There are over 13 pet insurance companies on the market in North America and it can be very confusing to understand how to choose the best pet insurance for your dog or cat based on cost and different factors that affect costs. In addition, you want a company you can trust and one that will cover your claims if your pet were to become ill or have a problem. We will cover tips on how to choose the best pet insurance in this article. As you look at costs as related to pet care costs, there are five common categories. They include:
- Daily needs. This includes ongoing needs that are required daily including food, litter, poop bags
- Core supplies. This includes leashes, collars, litter boxes, crates, pet carriers, fencing, gates, grooming supplies such as brushes, combs, dishes and bowls, toothbrushes/paste
- Optional supplies and needs. This includes treats, catnip, toys, climbing trees, and scratching posts, boarding, pet sitters, training and training supplies
- Wellness care. Also known as preventative care, this includes vaccinations, flea, tick and heartworm prevention, tick prevention, heartworm testing, parasite control, annual examinations, spaying, neutering, dental cleanings, microchips, fecal evaluations, supplements
- Medical care. Care for problems including acute problems such as illness or problems relating to trauma as well as chronic medical care costs for ongoing care for chronic problems, medications, veterinary rechecks
The costs with food and core supplies can be reasonable but when you get into wellness care and medical care this is where the dollars can really add up. And often these dollars are unexpected costs. With the advancement in veterinary medicine, the quality of care can be very sophisticated. For example, it is not uncommon in some pets to consult with an oncology team and undergo surgery with radiation therapy for treatment of cancer.
Pet insurance can help with wellness, emergency medical care and chronic medical care costs depending on which policy you choose. To better understand what is the best pet insurance in regards to cost, it is important to first understand how pet insurance works.
What is Pet Insurance?
Let’s look at – what is insurance? Wikipedia defines insurance as “a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss.”
More specifically, what is pet insurance? Pet insurance is a tool to help pet parents avoid a financial predicament in the case of unexpected medical expenses for their pet. In some capacity, pet insurance will help pay for medical care costs. How they do this, how much they cover, what they cover, and how much the insurance costs are all factors that differ from company to company and specifically depend on the policy that you choose.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
To better understand pet insurance and how to get the best pet insurance for your dog or cat, it is important to understand more about policies.
There are 7 variables to consider as you look at a pet insurance policy. These are factors that you will need to contemplate as you select the best pet insurance policy that works for you.
- Premium: This is the amount you pay to the insurance company to insure your pet. You can often choose monthly or annual premiums.
- Deductible: This is the amount of the vet bill you must pay before insurance benefits start or “kick in”. It is important to understand that some companies have per-incident deductibles while others have an annual deductible.
- Maximum coverage limit: This is how much money an insurance company will pay out per health issue, per year, or lifetime. Some may have a limit of $5,000 and others may have unlimited coverage.
- Reimbursement: This is the amount of a bill, after deductible, an insurance company will pay you.
- Waiting Period: Period of time you wait for your policy to kick in.
- Exclusions: It is also important to understand what the pet insurance company won’t cover. For example, pet insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing conditions.
- Coverage type: Most policies cover accidents and illnesses. Many companies offer add-on policies that also cover wellness such as vaccines, flea prevention and more.
Here is a very good article that gives you specific details – on How Does Pet Insurance Work?
So… What is the BEST Pet Insurance?
The best pet insurance will provide you with the above variables that work with your budget and with your needs. It needs to be a premium that you can afford as well as a deductible, coverage limits and reimbursement that provides you with the care that works best for your pet.