According to the American Pet Products Association, APPA, more than 84.9 million homes in the US have at least one pet, making up 67% of the total households in the country. Along with that, more than 80% of the generation Z and millennials reported owning a dog, as per their 2019-2020 survey.
These households spent up to $103.6 billion on their pet expenditure, with veterinary services being the third-largest category, amounting to a total of about $31.4 billion. And since these numbers will rise in 2021, pet owners are looking for more affordable solutions to owning pets.
As per the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the pet insurance industry is growing in double digits. So, what is pet insurance, how can you get it, and why should you?
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance is a cover taken by pet owners to cover the cost of veterinary care for your pet when it falls ill. Pet insurance provides reimbursement for wellness procedures, injuries, and covers like testing, vaccinations, and spaying.Pet insurance is critical when traveling with pets because it caters to unexpected illnesses and accidents without burdening your wallet.
Types of pet insurance
Different aspects define the type of pet insurance you take. And depending on these features, there are three main types of pet insurances:
1. Comprehensive pet insurance
Comprehensive cover is the most inclusive pet cover you can get. It covers most accidents and illnesses your pet may encounter. So, if your dog needs surgery, this is the cover that will help subside your expenditure. Also, if your cat develops diabetes, cancer, or an infection that requires veterinary care, this is the coverage that should help you.
2. Accident Only Pet Insurance
An accident-only cover is a pet insurance cover that helps you pay for your pet’s treatment after an accident. When your pet falls from a tree and breaks its leg, this cover pays for the cost of treatment.
Usually, the accident-only insurance coverage also pays for treatments of conditions arising from poisoning. So, if your dog eats some onions or chocolate and starts exhibiting body failure, this cover will help cushion the hefty amount you have to pay for the veterinary services.
3. Wellness Pet insurance
If you choose to only pay for the regular health checkups at the vet, the wellness pet insurance cover should do. It caters to the cost of vaccinations, dental works, disinfection against parasites like ticks, parasites, and fleas, among other services.
Even though the wellness coverage insures you from the cost of diagnostic tests, it does not protect pet owners from unexpected visits to the vet. So, if you need to visit the doctor after your dog loses consciousness or when your cat falls from a tree branch, this policy will not help you.
How do you choose your pet insurance?
You can choose one or combine the different types of pet insurances listed above. To get the most out of your pet’s cover, consider the following factors when selecting an insurance policy:
Your pet’s age– young pets tend to be more energetic and are more likely to get into accidents. So, if you have very young pets, the accident-only plan can suffice, since the chances of developing chronic illnesses are also low for them. On the other hand, pets in their prime need a comprehensive plan to cushion your wallet.
Breed– some pet breeds tend to be generally resistant to illnesses compared to others. Some dogs are more likely to develop diabetes compared to others. So, before selecting your insurance cover, consider your pet breed’s history.
And when choosing a pet insurance policy, consider the following tips to gain the most benefits:
Always compare plans from different insurance providers. Check out their limitations, including deductibles, reimbursements, exclusions, and other features
How well does the insurance provider perform? You can know more about this by checking their track record and how long they have been in business.
What does the insurance cover, and what affects the payout? Before enrolling in a program, understand what the insurance company covers and what exclusions they make.
Understand your pet before committing. Sometimes, knowing your dog’s health patterns may help you save a ton of money.
Choose the form of reimbursement that suits your wallet best. Whether you want a rebate on the annual benefit or the percentage of the invoice, choose the one that offers the best solution to your bills.
Make sure that the cost and value of insurance cover match.
Top 3 Pet Insurance Companies
1. Spot Pet Insurance
Spot Pet Insurance offers insurance for cats and dogs. Both offer customizable features and cover a range of accidents, illnesses, and preventive care. Provided the condition your pet has is covered, you get reimbursed for your vet bills. The insurance policy covers hereditary diseases, illnesses, accidents, and behavioral issues. And if you want your pet to undergo alternative therapy like acupuncture or hydrotherapy, this cover has got you covered.
You can customize your cover by planning the annual limits, reimbursement rates, and deductibles.
The pet policy has unlimited annual limits, with up to a 90% reimbursement option.
You also get multi-pet discounts
The cover does not cater to pre-existing conditions
2. Figo Pet Insurance
Figo pet insurance includes modern technology to aid in the parenting of pets. Voted, the best pet insurance three years in a row, and the best technology, this insurance cover is suitable for urban and rural pet owners. It comes with an app that keeps you updated with your pet’s life and updates on their health. You also get a 24/7 vet assistant to consult.
Covers for all types of pets, including reptiles, exotics, and birds
You choose the kind of benefits, reimbursement rate, and deductibles for a customized cover
Figo offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
It does not feature a wellness plan
Vet exams for covered conditions will cost you more
4. Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace Pet insurance covers accidents and illnesses for your pet. The policy covers hospitalization fees, diseases, and injuries, including emergencies and breed-specific and hereditary conditions. It also insures your pet for cancer, prescriptions, complementary treatments, and chronic diseases; the pet insurance policy at Embrace does that for you.
You enjoy huge discounts, including multiple pets, military, employee, and veterinary practice discounts
You enjoy healthy pet deductibles on their customizable plan
Quick effects, with a 14-days wait period for illnesses and two days for accidents
You enjoy standard accident and illness cover, along with an optimal wellness reward
The comprehensive cover comes with a mobile app for Android and iOS
The plan does not include annual limits
It does not cover pre-existing conditions
No refunds on the wellness plans if not exhausted in the year
With a suitable insurance plan, you can take the best care of your pet without dealing with the burden of unexpected bills from the vet. Whether in the countryside or traveling with pets, a customized plan can help cover your pet while matching your budget. So, you can now travel worry-free with your pet, internationally and locally, depending on the cover you take.