When your pet gets sick or injured unexpectedly, the last thing you want to worry about is expensive vet bills. Pet insurance takes care of your bank account while you take care of your companions.
As a pet owner, you treat your dog or cat as more than just a four-legged friend. Your pets are family members, and keeping them safe and healthy is a top priority. However, when unexpected vet bills start to climb into the thousands, your bank account can take a serious hit. If an unforeseen accident isn’t in your budget, it’s time to consider pet insurance.
Pet insurance is similar to your typical health insurance policy, offsetting the costs of expensive medical procedures. Depending on the policy you purchase, you may receive either partial financial support or full payment for your pet’s medical care following an accident or illness.
Like health insurance policies, pet policies typically have a deductible you must pay before receiving coverage. Every insurance company offers different coverage, so it’s crucial to understand your pet’s needs before purchasing a pet insurance plan. For example, some pet insurance companies exclude coverage for all preexisting conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Others offer limited coverage for curable conditions as long as your pet doesn’t show symptoms within a specific waiting period before your policy term starts.
Most pet plans cover emergency care, unexpected injuries and illnesses, prescription medication, diagnostic tests, and necessary surgeries. Some policies allow you to add wellness coverage for an extra cost, which pays for routine wellness exams, preventative care, and vaccinations.
Every pet is different, and even two animals of the same species might need dramatically different care. As a result, insurance companies base your pet’s coverage and premium costs on their breed. A large purebred dog with a history of genetic disorders will likely cost far more to insure than a small mixed-breed dog. Additionally, insurance for cats tends to be less expensive than for dogs.
Pet insurance has been around for nearly a century, but it has only reached widespread popularity in the last few years. With so many policy types, insurance carriers, and coverage add-ons available, finding the right policy can feel like an impossible feat. If you need an expert’s help navigating the new and confusing world of pet insurance, consider Southpoint.
Your pet insurance premium depends on several factors, including:
- Type of pet: As mentioned previously, cats cost less to insure than dogs. According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, an accident and illness policy for a dog in 2020 cost $49.51 each month on average compared to only $28.48 for a cat. The cost also varies by breed, most noticeably for dogs.
- Age: Like humans, older pets are more likely to get sick or injured as they get older. Pet insurance companies increase rates as your pet ages, so you can expect your monthly premiums to increase during your pet’s later years.
- Coverage type: The more coverages you add to your pet insurance policy, the higher your premium will be. You can choose accident-only coverage, accident and illness coverage, or comprehensive plans.
- Deductible: You’re responsible for paying a deductible amount before your coverage starts. Policies with high deductibles are cheaper than those with low deductibles.
- Limit: Most pet policies have a yearly limit. Once you reach that limit, your policy will stop paying for medical expenses. The higher the limit, the higher your monthly premium.
- Reimbursement rate: Pet insurance policies reimburse you for payments instead of covering costs up front. Your reimbursement rate determines how much of the bill your policy will cover once you pay the deductible. Reimbursement rates are typically 70%, 80%, 90%, or 100%, and higher rates translate to higher premiums.
- Location: If vet care is more expensive in your city than in other areas, you’ll likely pay more for your policy.
Because pet insurance premiums vary dramatically, it’s not easy to anticipate your premium costs. The best way to see how much your policy will cost is to request quotes from the top pet insurance carriers. At Southpoint, we gather a range of quote options so you can see how different limits, deductibles, and coverages impact your monthly premium. From there, we help you choose the best policy for your pet.
Unlike homeowner’s insurance or personal auto insurance, you don’t need pet insurance. Pet coverage is not mandated by law, and a broker won’t deny your loan if you don’t purchase a policy. Choosing whether or not to buy pet insurance is a personal decision, and only you can decide if the investment is worth it.
Generally, pet insurance is worth it if there’s a good chance your pet will experience medical issues that cost more than your yearly insurance premium. Approximately one out of three pets will experience a medical emergency in any given year, and the average cost of an unexpected vet visit ranges from $800 to $1,500. If you can’t afford a surprise $1,500 vet bill, pet insurance is probably a worthwhile investment.
If you’re not sure whether pet insurance is worth it for you and your pet, the insurance experts at Southpoint can help. We can assess your risks and help you determine if your expected expenses will outweigh your premium costs.
When your pet gets sick or injured, you’ll do anything to get them back to health, even if it takes a toll on your bank account. Luckily, Southpoint offers comprehensive pet insurance policies that help cover the costs when an unexpected accident or illness occurs. We have relationships with the most recognized pet insurance companies, which allows us to find the most affordable quotes for your needs. Additionally, we can handle all of your personal insurance needs, whether you need pet insurance, boat or yacht coverage, auto insurance, home coverage, or a combination of policies.
Contact us today to learn more about pet insurance and find out if a new policy is right for you.