Animal medical procedures such as surgeries and sickness are expensive to treat. Sometimes, we even have a hard time trying to pay for our own medical bills. To lessen these costs, a pet owner can buy a “Pet Insurance”. Which brings us to the question: Is Pet Insurance worth it?
We have a pet, and like my friends, family or even millions of households around the world treat pets as their family members. But if our dear pets were to fall ill, or be injured in an accident, the cost of treatment could put a serious drain on the household finances given the rising veterinary costs.
What is Pet Insurance?
A pet insurance is similar to health insurance policies except that it relates specifically to pets and cover, either fully or in part, the fees that are incurred during veterinary procedures if one's pet becomes ill or is injured in an accident. Pet Insurance not only pays the veterinary costs, but also some policies will pay out when the pet dies, or if it's lost or stolen. It can cover pets like – dog, cat, horse, rabbit etc..
Previously, most pet insurance plans did not pay for preventative care (such as vaccinations) or elective procedures (such as neutering). Recently, however, some companies in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States are offering routine-care coverage, sometimes called comprehensive coverage.
In the Philippines, some Animal Care providers offer Animal Care Insurance. There are a few providers, which can also mean a business opportunity as well.
Types of Pet Insurance (these policies may vary from country to country and may not be the same)
There are two categories of insurance policies for pets:
Non-lifetime Insurance - covers buyers for most conditions suffered by their pet during the course of a policy year but, on renewal in a following year, a condition that has been claimed for will be excluded. If that condition needs further treatment the pet owner will have to pay for that himself.
Lifetime Insurance - covers a pet for on-going conditions throughout the pet’s lifetime so that, if a condition is claimed for in the first year, it will not be excluded in subsequent years.
Additional Coverage Options
Some insurers offer coverage options which are not directly related to pet health but are related due to the ownership of a pet.
Accidental death - pets are priceless but insurance can pay out if they go missing, are stolen
Third party liability insurance (dogs only) - pays towards compensation and costs awarded against the owner by a court if your dog causes death or injury to a person, or causes damage to someone else's property.
Theft or straying - pays towards advertising and often includes reward. If the pet isn't found, then there is usually a set amount towards the pet's purchase price.
Hospitalization of owner - cost of boarding fees for the pet if owner have to go into hospital for emergency treatment.
Overseas travel - including emergency expenses cover whilst abroad and cover for the loss of your pet's passport.
Companies often limit coverage for pre-existing conditions in order to eliminate fraudulent consumers, thus giving owners an incentive to insure even very young animals, who are not expected to incur high veterinary costs while they are still healthy.
Factors affecting Premium
Pet insurance costs are subject to both annual premiums and deductibles. Premiums will vary based on several factors.
Age Restriction - Some insurance companies will not insure animals under a year old and sometimes older animals are not insurable as they may have had treatment for a condition that can re-occur.
Breed - Some breeds are more prone to problems and/or injuries.Application for these pet breeds may be denied if certain characteristics are known to produce conditions or behaviors that could cause an unusually large number of claims.
Type of Coverage - Type of coverage chosen by the customer also affects premium like emergency services in case of an accident or surgeries or normal maintenance such as vaccinations, heart worm test and treatments etc. will have a different price.
Pet's age - Because puppies need so many vaccinations and older dogs often need expensive medications, policies for those dogs can be more costly.
Pet's health - including pre-existing conditions.
Pet's lifestyle - a house pet is generally at lower risk of injury than a hunting or working dog.
Multi-pet discounts - Different Insurance companies market their products based on different types of discounts they offer in case of multi-pet policy which may affect the overall premium.
Do you think that Pet Insurance is worth it? I'll let you decide for it totally depends on your need and current financial capacity.
Getting Pet Insurance:
- Some companies offer pet insurance as a benefit to employees
- Ask or inquire with your local animal care provider
- Ask or inquire with Human Insurance Companies if they offer pet insurance as part of their product portfolio