Nearly two thirds of American households include a pet. The human-animal bond is an important part of many families from coast to coast. No one wants to think about finances when their “little buddy” is sick or injured and needs veterinary attention. Pet insurance provides you the chance to offer the same level of health care that is given to your other family members.
Approximately one in three pets require unexpected veterinary care in any given year. Pet owners are using pet insurance to help manage their pet’s veterinary bills more and more. Pet health insurance is already popular in Europe (as many as 50% of pets are insured) and is quickly growing in the United States as well. The total number of insured pets has more than doubled in the last 5 years in the United States.
As demand for pet insurance has increased, so has the number of companies who offer policies. There is no one single best company, but you can find the one best for you and your pet’s needs. The following list serves as a guide for what you need to know before buying a policy:
- Company reputation and experience – select a company that as an AM Best rating of “A” or higher.
- Coverage for hereditary conditions – most pet insurance policies automatically exclude hereditary (genetic) conditions.
- Experience rating – this is when the price of your pet’s premiums increase each time you submit a claim. Some companies’ increases are much higher than others.
- Treatment for chronic conditions – more than 40% of pet insurance claims are for chronic conditions, such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Ask if the policy will continue to cover chronic conditions year after year.
- Benefit schedules – check the maximum benefit for veterinary fees.
- Customizable policies – some companies will cover up to 80% of veterinary fees, leaving you to pay the rest. Other companies will work with you to customize a policy including different levels of co-insurance, deductibles, and coverage.
A Pet Insurance company called Pets Best reviewed hundreds of thousands of claims from the past 10 years. They shared these findings of the top 10 most common conditions for dogs and for cats.
|4. Undiagnosed mass||8%|
|5. Cruciate ligament injury||7%|
|8. Undiagnosed gastrointestinal condition||5%|
|9. Undiagnosed lameness||5%|
|10. Urinary tract infection||5%|
|1. Renal failure||25%|
|3. Diabetes mellitus||11%|
|5. Inflammatory bowel disease||7%|
|7. Feline lower urinary tract disease||6%|
|9. Urinary tract infection||5%|
Check out this guide to find which pet insurance is right for your furry family member.