Pet owners know that their furry friends are just as important as members of the family. As with humans, medical emergencies can arise suddenly, and the bills can pile up just as quickly. Some pet owners have turned to pet insurance to help protect against the risk of surprise medical fees. Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of pet insurance.
What Is It?
Pet insurance is a health care policy that saves veterinary costs by reimbursing medical expenses. If your pet experiences an illness or injury, it will cover the cost. As is the case with other types of insurance, pet insurance has deductibles, co-pays and maximum payouts. By paying a monthly premium, you are securing the coverage of an exam or treatment for your pet when, without an insurance plan, you would normally be responsible for paying the amount in full.
What Does It Cover?
Depending on the plan you purchase, certain services will be included or excluded, so it’s always a good idea to read the fine print. Overall, though, most plans cover the same things, such as X-rays and surgeries. The more comprehensive the coverage is, the higher the premium. The cost of treatment and therapy can become a huge out-of-pocket expense, so if you feel pet insurance is right for you, picking the plan that’s right for you is just as important.
What Doesn’t It Cover?
Pet insurance will not cover a pre-existing condition, which is a medical condition that was present before you applied for insurance. It also will not cover any ailments during the waiting period, which is the period of time before your coverage begins. Most commonly, providers will exclude behavior issues, dental disease and hip dysplasia from coverage as well.
How Much Is It?
Multiple factors determine the cost of the monthly premium. Big, busy cities come with higher insurance costs, as does the type of pet. Dogs are more costly than cats, and older animals that are more at-risk for health problems are more costly than younger pets.
Banfield Veterinary Hospital in Ocala offers three different kinds of Wellness Plans, says Heidi Cagel, a member of their team, which include basic vaccines and bloodwork. According to local veterinary offices, pet insurance is not widely used in Ocala, but there are offices in the area that do accept it. Be sure to check with your vet for more information regarding your personal plan.