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Should you consider pet health insurance?

Is pet health insurance right for you?

As pet owners, we know there are certain medical costs that come with having a pet, such as annual exams, vaccines, dental cleanings, and more. And then there are costs that can arise unexpectedly, such as in the event of an emergency, a serious injury that requires surgery, or the development of an illness or chronic condition. We never know when an emergency might strike our pets, and unfortunately, those emergencies for our pets can also cause significant financial hardship for many pet owners. In some instances, pet owners have to make the heartbreaking decision to put their pet down if they can’t afford emergency care.  

You may have wondered if pet insurance is something you should consider and if it would be right for you and your pet.  

Having pet health insurance can offer peace of mind that you won’t have to make urgent decisions about your pet’s health that are based primarily on possible financial burdens. And having insurance can help your pet get the veterinary-recommended level of care for the best possible outcomes, giving you and your pet a chance to have more time together.  

Below are a few things to keep in mind to see if pet health insurance is right for you and your pet.  

What is covered? You will want to compare different insurance plans, as some will offer accident-only coverage, some will provide accident + illness care, while others provide cost assistance with wellness care (routine checkups and vaccinations) but not for injuries. Any pet health insurance provider that you speak to should be able to spell out exactly what is included in coverage and what is excluded. Make sure you understand your co-pay, deductible, and lifetime care maximums.   

Are all pets covered under pet health insurance? Some insurance providers do not insure specific breeds or types of pets, particularly if they are considered high risk. Some will not cover purebred animals, because they can be more prone to genetic health conditions. Many insurance providers will also not provide new coverage for senior pets.  

Are all conditions covered? Many insurance providers will not cover pre-existing conditions, which is why it can often be a good choice to get pets on pet health insurance when they are young and before they develop any chronic diseases. Make sure you know how individual insurance providers define pre-existing conditions.  

Can you choose your veterinarian? Again, this is plan and provider dependent, but with some insurance plans, you will only be reimbursed if you use one of the veterinarians who accept that insurance. There are other insurance providers that allow you to work with any veterinarian of your choice.  

Can I pay for care with pet health insurance? In many instances, you are responsible for the costs up front and then will get reimbursed for either all or a portion of those costs. At ASOC, we do not submit insurance claims for pet owners, but we are more than happy to provide you any necessary invoices or doctor’s notes.  

Only you can decide if pet health insurance is something you want to invest in, but most veterinarians would recommend it to help offset emergency costs. You can find a list of pet health insurance providers at this site compiled by the American Veterinary Medicine Association.  


Posted December 06, 2021 by Animal Surgical in Pet Health, Surgery with No Comments

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