Quick Guide To The Best Pet Insurance In 2019
Budgeting for a new pet can be challenging, and unexpected expenses can come at any time. At one point or another, many pet parents have wished for a little extra financial assistance to help them afford expensive veterinary bills.
Fortunately, pet insurance provides a simple way to monitor and manage the cost of keeping your furry family member happy and healthy. Although pet insurance can be confusing and hard to understand, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the money. It’s definitely worthy of a little research. This quick guide will take you through some of the basic things you need to know about pet insurance so you can find the right coverage for your pet.
Pet insurance is a combination of policies and procedures offering protection for your pet from unexpected unforeseen events. The benefits of insurance include:
- No lifetime limits
- Unlike other financial security plans, the value of your pet is not determined by a book value or a value when they were purchased.
- A choice of deductible
- Coverage for veterinary bills directly from your veterinarian
- Arranged by the pet health insurance company
- Prescribed and administered by a licensed veterinarian
- Effective 24/7 and attendance at hospitals
Best Pet Insurance Companies
Paying for your pet’s medical bills can be costly. Not only can it deplete your savings account completely, but it can also take a toll on your budget. Be sure to take the best possible steps to protect yourself and your pet from unnecessary expenses.
Get the pet insurance for your pet.
The best pet insurance will cover general wellness, accidental illnesses and injuries, as well as routine exams. It will provide the coverage your pet needs.
The best pet insurance may not be the same as for humans, but it will cover the most critical illnesses and injuries that most pets face such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Feline Leukemia Virus, heartworm, and hip dysplasia.
The key to the best pet insurance is to find the plan that ensures your pet’s medical needs are covered. You will also want to make sure that there are no age restrictions and that you will be able to change plans if your pet’s needs or your financial status changes.
To find the best pet insurance that will cover your pet’s needs, you should consult your veterinarian. He or she can fill in the gaps and make sure that your pet is covered for everything. This will give you peace of mind and will allow you to focus your energy on the important things.
The first thing to note about pet health insurance plans is that they all of them are not created equal. You want a comprehensive plan that covers everything, so you have the peace of mind to know your dog or cat will be taken care of in case of an emergency. But not all pet insurance policies are created equal. That’s why you want to shop around and pick out a plan that is specifically designed for your pet.
For example, if you have a pet with a pre-existing condition, you will want to make sure that the plan you choose covers continued treatment of that condition. If you’re planning on breeding your pet or if you’re a professional breeder, you will want to look for a plan that covers the general veterinary care of your animals as well as the costs of turning your pets into show dogs or other types of pedigree animals.
And if you ever need to take your pet overseas, where it has no overseas pet insurance coverage, it’s a good idea to look for a plan that offers international coverage. That way, you will be covered even if your pet ever needs to hop a flight with you.
A Comprehensive Look at Pet insurance
Be it for your cat, dog, bird, lizard or fish, pet insurance is an important requirement. If, for example, Fido or Fluffy became sick and the treatment had to be extracted from your bank account, you might consider yourself lucky that you were insured and did not have to pull the plug to pay your vet bill.
It is true that paying a premium for pet insurance may seem useless. You are only paying in case of an emergency. If your pet were healthy, why would you need pet insurance? Well, pet insurance has two advantages. One, if you have a sick pet, the money saved from not paying a doctor would cover that pet insurance premium. Second, it is basically an investment for the future.
If you are an avid pet lover like I am; I can understand the pain if I were to lose my pet. Even if my pet got sick, I would still not think of taking him to a doctor until the problem got really serious. This would mean that the pet insurance money would have been totally useless. If I had the financial means, there would be a doctor who would have taken care of my beloved ones. Sadly, I can’t because I just don’t have the money to spare.
Although pet insurance is a relatively new company, with its parent company, Agria, operating for over 100 years in Japan, the company does its best to stay on top of pet care trends by keeping up on its Facebook page and Twitter account.
