Almost 65% of American households include a pet. The human-animal bond is strengthening. No one wants to think about finances when their “little buddy” is sick and needs medical attention. Pet insurance will enable you 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 one year. More and more pet owners are looking to pet insurance to help manage their pet’s veterinary bills. Pet health insurance is highly used in Europe (as many as 50% of pets are insured) and is quickly growing in the United States. The total number of insured pets has more than doubled in the last 5 years in our country.
As demand for pet insurance has increased, so has the number of companies who offer policies. There is no one best company, only 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 has 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%|