Owning a pet can be far more expensive than most people realize. There are shots and physical exams, regular medications to keep them pest and parasite-free, boarding fees for those times we go on vacation and the unexpected expenses of illness or accidental injury. Despite all that, most pet owners will tell you unequivocally that their pet is worth every penny spent on them. Even if your pet is worth every penny you spend on health care – and then some – wouldn’t it be nice to spend less on caring for your pet’s health? With pet insurance, you can.
Whether you think of your pet as a valued possession or a family member, pet insurance only makes sense. Pet insurance offers many benefits beyond cutting costs on health care for your pet. Depending on the policy you choose, your pet insurance could also cover many of the common expenses of owning a pet.
Health Care for Your Pet
Few pet insurance policies cover routine care for your pet, but some do. In general, you will have to pay for regular physical checkups and shots. Beyond that, though, pet insurance will help pay medical expenses for illnesses and accidents. While few pet insurance policies will pay the entire medical bill if your pet becomes ill, it can be a hefty savings for you.
Pet insurance works just like health insurance for people. You pay a monthly premium to insure your pet. The insurance company pays out if your pet becomes ill or is injured. The average pet insurance policy will cost you less than $300 a year. If your pet is diagnosed with a long-term health condition, the health insurance will cut your vet and medical bill by thousands of dollars.
Many insurers do not cover hereditary conditions in breeds that are prone to them, so it’s important to check the fine print of the policies you choose carefully. Similar to human health insurance, most policies also do not cover pre-existing conditions, so again, be certain that you read the fine print carefully.
Illness is only one of the medical expenses that your pet may require you to spend. Pet owners in the US spend nearly $11 billion a year for medical treatment for pets who have been injured in accidents. It can cost over $3,000 to treat a broken hip incurred when a dog is hit by a car. If your pet swallows a foreign object that becomes lodged in his intestines, it can cost over $2,500 to remove it. Even after you subtract required co-pays and the percentage of the bill that your policy may require you to pay, a pet insurance policy can save you thousands of dollars in care over the course of just one accident.
Other Benefits of Pet Insurance Policies
Many pet insurance policies provide other benefits besides health and medical coverage. Some of the other benefits that you might find included in a pet insurance policy include:
- Pet recovery expenses
Most pet insurance policies pay out a benefit to pet owners if their pet is lost. The pet recovery benefit will usually cover the cost of placing advertisements in local newspapers and copying expenses for posters advertising for your lost pet.
- Insurance against theft
If your pet is stolen, some pet insurance policies will pay you the value of your pet. It won’t replace your pet of course, but it can help console a heartbroken child with a new kitten.
- Death benefit
Your pet insurance policy may pay for burial or disposal of your pet’s remains if the animal dies while covered by the insurance policy.
- Medical expenses for someone injured by your dog
If your pet injures someone other than a family member or household resident, pet insurance may cover medical expenses for their care. In most cases, there is a cap on the amount paid out for this benefit, just as there is with most other benefits.
- Property damage caused by your pet
If Rover digs up your neighbor’s rosebushes or damages your rented apartment, the reimbursement for the damages will usually come out of your pocket. Many pet insurance policies will pay a percentage of those damages.
- Boarding if you become ill
The last thing you should have to worry about if you become ill is how your pet will be cared for during your hospitalization. One of the lesser-known benefits offered by many pet insurance policies is a boarding benefit that will cover part of the cost of boarding your pet if you are hospitalized for an illness.
One of the most important benefits of pet insurance, though, is one that can’t be quantified – it’s the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you can afford the expense of caring for your pet if something unexpected happens. If your pet is a member of the family, knowing that you can afford the expense of an unexpected illness is invaluable.