As a first time pet insurance buyer, I turned to Facebook as a place where I could get some recommendations on which company to use. It was during a general conversation on a breed specific dog group that Embrace received a lot of positive feedback from both their paid and unpaid customers. I took that as a reputable indicator of the value of their insurance product.
Since Embrace was so highly recommended, I quickly pulled up their website to learn more about the different insurance plans. At first glance, I really liked the simple explanations of the different policies and the information the site provided about pet care in general.
If you are looking to insure your pet, you have found the right site! At Nationwide, we proudly serve all pets, including those with special needs.
Policies can be tailored to suit your needs, including the option to add coverage for medications. An agreement can be set up to cover you for any unexpected veterinary and specialist costs, including some behavioural therapies.
The most basic level of policy will cover you for veterinary treatment up to the agreed limit. Some level of excess will apply but these are very reasonable.
The most comprehensive level of policy will cover you for all treatments including up to the limit of the policy in the event of injury or illness. Again, an excess will apply.
Nationwide is one of the UK’s leading pet insurance providers and has been supporting pet owners since 1921. We are a family run business and are happy to provide quotes to customers with all types of pets including cats, dogs and birds. We have helped customers from across the UK, including customers in Newcastle and the whole North East region.
Pet insurance is a relatively recent insurance product. It makes sense because of the increasing responsibility many US pet owners have taken on: a recent survey by Best Friends Animal Society finds that 61.5% of us consider our pets as family members.
But pet insurance can seem daunting, especially for those who have never put a pet policy in place before. To help you understand and compare pet insurance plans for your furry family members, we’re going to look at some of the more popular terms and coverages shared by the best pet insurance companies. The best pet insurance plans will have you covered in the event of illness, injury, chronic or even financial loss.
There are dozens of pet insurance companies available on the market today, similar to the plethora of pet health insurance companies on the human market. Finding the right company, or rather, right set of criteria for each company is the key to finding the best pet insurance and for making sure you’re getting the best possible deal. In this PetFirst pet insurance review, we’ll take a look at the cost and benefits of this particular provider, as well as it’s customer service, and we’ll see if it’s a good fit for your animal.
Why Get Pet Insurance?
Just like human health insurance, pet insurance is a way to minimize the financial impact of major and unexpected medical expenses. But while health insurance for humans typically is a bit more comprehensive, coverages for animals usually have more limitations.
Most pet insurance policies cover different kinds of treatments for illnesses, injuries, and accidents. Veterinarians, hospitals, medications, and surgery are some of the kinds of expenses most pet insurance providers will pay for.
The question is, how long will your pet be covered? And what kinds of conditions are included? How much are you allowed to spend on your monthly premium?
If you own a pet such as a dog or a cat, you probably have pet insurance in place just in case of emergencies. Getting the right pet insurance can mean a lot to your pet and your wallet.
But what is pet insurance? Why does it matter? And why does one pet insurance company provide better coverage than another? Here’s what you need to know about pet insurance.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
The best pet insurance is going to cover any medical or veterinarian bills made for your pet. The best policy will also cover any emergency that occurs in house so there are no surprises when you’re paying your bills. Some things that the best pet insurance will cover are:
✓ In-House Accidents — Accidents in house are usually caused by a pet left unattended. Accidents can happen on slippery surfaces due to your pet's nails, such as tiles or hardwood floors. Pet insurance will cover the costs that come with a medical emergency, such as a visit to your local veterinarian and medication. Even if your pet damages a piece of furniture, the best pet insurance plan will cover the costs that come when your pet damages your furniture.
✓ Local Health Issues — Local health issues are things that a pet sustains in everyday life. For example, your pet could sprain his or her ankle. It is a costly medical emergency and the best pet insurance will cover this if it arises.
✓ Emergency Transport — Transport for pets can be long, tiring and expensive. And if you've ever had an urgent pet emergency, you know how worrying it can be to get your pet to the vet quickly and safely. With the right pet insurance, you can avoid the rushed worry of how to pay for the transport.
