Pets are an important part of any family that has them, and oftentimes are thought to be another member of the household. Making sure they’re healthy and happy is important, and pet insurance can help cover costs if they’re injured or get sick, whether it’s something like a broken leg or cancer. Last year in the United States, pet owners spent more than $1 billion dollars on pet insurance for their animals.
However, pet insurance doesn’t cover every situation that could arise. It also usually won’t cover pre-existing conditions, so you would have to have pet insurance in place before any illness to have coverage. Pet insurance can help keep costs down during your pet’s time of need, but is the cost worth the coverage you recieve? It’s ultimately a decision every pet owner will have to make on their own, but here’s some things to consider.
What does pet insurance cover?
Pet insurance usually comes in different levels that provide different levels of coverage. In general, pet insurance will cover an accident (like getting hit by a car) and illness (anything from infections to cancer).
Some plans are accident only. Other plans will cover accident, illness, and comprehensive coverage that includes anything from heartworm prevention to dental care. Pet insurance won’t cover anything that has to do with your pet injuring another pet or human — you’ll need liability coverage for this.
Pet insurance also typically only applies to cats and dogs. Exotic pet insurance is available for animals like birds or gerbils and will vary in cost and coverage compared to regular pet insurance.
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How much does pet insurance cost?
In a study by The North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the average cost of an accident and illness plan premium in 2017 was $516 in the United States. If your pet lives 13 years, that adds up to a cost of $6,708 over their lifetime, assuming your premium rates stay the same. It’s more likely that your pet insurance premium rates will rise with your pet’s age, or if you make any claims.
The cost of pet insurance varies depending on many different factors. Your pet’s breed, age, type of insurance plan, and deductible amount can all affect the cost of your pet insurance. The cost of insuring cats is lower than that of insuring dogs, according to Consumers’ Checkbook.
Certain breeds are genetically predisposed to some conditions, and this can cause your premium to drastically rise. Pet insurance can also be more expensive the older your animal is when you insure them, even if they don’t have any pre-existing conditions. Accident-only pet insurance plans will be much more inexpensive than complete coverage plans.
Is pet insurance worth it?
Pet insurance, like all insurance, is a cost that you pay into without knowing if you’ll ever really need it. The difference from some other types of insurance is it isn’t required, meaning it’s up to each pet owner to do a cost-benefit analysis. The average cost of a vet visit is about $50 according to petMD.com, and most preventative or routine care won’t be covered under a typical accident and illness insurance plan.
If your pet contracts a serious illness and needs major care, the cost of vet visits could easily be thousands of dollars, and having pet insurance in place would keep you from footing the whole bill, and would be a small cost in comparison to that of your pet’s healthcare.
Keeping your pet(s) healthy and getting them the best care in the case of an emergency is an important part of being a responsible pet owner; and pet insurance can help ensure that happens. Read the Clearsurance blog to find out more about different types of insurance.
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