Going to the vet can be expensive. Any pet owner will tell you that. The worst part is that you never know what’s wrong until your furry friend goes through tests and screenings. Taking care of your pet’s medical needs is an important part of having a pet! But having pet insurance may help cover some of the costs of your pet’s medical needs.

What is Pet Insurance?

Like your own human health insurance, pet insurance helps cover some of the costs of going to the vet. With premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums, your pet’s insurance actually works similarly to your own insurance.

There are plenty of reasons why you might not already have pet insurance. Maybe you’ve brought a new friend home and haven’t gotten to it yet. Or maybe you’ve never done the research for whether pet insurance is right for you! Below, we hope to demystify pet insurance and give you clear answers if pet insurance is right for your pet!

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

Pet insurance has continued to go up in price over the last few years. This is probably similar to your own healthcare costs! 

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

For starters, let’s talk about what pet insurance covers. Your pet will hopefully lead a long and exciting life. But you can’t always predict what’s around the corner for them! It’s important to note that pet health insurance varies by provider and plan type. There is no one-size-fits-all plan. So only use this as a rough guide while shopping around.

Accidents and unexpected illnesses are typically covered by pet insurance. If they get sick eating some plants they’re not supposed to, you can get help covering the cost of treatment! More importantly, pet insurance usually covers congenital and hereditary conditions. Most animal breeds have common conditions associated with them. Insurance is designed to mitigate the cost of care for these predictable ailments. For example, bulldogs are prone to respiratory problems because of their natural face shape.

Finally, pet insurance also covers serious conditions like cancer or other diseases. These aren’t fun to think about, but having the right insurance product can help you get into a care plan with confidence and ease.

What Doesn’t Pet Insurance Cover?

What Kind of Policy Should I Get?

All this talk of deductibles and monthly payments may make it hard to decide which type of insurance is right for you. You’re a pet parent, not an insurance broker, right? Here’s what you need to consider.

For starters, figure out how old your pet is and how long they expect to live on average. This differs by breed, so do your research.

The younger your pet, the less likely they are to develop major health problems. For example, golden retrievers are prone to hip issues in their mid to late life. If your dog is around this age, getting pet insurance may make more sense than paying out of pocket. For brand new pets, a pet insurance plan may not be necessary. Setting aside some money out of pocket into a pet HSA could do the same thing as getting insurance.

Additional factors to consider when choosing a policy include:

How to Lower Your Insurance Costs

Whether you already have pet insurance or are considering taking out a policy, here are three ways to save money on your policy:

Whether or not pet insurance is right for you and your family is up to you. Like your own health insurance, anticipating your pet’s needs and genetics play a role. 

Getting insurance may make sense if you have an at-risk breed of pet. Or if your pet is getting older and you’re anticipating them needing more visits to the vet soon. Remember to shop around for combinations of deductibles and premiums to find one that fits your needs. 

As we’ve mentioned before, owning a pet may be more expensive than you think!

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