You Don’t Have To Pay For Until You Need It.”
It seems as if pet insurance suddenly appeared on the pet care scene. It’s been around for almost eight years now, but you would be hard pressed to believe it, given how quickly the industry has grown. So what is pet insurance and how does it work?
Essentially, pet insurance is a form of risk management. You are effectively renting coverage instead of investing in it. You pay your premium and when you need it,- when your pet is ill or injured,- you file a claim and that’s when your coverage takes effect. You will then be reimbursed for the cost of your pet’s vet expenses.
A pet insurance policy is not intended to replace health insurance for people. Instead, it is designed to cover the expenses of health care and routine care for a pet that does not have a health insurance policy. Health insurance for a pet is available too, but it is not as common as a pet insurance policy due to the fact that not all animals require it all the time. Pet insurance gives you the added benefit of having another plan to fall back on.
We have all heard that if you want to learn something, find a person who has been where you are now and know how to avoid the mistakes or pitfalls you are likely to experience. The same applies to when we get our new pet, only a little more difficult. There are very few individuals we can talk to who have had a pet before, so far fewer that have had the same species of animal we have now. With the Internet, there are many good online resources for pet owners. One of the best is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or ASPCA.
The ASPCA offers a lot of information on how to choose and care for an animal, but the real value is in the interactive forums on the site and how you can interact with others, either through blog entries or in the discussion forums. As a new pet owner, it can be extremely useful to understand what questions to ask a breeder or pet store or be able to find a veterinary surgeon in your area.
Wellness Coverage (Preventative Care)
Taking care of your pet is difficult work, but your pet’s medical plan should help with the high costs of veterinary care. Unfortunately, pet health insurance companies have incredibly thin profit margins, so they put every possible medical treatment under the wellness coverage.
This means that you may end up paying hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket every year for veterinary care that’s not related to an accident or serious illness.
So, when it comes to choosing pet health insurance, you want to pay for, and not pay for, certain things … it’s worth the extra headache to scrutinize your policy and see if it covers things you don’t actually need.
You should also look to cut down on claims from smaller (but still significant) health problems. If your pet has fleas, don’t go ahead and buy one of those anti-flea pillows just in case … get your bug spray and make sure your furry friend is taking a couple baths a month instead.
There is one type of insurance for pets that offers the most coverage – accident-only insurance, often known as pet health insurance. Unfortunately, accident-only insurance is often the most expensive form of pet insurance, and, quite often, those costs aren’t balanced out with the available coverage.
Pet insurance typically provides coverage for accidents, illnesses, and preventive care. Assuming that your pet is fairly healthy, the accident-only policy is probably an unnecessary expense. Learn more about accident only insurance in this article.
Accident-only policies do offer the option of converting to an ongoing policy that will cover illness, but at a higher monthly rate. However, the high cost of accident-only policies makes it difficult to recommend this form of pet insurance to pet owners who have healthy pets.
If you want to purchase pet insurance for unexpected medical expenses, there are three types of policies that offer the most coverage: Wellness, wellness with accident coverage, and wellness with illness coverage.
Wellness plans are the most common kind of pet insurance. The idea behind these types of plans is that they cover routine preventative care in addition to accident-only coverage.
It’s time to get your furry friend some health benefits. Before you begin shopping for pet insurance, there are several things you need to be aware of – otherwise, you’ll be wasting money.
Most pet insurance companies offer health insurance for young pets, “pre-existing conditions,” emergency care, wellness plans, and more. When seeking coverage, you’ll want to be sure your policy covers a wide spectrum of medical treatments and preventive care. It’s also important to get coverage for at least your pet’s lifetime … ideally for the lifetime of your pet, but no less than seven years. Another tip: before shopping around, check your credit and check how your pet insurance company handles policy cancellations due to non-payment.
If you’re really interested in the subject of pet insurance, the United States Office of Consumer Affairs has a great comprehensive guide on everything you need to know.
