If you’re like most pet owners, you consider your furry friend to be a part of the family. And just like with any other member of the family, you want to make sure they’re taken care of in case something happens. That’s where pet insurance comes in – it can help cover some or all of the costs associated with unexpected vet bills. But is pet insurance worth it? In this article, we take a look at some things you may not have known about pet insurance. So, if you’re a pet parent, read on for some helpful advice.
Pet Insurance Is Just Insurance
Just like with any other type of insurance, pet insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company. You pay premiums (usually on a monthly basis) and in exchange, the insurer agrees to pay for some or all of your veterinary expenses up to a certain limit.
There are two main types of pet insurance:
- Accident and illness coverage: This type of policy covers, you guessed it, accidents and illnesses. It can help pay for things like emergency care, surgeries, hospitalization, X-rays, and more.
- Accident-only coverage: As the name implies, this type of policy only covers accidents. So, if your pet gets hit by a car or ingests something poisonous, you’re covered. But if they get sick or need surgery for any other reason, you’re on your own.
Some Are Only Wellness Programs
With this in mind, it’s important to read the fine print before signing up for a pet insurance policy. Some policies marketed as “pet insurance” are actually only wellness programs that cover routine care, like vaccinations, teeth cleanings, and annual check-ups. These types of policies might have low premiums, but they also have very low payouts. Because this is a typical error, compare banfield vs nationwide pet insurance plans to see which is best for you and your pet. Banfield’s plans are more related to a savings account that can be used to pay for routine care, while Nationwide’s plans act more like traditional pet insurance.
It’s a Growing Industry
You probably didn’t know this, but the pet insurance industry is growing rapidly. Yes, that’s right – pet insurance is now a billion-dollar industry. In fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States.
There are a number of reasons for this growth, but one of the main ones is that people are increasingly treating their pets like members of the family. As a result, they’re more willing to spend money on their pets’ health and well-being. In addition, the number of exotic pets has also increased in recent years. And since these types of animals often come with higher veterinary bills, their owners are more likely to get pet insurance.
There Are Annual Limits
Most pet insurance policies have annual limits, which is the maximum amount of money the insurer will pay out in a year. Once you reach this limit, you’re on your own for the rest of the year.
For example, let’s say your policy has a $2000 annual limit and you incur $3000 in veterinary bills in one year. In this case, the insurance company would pay $2000 and you would be responsible for the remaining $1000. Some policies also have per-incident limits, which is the maximum amount the insurer will pay for a single incident. So, if your pet needs surgery that costs more than the per-incident limit, you would have to pay the difference.
Premiums Increase with Age
Another thing to keep in mind is that premiums usually increase as your pet gets older. That’s because, like people, pets are more likely to get sick as they age. As a result, insurers see them as higher risk and charge higher premiums. Make sure to discuss this openly with your insurance provider. Some pet owners’ rates more than double after just one year. For many owners, this is obviously shocking and unpleasant. Before you commit to a policy, the best way to avoid this is to understand how premiums change with age. In addition, be sure to ask about any other potential fee increases, such as those for adding another pet to your policy.
It’s Not Worth It for Older Pets
Once your pet reaches a certain age, usually around eight or nine years old, it might not be worth it to keep them insured. That’s because the premiums will probably be higher than the payouts. In addition, many policies have age limits, so you might not even be able to get coverage for an older pet.
If you’re not sure whether or not to keep your pet insured, talk to your veterinarian and insurance agent. They can help you assess the risks and decide if it’s worth it to continue your policy.
Pre-Existing Conditions Aren’t Covered
Finally, it’s important to know that most pet insurance policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions. So, if your pet is already sick or injured when you get a policy, the insurer won’t pay for treatment.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, some policies have a “grandfather clause” that allows certain pre-existing conditions to be covered. But these clauses are usually only available for pets that are insured from a young age. In addition, some insurers will cover chronic conditions after a waiting period. This means that the condition must be diagnosed after you have the policy for a certain amount of time, typically six months to a year. If you’re not sure whether or not your pet’s condition is covered, the best thing to do is ask your insurance agent.
Pet insurance is a growing industry, with more and more people getting coverage for their pets. Most policies have annual limits, per-incident limits, and premiums that increase with age. It’s important that you understand these things before you commit to a policy. In addition, keep in mind that pre-existing conditions are usually not covered by pet insurance. Do you have pet insurance? What has your experience been like? Hopefully, this article has helped you understand a little bit more about this type of insurance.