While no pet owner wants to envision their furry friends suffering from an unexpected illness or injury, that is an unfortunate reality for many. Emergency veterinary care not only causes undue emotional stress, but also can leave you financially strapped. Expected veterinary and other pet-related costs can add up, and result in a potentially significant burden, without the extra expense of emergency care. Needless to say, paying for your pet’s care is often a source of stress—but it doesn’t have to be. Veterinary insurance is an increasingly common way to protect your pet and your wallet. Since the 1980s, pet insurance companies have been on the rise, and numerous options are now available for your furry family. Here are five reasons why you should consider insuring your pet, and questions to ask when researching plans. 

Pet insurance helps you give your pet the best care possible

The primary reason for considering pet insurance is to provide an overall safeguard for your pet. We know that your pets are part of the family, and keeping them healthy is a top priority. By choosing an insurance plan that encompasses accidental, illness, and wellness care, you can rest easy knowing that your pet is covered, no matter what comes her way. When full-coverage plans are not feasible, accidental insurance can help families worry less, knowing that some of the unexpected costs of care will be compensated. While every plan differs, most basic plans will at least offset the costs of urgent, accidental conditions.

Veterinary costs are rising

As veterinary medicine and technology advance, specialty diagnostics and treatments are more readily available. This is great news for our furry friends, who deserve the gold standard of care. The downside is that many advancements come with a hefty price tag. We believe that no pet should be denied advanced care due to cost, and pet insurance coverage can help counteract the rising rates. 

Questions to ask when considering a veterinary insurance plan

Every family has different priorities and needs, which is why no pet insurance plan can be one-size-fits-all. Choosing the right company and plan from the many available can be daunting, so we created a list of questions to consider when researching insurance for your pet:

Regarding coverage:

  • Are there exclusions or limits based on breed?
  • Are there multiple plans with different coverage options?
    • What are the policy limits for each plan?
    • Are they per year, per condition, or for the life of the pet?
  • Is wellness care (i.e., vaccinations, parasite prevention) an option, or mandatory, with the policy?
    • Is wellness care treatment dictated by a benefit schedule, or can my veterinarian determine proper care?
    • Are there certain limits?
  • Is dental care covered?
    • Are preventive care, disease, or accidents included?
  • Are rehab or alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, covered?
  • Is there a minimum or maximum age for coverage?
  • Does the coverage change if an adult or senior pet is enrolled?
  • Are prescriptions, supplements, nutraceuticals, and prescription diets covered?
  • Are hereditary and congenital conditions covered?
  • Does the coverage include emergency and specialty care?

Regarding claims:

  • What is the average wait time to receive reimbursement?
  • Does the provider offer pre-approval to ensure coverage?
  • What needs to be included with a claim?
  • How long will processing a claim take?
  • What are the customer service hours?
    • Can someone be reached after hours or on holidays if there is an emergency?

General questions:

  • Is there a waiting period after enrollment?
    • Is the waiting period longer for orthopedic, hereditary, or congenital conditions?
  • How does the deductible work?
    • Is the deductible per year, per condition, per body part, or all of the above?
  • Since no pet health insurance plans cover pre-existing conditions, will a previously covered condition become pre-existing on policy renewal? 
  • Can the limit or deductible be changed at renewal time?
  • Are there penalties for making changes to a policy?
  • Are there additional fees if the premium is paid monthly?
  • Can the deductible be adjusted to fit the family budget?
    • Does adjusting the deductible affect the coverage options?
  • Are premium increases on a predetermined schedule?
  • Can a policy be canceled for any reason other than non-payment?

At Southwest Vet, we want what is best for you and your pet. We believe pet insurance is an ideal choice from the start, allowing you peace of mind and protection for your pet. If you have additional questions, or would like more information about pet insurance, contact us.