May of our clients have asked us about pet insurance and whether we recommend it. This is a complicated topic, but typically pet insurance is a good idea if you’re worried about potential costs of unexpected health issues.
If you are considering pet insurance, be sure to read policies as carefully as you would any other insurance policy.
At Bethany Family Pet Clinic, we typically recommend Trupanion. Most policies do not cover congenital or hereditary conditions, but Trupanion covers both (with some limitations). That’s a big plus.
In an article for MSNBC, Herb Weisbaum writes that 41 percent of pet owners are extremely or somewhat worried about paying for medical bills to care for sick pets:
“Tiffany Schumacher of Redmond, Wash., has a Trupanion policy. She pays $55 a month to cover Klover, her 1-year-old Burmese Mountain Dog. (Tiffany chose to pay more to have a zero deductible.) She says the insurance means she doesn’t have to worry about getting Klover the best medical care.
‘You never know what they’re going to do,’ Tiffany says. ‘You don’t think your dog is going to eat tennis balls.’
But that’s just what Klover did last year. She ate a bunch of tennis balls. The surgery to remove them cost $2,700. Trupanion paid $2,332 (90 percent of the covered costs). Recently, Klover had emergency surgery for other intestinal and stomach problems. The bill was $6,980. Tiffany’s out of pocket expenses were just $1,050.”
In the article, Weisbaum also recommends considering the following when reviewing insurance plans:
- Is there a physical exam required to get coverage?
- Is there a waiting period?
- What percentage of the bill does the company pay after the deductible?
- Are payments capped in any way?
- Are there co-pays?
- Does the plan cover pre-existing conditions?
- What about chronic or recurring medical problems?
- Can you choose any veterinarian or animal hospital?
- Are prescription drugs covered?
- Are you covered if you travel with your pet?
- Does the policy pay if your pet is being treated and dies?
Wellness plans for pets typically involve a monthly payment for annual exams and vaccinations along with riders for more serious health problems as they arise. Some plans will also cover dental treatments. We do not offer wellness plans for a variety of reasons, which include the following:
- Routine treatments vary greatly by pet.
- Wellness plans are simply a way of paying in advance for regular exams and vaccines.
- Processing fees for this type of insurance add no value to your pets’ care and are simply an additional cost for you.
We hope this information helps! If you have further questions, contact Bethany Family Pet Clinic. Our in-house expert on pet insurance is Marsha, and she’d be happy to work with you directly.