In our society, we have insurance for everything from health, our cars, and our homes — and so why not also protect the lives of our pets?
According to a 2021 study from Liberty Mutual, approximately more than 70% of U.S. households have pets though only 26% of those pet owners have insurance for their furry friends.
Given that vet care can be so incredibly expensive, it’s worth considering signing up for an insurance plan especially given that the ASPCA estimates a routine vet visit is $225 for dogs and $160 for cats. If you need to seek out emergency help, visits escalate in cost from $800-$2,500. And if your pet develops a serious illness, you might be looking at care that costs in excess of $10,000 or more.
While many care deeply for their furry friends, it can get costly to cover those medical bills one at a time. In extreme cases, it could even lead to financial ruin. In these instances, pet insurance is worth the cost simply because it provides owners with financial protection and peace of mind.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Like any other insurance policy, with the purchase of pet insurance, your insurance providers are helping to alleviate some of the costs if anything serious happens with your pet. As well, when purchasing your plan, you are given the option to choose from different levels of coverage. In each case, you can make different choices as to what your needs are, and your premium will change based on how much coverage you choose.
In some instances, your plan may only cover basic scenarios like accidents and injuries. In other cases, your coverage may only cover accidents and may not include other situations such as injury, illness, or genetic/hereditary conditions.
Among the more affordable plans is accident-only coverage. If you opt for accident and illness coverage (slightly more expensive) or wellness care and even death-related expenses (the most expensive), the price of your plan will increase. It is a general rule of thumb that the more comprehensive your coverage, the higher your monthly premium will be.
In addition, if your plan includes a deductible, this will mean that you will need to pay that dollar amount out of pocket before your coverage kicks in. Deductible amounts range from $0 to $2,500 per year. It is a general rule that the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium.
Unlike human health insurance, which works on a copay basis – meaning that the insured will pay a certain percentage each time they visit their doctor, and your insurance company will cover the remainder – pet insurance is reimbursement based. What this means is that you will be expected to pay the full amount upfront and then submit a claim in order to get your money back. Depending on the coverage you have purchased, you may receive anywhere from 20% to 100% of covered costs in the reimbursement amount.
As a result of this reimbursement model, you may need to put the entire cost of care on credit temporarily – especially if you cannot afford to pay entirely out of pocket.
When looking for pet insurance, keep in mind that rates are calculated based on different variables such as your pet’s age, breed, and the location of your veterinarian.
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?
Generally speaking, while individual costs vary based on a number of factors – namely, your pet’s breed, age, and health – the average cost if you were to purchase accident and illness varies per pet type. If you have a dog, insurance is in the ballpark of $49.50/month (or $594/year), while cats cost approximately 40% less.
Prices also vary according to the amount of your deductible and the coverage type, as well as your pet’s age and any pre-existing conditions they might have. Another point to consider is that if you have an exotic pet, your options for insurance are a bit more limited and costly.
Premiums may be less for younger pets
Age also determines premium costs. Generally, if your pet is young or healthy, not only can you feel safer choosing a lower tier, but your coverage will likely be more cost-efficient.
Choose your veterinarian
Unlike human insurance, there is no such thing as “out-of-network” provider issues. As long as your pet’s doctor is licensed, any eligible expenses should be covered. Given that coverage entails that you first pay upfront and then submit a claim for reimbursement, all you will need from your vet at the time of service is a copy of their invoice and that they fill out a portion of the claim form.
Unlike most late-night animal ER visits, deductible costs are affordable by comparison. Even if your pet is seriously injured or falls ill and they land in the ER, having an insurance plan means that at the very least, you will only have to pay the cost of the deductible.
Simple to compare options
It is very easy these days to compare your options for pet insurance plans in 2022, and Pumpkin pet insurance has many reasons to be at the top of your list.
Unlike human health insurance, pet insurance is relatively straightforward and does not entail navigating through a labyrinth of plans and riders that need to be decoded. Policies are fairly simple, and you can come to a fairly quick decision by comparing tiers. The great thing is that you can compare prices, request a quote, and not even feel burdened to make an immediate commitment.
Do more for your pet
By buying pet insurance, you won’t have to worry any longer about choosing between a sick pet and incurring a mountain of bills. In order to avoid facing the debt that could come with the news of a pet’s catastrophic health crisis, be sure to prepare for any given scenario by getting a plan that appropriately meets your pet’s needs. If you invest in pet insurance, not only will you make a decision that will help you avoid making a decision that will detrimentally impact your pet’s health, but it will also save you a lot of money in the interim.