Today, pets are our family members. In fact, pets are becoming more common than kids in many major U.S. cities. And just like human children, our furry kiddos need medical care, which can quickly become eye-wateringly expensive. Due to the quickly rising cost of pet healthcare, many pet owners are beginning to wonder if pet insurance is a suitable alternative to paying out-of-pocket or with credit cards.
If you’re one of the thousands of pet parents intrigued by pet insurance, check out this fact-packed article that digs into the details of pet insurance and whether it’s a good fit for your furry family!
What are the benefits of pet insurance?
1. You can place your pet’s care over cost
With vet bills on the rise, having a sick or injured pet can quickly turn into a heartbreaking situation. For many pet parents, pricey medical treatments mean choosing between the care their pet needs and the care they can afford. But there’s an alternative! Pet insurance helps to eliminate the financial burden of veterinary care, allowing you to rest easy knowing you have a plan in the event of a pricey vet bill.
2. There’s coverage for different treatment options
Many human trends, like holistic and alternative treatment, are spilling over into the pet health industry. In fact, 1 out of every 4 pet owners choose alternative treatment over conventional for their pets, such as:
- Herbal therapy
Unfortunately, many pet insurance carriers don’t cover alternative treatments, but Companion Protect does!
3. Covered annual exams to catch signs and symptoms of common illnesses early on
Financially being able to stay on top of our own routine check-ups, let alone our pets, is challenging enough. Thankfully, majority of pet insurance companies (like CP) cover routine wellness exams. With wellness exams covered, you and your veterinarian can continue to track the on-going health of your pet and catch signs and symptoms of any illnesses early on without having to count nickels and dimes.
Pets today have many of the same common illnesses humans have (for multiple reasons related to food, water, and our environment) like cancer, diabetes, obesity, and more. Being able to catch and treat these illnesses early on is key to helping pets live a longer, happier life.
4. Coverage options for all budgets
For the cost of a few venti lattes a month, you can enjoy up to 90% protection against rising vet clinic costs. Monthly pet insurance premiums are based on the amount of coverage, your geographical location, and the age of your pet at the time of enrollment. Thankfully, CP keeps things easy with one simple plan.
5. Choose your own vet!
You should always be able to choose a veterinarian that’s right for you and your pet, and pet insurance should be no exception (unlike human insurance).
And speaking of human insurance …
6. Pet insurance is far less complicated than human insurance.
Have you ever received a frightening medical bill that didn’t financially make sense for the services you received? We can all relate. Human healthcare providers do not clearly itemize your services, making your bill even harder to understand. What’s more, it’s often stressful and challenging to even locate the digital “receipt” for what was billed.
Pet insurance is easier. Your vet should always provide you an itemized list of care provided, and when a pet insurance claim is submitted (either by you or your vet), your pet insurance provider should be clear on what treatments were covered (or not covered) from that list, and why.
What are some important things to consider about pet insurance?
1. One in 3 pets will need emergency vet care this year.
An unexpected trip to the vet can cost on average between $525 to $1,155+ (not including emergency surgery, which can add thousands more). Pet insurance may cost a small monthly premium, but it’s there to cover up to 90% of the bill for unexpected accidents, injuries, and illnesses — even on-going care like prescription meds and food.
If your dog or cat were hit by a car today, what would your plan be?
- High-limit credit card
Which require monthly payments meant to be paid off within a certain amount of time, typically with added interest, that put you in debt and potentially hurt your budget.
- Veterinarian in the family
A very small percentage of us can say we have this advantage.
- Life savings
A safety net for your own emergencies, quality of life, retirement, etc.
- Pet insurance
A safety net for your pets.
2. Not all companion animals are covered.
Most pet insurance plans only cover cats and dogs, though there are a few companies that specifically cover equine or exotic animals like horses, rabbits, birds, and reptiles. Even so, pet insurance for companion animals “other than dogs and cats” is very limited, but it is available.
3. Pet insurance won’t cover everything.
Unfortunately, pet insurance doesn’t cover everything, especially pre-existing conditions. Though there are some companies that cover additional preventive and routine wellness benefits for a higher premium (like vaccinations and microchipping), the majority do not. Be sure your pet insurance company clearly identifies what’s covered and what’s not on their website.
Many pet insurance companies do not cover pre-disposed or bilateral conditions (Pssst, CP does!), but you’d have to catch that in the fine print.
Upon enrolling, a current medical exam will help the pet insurance company determine if there are any pre-existing conditions, and if there are, they will be clearly outlined in your declarations page.
4. The coverage you want may not work for your budget.
Many pet insurance companies offer different preventive or wellness packages, which increase your monthly premium. Preventive and wellness packages are a wonderful benefit to pet insurance. If you opt for this, be sure to take full advantage of these coverage benefits! If you can’t afford the additional coverage you want, it may be beneficial to research what other insurance companies offer for your ideal monthly premium.
5. Your dog breed may not be covered.
Most pet insurance companies consider certain dog breeds too high-risk to cover. If you have one of the following dog breeds, you’ll likely have a more challenging time finding pet insurance coverage (especially for the first six dogs):
- Pit Bulls & Staffordshire Terriers
- Doberman Pinschers
- Presa Canarios
- German Shepherds
- Great Danes
- Siberian Huskies
Companion Protect doesn’t discriminate based on breed at all! All dogs and cats (over 6 weeks old) are welcome, regardless of breed.
6. Consider your pet’s age.
Your monthly premium will be dependent on your pet’s age at the time of enrollment. Therefore, the younger you enroll them, the better. However, many pet insurance companies increase your monthly premium as your pet ages. Consider how this will affect your budget. Is the coverage provided worth the annual premium increase over your pet’s lifespan?
There are few companies, however, that do not raise premiums as your pet ages (CP is one). Still, the younger your pet is enrolled, the lower the premium.
7. Grab some expert advice!
If you’re still not sure if pet insurance is worth it, who better to talk to than your veterinarian? They’ll help you weigh the pros and cons and recommend a company they trust. Advice from your vet is a great way to find coverage you can trust because they want the same thing you do: a healthy, happy life for your pet!
Still not sure if pet insurance is worth it? In case you’re still on the fence, hear from some of our own Companion Protect family members, and how pet insurance has helped them.
Our passion for companion animals—and seeing the heartbreaking struggle pet parents have gone through when having to turn down life-saving care simply because they couldn’t afford it—is how Companion Protect got started. Sadly, human illnesses are continuing to spill over into our pet’s lives, not including common accidents and injuries, while vet care costs climb upwards.
Pets have needs just like humans, and with that comes great expenses to fulfill them. Pet insurance isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s proven to save lives—lessen the burden on your wallet—and keep pets at home with their furever families. Think pet insurance is worth it for your best friend? Sit. Stay a meowment—and get a no-obligation quote today.
Shayne has a few years experience in digital marketing, content creation and animal care, with her previous role as New Media Intern at The Humane League. In her free-time she loves to cycle (with her dog on her back) and practice yoga. A social cause she cares about is climate change, the welfare of factory farmed animals, and racial equality. Her favorite food is vegan mac & cheese.