Paying pet insurance fees each month on top of other pet expenses may seem unnecessary, especially if your dog is healthy. However, that pet insurance could end up saving your dog’s life—and your wallet—down the road. On top of that, you’ll get some extra peace of mind.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
Some dog owners choose not to enroll their pooch in pet insurance because they don’t find it necessary or worth it. No matter how healthy your dog is or how cautious you are as an owner, though, there’s no avoiding the fact that accidents happen. Even when we’re offering our pups healthy diets and plenty of exercise, we still want to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Pet insurance allows you to, essentially, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. After all, no pet owner wants to have to choose between paying for their dog’s life-saving treatment or breaking the bank—especially if that treatment could have been covered by insurance.
If Fido is covered by pet insurance, you’ll be able to consider all of the options when an accident or sickness strikes and make the best, healthiest choice for your dog… not just the cheapest.
Choosing the Right Provider
There is a number of providers out there to choose from, each of which caters to different health and budget needs. Before choosing a plan and provider, be sure to do plenty of research; consider your dog’s health conditions, too.
Research the insurer’s credibility and reputation before making any decisions. Find out how long they have been in business and read customer reviews. Check to see if their customer service meets your standards and if their values align with yours. You’ll want to be sure that you have similar priorities—your furry friend’s health should be at the top of that list.
Choosing the Right Plan
Once you’ve chosen the provider that best matches your needs, you’ll want to make sure you choose the appropriate coverage plan. There are three types of pet coverage to choose from: accident, illness, and wellness. You could choose one, all, or none of these options, assuming they’re offered by your provider.
Accident coverage would include ailments such as torn ligaments, broken bones, bite wounds, or poison. This type of coverage generally tends to fall under the “emergency” category.
Illness coverage covers health issues in dogs that might come on suddenly and need treatment such as ringworm or allergies. Coverage generally becomes more limited as a pup ages and doesn’t include pre-existing conditions, so it’s best to enroll in illness coverage sooner rather than later.
Wellness coverage is always optional, and not offered by all providers. Wellness coverage generally refers to preventative care: exams; routine testing; vaccinations; flea, tick, and heartworm treatments.
When choosing a plan, consider your dog’s needs and behaviors. Is he particularly active and risky? Does he like to eat things he’s not supposed to? While it’s generally better to be safe than sorry, you also don’t want to pay a monthly fee for extra coverage that your dog doesn’t need. Alternatively, you don’t want to miss out on coverage for something that your dog will regularly be treated for throughout his lifetime.
If you’re not sure which type of plan would be best, you can always discuss your dog’s health with your veterinarian. Your vet will be able to tell you whether your four-legged friend is more susceptible to some ailments than others, such as hereditary or breed-specific health issues. They should also be able to provide recommendations and advice based on your dog’s specific needs.
Insuring Your Pet
Canine Journal’s 2021 Coverage & Comparison Charts provides helpful side-by-side comparisons of different coverage plans. NerdWallet.com also provides a useful overview of leading U.S. pet insurance providers.
Before making a final decision, we recommend the following steps:
Narrow your search down to three insurance companies.
Obtain quotes from all three companies. You’ll also want to make sure their reimbursement plans work for you.
Ask your vet to send medical records to each company you’re considering. This way, you can get more individualized feedback directly from the provider about their coverage options as they pertain to your dog in particular. (Plus, you can also get a feel for their customer service.)
Compare quotes and costs. Be sure to read the fine print, too. This would also be an excellent time to ask about multi-pet discounts!
Make your choice, enroll your pup, and put your mind at ease.
Enrolling your pup in pet insurance isn’t something that should be put on the back burner. It’s best to start thinking about it as early as possible… as in, soon after you bring him home for the first time. If a condition already exists by the time you enroll Fido in a coverage plan, it’s unfortunately too late since pet insurance companies don’t cover pre-existing conditions.
Similarly, you don’t want to wait until your dog is sick or involved in an unfortunate accident before realizing that it would have been a good idea to enroll in a pet insurance plan several months ago.
While it’s no replacement for insurance, you can help your dog stay healthy with Pet Honesty’s 10-for-1 Multivitamin Chews, made for dogs of all breeds and ages.