It’s tough finding the best dog insurance with the many insurance policies you can choose from today.
We’ve written about choosing pet insurance in the past and it’s worth looking at these past articles. Dogs in particular have some special considerations when choosing insurance.
Here are some tips for you when you are choosing insurance for your pet.
Here are some questions to answer first:
1. Do you even want insurance?
It is true that veterinary costs have steadily gone up over the past years. There are good reasons for these price increases including better medications, better equipment, specialized medicine and more life-saving services offered under one roof.
However, being able to do more to help your pet live a longer and better life does come at a price and many pet owners are now not able to afford the very services that veterinarians have invested so much into being able to offer.
This is where insurance can help. By paying a monthly or annual fee, you are limiting the maximum cost you will have to spend at any one time on your dog.
2. What type of budget are you able to afford to pay for your pet’s care?
Depending on different factors, just like human insurance, your pet’s insurance rate will vary by plan and by insurance company.
Weigh the costs of monthly premium + deductible vs. having to come up with a lump sum amount all at once. For example, if your pet is hit by a car and has broken bones that need to be set plus surgery to repair something, that bill can be expensive, often over $1,000.
Your options are:
A. pay the amount at the time
B. finance the amount using a credit card or financing option
C. pay the deductible for the pet insurance that you have been paying on for just such an emergency.
3. Determine what the premiums would be based on different insurance companies and the age, breed and preexisting conditions of your dog.
If your dog is older, has had health issues in the past, is of a certain breed that has a tendency for health problems (example, certain breeds develop hip dysplasia easily and some insurance policies will exclude that condition from coverage if that is the breed you have).
4. Find out if your veterinarian accepts the insurance you are considering
5. Find out how the insurance company pays if you have a claim. Do you pay and they reimburse or do they pay and you don’t have any out of pocket besides your deductible?
There are also services that are not insurance but they do offer discounted pet health fees when you pay a premium and use one of their providers.
Armed with the above advice, you will be able to make the decision on whether pet insurance is a good match for you and your dog.