and explore all the plan options for comparison. It is also important to consider your pet type, breed, pet’s age and what potential vet services may costs. For example, if your pet ingests a foreign object (let’s say a sock) the treatment costs could be a couple of thousand dollars and foreign object ingestion is one of the most popular claims with pet insurance companies. Meaning this happens all the time and many times this can be quite serious from a medical perspective. With only an average annual premium cost of $492, you can easily see how having pet insurance can help you save money and provide the best care for your pet.
Does Free Pet Insurance Exist?
This question of “does free pet insurance exist?” comes up often. To be honest, we often hear about people asking this question when their pet actually needs some very expensive healthcare immediately. However, the concept of free comprehensive and long-term pet insurance does not really exist.
You may hear of some special promotional pet insurance offers that provide the first 30 days for free. These are typically trial offers that offer some level of free pet insurance coverage with a maximum limit or other specific limitations. For many, this is a great way to “test drive” a pet insurance provider but the goal is almost always to get you to enroll in a long-term pet insurance policy. You can learn more about the topic of free pet insurance by visiting our article: Does Free Pet Insurance Exist?
It is not uncommon for many people to be faced with the thought of not being able to afford their pet’s vet bills. This happens all the time. Unfortunately, accidents and illnesses seem to pop up when we least expect them and we are less prepared to cover the cost of expensive pet medical care. For many, this results in some very hard decisions that we would not wish on anyone.
Veterinary care is becoming more sophisticated and more costly each day. While that may sound like bad news, the truth is that this means our fur family members have access to better treatments that can provide optimal health and, in many cases, an improved quality of life.
For these reasons and many more, PetPlace.com is an advocate for all pets having pet insurance. We have heard time and time again of how pet insurance saves lives. It’s that simple and we think your pet and all pets deserve pet insurance.
Is Pet Insurance Right For You?
Can you afford a $1,000 vet bill? Medical care for pets, including emergency care, diagnostic tests and treatment options, is becoming increasingly more sophisticated and more expensive.
Did You Know? 4 out of 5 pets will have a medical emergency in their lifetime, and every six seconds a pet owner will face a veterinary bill of $1,000 or more.
Visit MyPetInsurance and get a quote today to see if pet insurance is right for you.