What type of pet insurance should I get?
Buying pet insurance can be a great way to protect yourself financially from high animal care bills, while also potentially making it easier to care for your pet. Rather than facing difficult decisions like whether to pay for expensive procedures yourself or forgo treatments, you might find that having pet insurance removes this pressure.
With a pet insurance policy, you can get reimbursed for some vet bills and potentially other types of costs related to caring for your pet. Unlike health insurance for humans that involves specific networks of doctors, pet insurance in the U.S. generally applies to any licensed vet.
However, that doesn't mean all pet care is covered by pet insurance. Pre-existing conditions, for example, generally aren't covered, though you can still protect against new issues, including genetic ones in some cases. And if you're in the market for pet insurance, such as for your dog or cat, you'll likely find that there are many different types of policies to choose from.
For example, some pet insurance types might only reimburse you after you seek treatment for an accident, while others might cover more comprehensive care, such as blood tests and health supplements.
Figuring out which policy type you should get depends on many factors, like your risk tolerance, financial situation, and circumstances regarding your pet. For example, if your pet's pedigree is prone to certain health conditions, you might want a more comprehensive pet insurance plan that covers breed-specific conditions.
It also helps to speak with a pet insurance expert. They can help you get started with a free quote so you know exactly what to expect.
What type of pet insurance do I need?
Here, we'll take a look at some of the main pet insurance policy types to consider.
As the name implies, accident-only pet insurance plans just cover accidents as opposed to illnesses or other matters, like behavioral issues. So, an accident-only pet insurance plan might cover things like bone or ligament injuries, bites, or eating something poisonous. However, these plans might not cover injuries related to breed-specific or genetic conditions.
An accident-only plan could be a good fit for older pets who might not be eligible for other policies that cover illnesses. Or, if you're on a more limited budget, you might find that this type of plan still gives you some peace of mind without costing as much as broader insurance.
You can speak with a pet insurance expert to review this option now.
Accident and illness plans
Unlike accident-only pet insurance plans, accident and illness plans can also cover when your pet gets sick. In addition to accidents, these plans might cover issues like dental disease, cancer, digestive problems, and more. They also might cover breed-specific and genetic conditions, but you'll want to confirm with potential providers.
Accident and illness plans can be a good fit for those with younger pets, as it generally costs less to insure them from an early age. Then, if they develop illnesses later in life, they could be protected.
In particular, these plans could help if you're worried about potentially paying for expensive care, like cancer treatments. One of the top pet insurance advantages is that it can help you avoid getting stuck in the predicament of putting yourself in a financial hole by paying for expensive treatments vs. forgoing care.
While accident and illness plans cover more than accident-only types of pet insurance, you also might find even more comprehensive offerings that go beyond accidents and illnesses.
For example, Fetch by The Dodo covers additional areas of care, like up to $1,000 in boarding costs if you're in the hospital and can't take care of your pet. It can also cover up to $1,000 for advertising and paying a reward to find a missing pet.
Some pet insurance plans might also offer things like preventative care add-ons. For example, Spot offers preventative care options that can help partially offset costs for items like dental cleanings and wellness exams.
Keep in mind, though, that plans can have different maximum benefits in different categories, so it's not as if 100% of all care will definitely be covered by a comprehensive pet insurance plan. You should still compare plans and confirm what different providers include, but comprehensive plans could be good if you're looking for more holistic protection. Use the table below to compare providers and plans.
The bottom line
There are many different types of pet insurance policies, each with its pros and cons. So, if you're looking to protect your finances and care for your companion, consider how the costs/benefits of different plans align with your needs. You might find that you'd prefer paying a higher premium for more coverage, or you might find that you're comfortable with a lower premium that has a more limited scope of coverage.
A pet insurance expert can review your options with you today.
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