We love our pets, they’re not only our companions but they’re part of the family. The trend of thinking our cats and dogs are more like kids than pets has been on an upward motion with phrases like fur babies, fur mamma, fur daddy and fur family making everyday appearances.
One of the most important duties as a responsible parent is to protect our loved ones. We can do this by making sure we feed, clothe and protect our family but one of the most important responsibilities we face is the health and wellness of our household. An obvious tool to help with these responsibilities is insurance. We have medical insurance for our kids and spouses but we also need pet insurance for our furry friends.
Cats and dogs need medical attention for things like accidents, illnesses and general wellness including: checkups, exams, therapy, surgery and medicine. These very important services are vital to good health and longevity however, veterinary costs are rising just as fast as human medical costs. Advancement of treatments and technologies are great but they come at high prices. We want the best for our pets but these costs can become a burden that leave us with difficult decisions to make.
According to an American Animal Hospital Association survey 73% of pet owners admitted they would take on debt to pay for medical care for their pets.
The smartest solution for many pet owners who want to ensure optimal health and wellness for their pets is pet insurance.
What is Pet Insurance
Pet insurance is coverage that you purchase for your pets in case of accident or illness. Types of coverage can vary from just accident and illness coverage or can expand to include wellness, check ups, therapy, surgery, medications and exams. Most pet insurance guidelines will include age restrictions and exclude pre-existing conditions. However, there are a variety of packages that pet owners can mix and match to find the best fit for each pet and fit their budget. All companies are different with their exemptions and restrictions so it’s important to do your research and find an insurer that has the right coverage for you and your pet.
One of the most important factors to consider is that it’s much easier to reduce coverage from your policy but adding coverage is difficult because there will be additional limitations to be considered anytime you want to make a change. For instance, age and pre-existing conditions.
Important points to consider:
How quickly you can receive your policy
Claim submitting process
Let’s take a closer look at what this means.
Age restrictions for new policies are typically from 8 weeks to 12 years for dogs and 8 weeks to 14 years for cats.
Once you purchase your policy you don’t want to wait for an effective date that’s days or weeks out. Pets can get into trouble in the blink of an eye so the longer you have to wait for the effective date the longer you’ll be walking on pins and needles.
All policies come with a waiting period which means an amount of time that you have to wait until your coverages go into effect. The shorter this time period is, the better.
You’ll need to look for a company that offers a payment option that best for you and your budget. Try to find a company that offers monthly and annual payments so you have the flexibility to chose the right option.
How quickly can you receive your policy:
Just like waiting periods or effective dates the longer wait the higher the risk that something will happen with your pets.
Claim submitting process:
How easy is it to submit a claim? How long do you have to submit a claim? These are important factors to consider especially with our busy lives we don’t always get around to submitting our claims right away.
You don’t want to have to wait to get reimbursed for your out of pocket expenses for months. Depending on the circumstance this could be a sizable amount of money, especially if surgery was needed. Make sure you check to see how long you have to wait for the reimbursement period. You’ll also want to clarify what percentage of the total costs you’ll be reimbursed. Some companies offer flexibility with 70%/80%/90%.
Make sure you ask about discounts for your pets insurance. Some companies will give you a discount up to 20% if you bundle with your existing insurance products like auto or home. If your company does not offer discounts, shop around because there are companies out there that do offer nice discounts.
Just like your other insurance products your pets insurance will come with deductibles and you’ll want to find the right policy to fit your budget. Does your company offer annual deductibles that only need to be met once a year? Do they have options like $250/$500/$1000? Some companies offer these options so shop around.
Most companies will have an annual limit so be diligent about asking the important questions do you’re not stuck with a big bill and no reimbursements.
As you can see there are several things to consider before you make a decision about pet insurance. You can shop around and make several calls to different agents and companies until you find the right fit for your family and budget or, you can give us a call at Suburban Insurance and one of our agents will be happy to discuss your needs and budget to find the right coverage for your family. Since we’re a brokerage company we have many different companies that you can choose from with several options to offer. Let us do the hard work for you and find the best pet insurance coverage for you and your pets.
Click here to contact one of our professional agents or call the office directly to speak to someone today.