Deductibles and Maximums
The two main components of any pet insurance policy are the deductible and the maximum. The deductible is a flat dollar amount that you must pay before your pet insurance company starts to reimburse you. The maximum refers to the maximum amount your insurance company will reimburse you for a single incident.
In most cases, higher deductibles and maximums mean lower premiums. So you should pick the policy with the deductible and maximum you can comfortably afford.
When comparing policies and premiums, please note: Large deductibles and maximums can backfire if you have to go through a lot of healthcare expenses for your pet. If you do, it’s possible that you’ll still want to pay out of pocket for some of the cost – but now you’ll have to pay it yourself instead of through your insurance. The end result is that you could end up spending hundreds or thousands more than you would have by choosing a policy with a lower deductible and maximum.
Also, some policies may have added costs such as an annual fee, a separate policy for dental or prescription drugs, or an out-of-network policy.
Be sure to take all these additional costs into account when considering pet insurance.
How to Save
Not all insurance companies are the same. Some charge more than others, and most have exclusions based on breed, total or lifetime coverage. Also, not all policies cover the same things, so it pays to find the right one for your pet.
By and large though, the process of comparing pet insurance companies, reading the fine print and understanding your coverage is no different from any other form of insurance. The same thought process is behind good pet insurance … who has good coverage, who charges what, and who doesn’t cover the things you want them to.
Tip 1: Customize wisely
We’ve all heard the saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
But perhaps this doesn’t just apply to money. Perhaps this applies to your pet insurance policy.
See, there’s a difference between getting the best possible price for your pet insurance policy and getting the best possible pet insurance policy for you. It’s the same as getting the best possible price for your insurance policy versus spending some money and getting some extra peace of mind by getting an insurance policy that fits your specific needs.
So should you get a policy with a high deductible or a policy with a low deductible? Should you get a policy which is will cover your dog urinary incontinence or get one that covers a wide range of illnesses?
You may think you’re saving some money by having a low deductible and having a lower level of coverage for major illnesses. But what if your pet suffers a preventable illness all the time? These policies may not make you happy in the end either.
Tip 2: Prioritize your finances
Pet insurance can be an important budget item you factor in after paying the mortgage, essential bills, etc. When considering pet insurance for your dog or cat, you should take a look at how much your pet insurance policy is costing. You wouldn’t want to spend more than the actual medical bills you’re insuring against.
This particular pet insurance provider has a multi-policy discount available which brings costs down. You can save 25% on additional policies. So, if you (or others in your household) have other pets, make sure to get them added to the same policy. If you currently have an older pet, you can also get them insured for a lower price.
Tip 3: Make a budget
There are lots of ways people can cut costs when it comes to their pet and veterinary bills. But before you go out purchasing your pet items, decide how you can adjust your spending.
Tip 4: Weigh your options
Make sure to do your research to see what companies will cover you and your pet if they become ill or injured. While most companies will cover accidents involving your pet, not all will cover pre-existing conditions like allergies or cancer.
This can be important if your pet is already experiencing an illness or injury when you sign up for coverage.
Some companies will also only cover claims received within a certain amount of time. If your pet only becomes ill or injured shortly after your policy takes effect, you may have to pick up the bill. This is particularly true if you sign the pet up right before your trip, as they may already have a condition that isn’t covered.
Be sure to find out what is and isn’t covered, how claims are filed, and if there is a deductible you will need to pay before claiming money back.
Tip 5: Mix and match
Just like you’d shop around for the best home and auto insurance plans, you should do the same for your pet insurance policy. When you call up your insurer, ask them about the limitations and exclusions in their policies. Get them in writing.
Also, ask about riders that you might add on. For example, allergies, hereditary conditions, or reoccurring issues can be covered with riders. These can make a difference in the price and coverage.
Among the PPO plans, some insurers will cover visits to specialists. This policy should have terms and regulations, and ask whether it covers both diagnostics and treatment for the condition.
