Vet examining dog and cat. Puppy and kitten at veterinarian doctor. Animal clinic. Pet check up and vaccination. Health care for dogs and cats.

We all love our pets like they’re members of our family (and let’s be honest, more than some members of our family).

So why do only 60% of pet owners protect their furry loved ones with pet insurance? Most parents would never let their children be without health insurance for a day – the reassurance that they’re covered against the worst case scenarios far outweighs the cost of pet insurance premiums.

The high cost of healthcare – especially when your best friend needs it most

Unfortunately, many pet owners don’t realize the full benefit of pet insurance until it’s too late – when they’re in a positions where they’re forced to decide between huge animal medical bills or giving up their loved one for good.

With pet insurance plans start at as low as $9 per month, it’s important for every pet owner to take action now and know that your furry friend will be taken care of no matter what the future holds.

Many people don’t even realize you can get insurance for your animal. Just like human health insurance, your pet will be covered for certain procedures and preventive care (depending on the plan). Your animal’s vaccines, shots, and check ups will continually be up to date, making it easier to identify or prevent potential harmful risks to your pet’s health. If your furry friend becomes in need of medication, that could become quite expensive. Pet insurance can assist with those costs and make sure your furry family member is in tip top condition all year long.

According to [1], older dogs are susceptible to illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, heart worms, kennel cough and other diseases that if caught early enough, can be treated and add years to your dog’s life. These are illness that could be identified with routine checkups, which is affordable with pet insurance.

What pet insurance covers

Some pet owners may be interested in pet insurance, but they have no idea of what pet insurance entails. According to healthpawspetinsurance.com2, coverage generally includes hereditary or congenital conditions, cancer, and other chronic conditions. It will also cover any emergencies you may have with your furry loved friend. Like human health insurance, pre-existing conditions generally aren’t covered. Neither are teeth cleanings – but there are policies that include dental health coverage for an extra cost.

Here’s what you can expect 

You’ll be able to choose your own coverage level. As previously mentioned, pet insurance is similar to human insurance in many ways. You choose a policy that’ll fit your pet’s particular health care needs. You don’t need to pay for services you don’t think you’ll ever use. There are different types of policies for different kinds of pet owners. You can get basic insurance which generally cover basic accidents and illnesses. Upgraded policies can have coverage for regular checkups, vaccinations, and other routine services.

Similar to health insurance plans, you pay a premium (usually monthly, but other billing schedules are available) and there are deductibles before the insurance kicks in. There are out-of-pocket minimums and maximums, and discounts for visiting in-network locations. When utilizing covered services, you’ll have deductibles that are applied toward the vet bill before insurance covers the rest.

Claims and reimbursement can be very different from plan to plan. For most plans, the way claims are handled for pet insurance is a key difference compared to human health insurance policies. With pet insurance, you generally have to pay out of pocket up front and the plan will reimburse you for charges, or a portion thereof.

There will be annual maximums, which will be determined by how high your monthly premium is. According to CBSnew.com3, pet owners spent $16.6 billion in 2017 and $18.1 billion in 2018 on vet care. It’s generally recommended to not go with the bare bones policy but review the optional coverages and limits offered to get the maximum amount of relevant coverage for your budget.

Age and breed restrictions apply for certain insurance provider. For example, many pet insurance providers do not offer coverage for breeds with known health issues. Cat insurance policies don’t have breed restrictions, but they do have age restrictions. Make sure you look at the limitations of the policy.

Popular Pet Insurance Options

Here are a few great pet insurance options to consider.

  • Pets Best – Pets Best offers a variety of pet insurance plans, including accident-only coverage for an average cost of about $38 per month.
  • Healthy Paws – Healthy Paws pet insurance offers comprehensive plans that cover many areas of concerned pet owners.
  • Nationwide – Nationwide is on your pet’s side too. The offer plans starting at $33 per month.
  • Embrace – Customizable pet policies with base plans starting at $13 for dogs and $9 for cats.
  • Figo – Flexible options for many pet owners with Maximus from $10K.,