We love our dogs. We love our cats. Some people even love their children and choose to protect them. Just kidding, everyone loves their children and makes sure they are protected in case of an accident or emergency.
But doesn’t it seem like some peoples’ children are a little furry and have four legs these days? According to Forbes Magazine, “Americans love their pets, shelling out more for food, supplies and veterinary care than they do on consumer staples like beer, ice cream, cosmetics and golf–some $36 billion annually. The combined total of cats and dogs in the U.S. is estimated at 163 million, or more than one for every two people.”
So what do we do when we love someone and couldn’t imagine loosing them? We get insurance for them so that if something (God forbid) were to happen, we would be able to afford the reasonable treatment to help that person. Or pet.
Veterinary costs are rising and your options for pet insurance are growing. We hope you are reading this article to get educated on what is involved when considering pet insurance, so we will go over 7 things that you should think about before purchasing pet insurance (from us, or from someone else).
Like with any insurance policy, coverage and premium vary case by case.
1st thing to consider is the age of your furry friend. Like life insurance, the younger the pup, the more affordable the premium. Sometimes providers will even cover immunizations and neutering or spaying. And lets be honest, puppies (and cats sometimes) do dumb things, like swallowing anything chew on, which is everything. Common problems for dogs, such as ingesting harmful objects, can cost upward of $1,500 per visit.
2nd, maybe even before you by the dog, research the breed of dog you want. “Hip dysplasia is the most common cause of rear leg lameness in dogs. The highest incidence occurs in large-breed dogs, including St. Bernards, Newfoundlands, Rottweilers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Labrador Retrievers, and many others.” Oftentimes insurers will leave out services that offer reimbursement for medical care related to pre-existing conditions like hip dysplasia and other issues common to specific breeds.
3rd, always check with the insurance provider about “renewable benefits.” What this means is that sometimes if your pet was treated for a medical issue during last years policy term, the insurer might say that the issue before was a pre-existing condition, and the issue arises again, it may not be covered. Always look for a pet insurance provider that has renewable benefits!
4th, have your insurance agent get you the right policy. Just like your own personal insurance policies, your coverage (at least if we are your insurance agent) is tailored to you and your needs. If you have a generally health pup, you may not need every service in the pet insurance book! Let your insurance agent (or us) make a recommendation of the coverage you need so you can save the money for treats and toys for Fido.
5 is about how you get paid back. We are used doing this for our clients, but if you are looking to buy pet insurance on your own, investigate. Will the insurance company reimburse you or the vet? Will you have to pre-pay for every service? What kind of fees, co-pays, and deductibles are you going to have to deal with? Insurance agents (like us) can get this figured out for you.
6 is about your vet. “Similar to human health insurance policies, many pet insurers require that you go through a network of vets offered through the company to ensure coverage.” Let your insurance agent know who your preferred vet is, maybe they are in the insurer’s network. We will call around to different vet offices in the area to see what pet insurance providers they handle.
7, ask the pet insurer these questions (or have us as your agent ask them).
- Can I choose any vet?
- Does the policy cover annual wellness exams?
- Is there a dollar limit for vet office fees?
- Are prescription drugs covered?
- Will the policy cover spaying or neutering charges?
We hope we have answered some of your questions. Home Loan Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Grand Junction, CO. If you would like to talk more about pet insurance, we can help you get a policy that is right for you and your pup. Bring them into the office if you want (but beware, everyone will crowd you to pet your furry friend.) Give us a call if you are need help purchasing pet insurance. Thanks for reading.