When looking at the daily/routine coverage, ask how much it is for small clinics, hospitals, and specialists.
You can also ask if they offer a co-pay. If you’re going to pay for a lot of the bill with your own money, ask what they will allow.
How Much Do You Need?
At least once in a lifetime, you may find yourself talking to the vet as he or she is staring at your pet with a concerned face. When this eventually happens your pet will need a series of checkups and treatment at the soonest and the best time to get the policy is ahead of time.
No matter how strange the symptoms of your pet may be, the vet will examine and recommend treatments for it. This is what pet insurance does for you.
It provides coverage for the damages you may incur while treating your pet from any possible sickness or injury. No one is sure how long they'd have their pet for its longevity but will want to take care of it to the extent that its essential.
On the other hand, pet insurance can get your expenses covered after some time. It is not a guarantee as you may not have the available cash on hand. You may want to know that the money you'll be paying for the policy will be used on the services of the vet throughout the term.
When shopping for a pet insurance, it is important to check how much insurance coverage they offer. A yearly policy cannot compensate for the expenses you have during a year, it will not be enough for the worst circumstances.
Also, make sure the amount of policy covers the initial fees for every check up and treatment. Some policies will cover for the accident but will not cover the related visits to the vet.
Important Tips & Additional Help
Having a pet insurance is like having a safety net every time a bad thing happens. This safety net can be lifesaving and keep you and your pet out of insurmountable financial problems.
However, there are so many pet insurance companies out there, and the policy details can be so complex that it makes it really hard to find the best option for you and your pet.
Pet insurance choices really depend on your lifestyle and budget. Below, I will dive into the most important factors of choosing insurance for your pet. I will also share some additional information on what pet insurance can cover and what pet insurance companies offer the best value.
Routine Versus Comprehensive
Just about anything can happen to your pet. Good pet insurance policies are designed to cover any illness or injury. Most pet insurance companies work by spreading the risk over as many policyholders as possible. This means that you can get great pet insurance prices even when your pet is older or has preexisting conditions.
Let’s look at the main types of pet insurance on the market and how they differ:
Pet insurance policies that are strictly accident only can be a good idea for certain situations.
If you have a dog that is about to go into competition or is a working dog, it is a good idea to have a policy that is specifically accident only. It will only cover the expenses that result from your pet’s activity, whether he is training, competing or working.
Accident and Illness
There are a few different hybrid plans available which can be a good compromise between full comprehensive and basic accident only cover. An accident and illness policy covers your pet for illness, injury and routine care requirements.
There is some debate about whether or not this type of policy offers adequate protection. Some believe that since it covers illness, the company will not be inclined to pay for major treatments. Also, some insurers will only partially cover routine care.
Other Covered Treatments
The best pet insurance companies always make sure that the policy is broad enough that it can cover any illness or health condition that your pet might develop. The best pet insurance for large dogs covers hereditary conditions and pre-existing conditions right from the start.
Make sure that your dog is eligible for all of the important care that he or she may need. If you can afford to spend a little more, it’s worth getting an insurance policy that covers wellness care and microchipping.
Pet insurance for your pet is definitely worth considering, and you’ll be happy you and your pet have it if something should happen. However, it’s very important that you are educated about the details of pet insurance before you sign up.
Before you do that, find an insurance company you trust, and choose one that’s specific to your situation (like does it cover accidents, cancer, and surgery, for example). You want to be sure of what you’re getting and any potential loopholes. You can read a bit more about that here, but in the meantime, here are some other factors to consider.
As you can see, there's a lot to think about when it comes to picking out the right pet insurance policy. You want to ensure your finances are protected in the event of an emergency, but you also want to be sure your animal has access to the best treatments available.
We've done extensive research into each of these providers, so we can help you find the one that will work best for you and your animal. With a little bit of research and planning, you can have the best animal insurance policy available.
I'd encourage you to take the time to read our reviews above along with the information we've compiled below that.