Your pet is a part of the family, and therefore, their health is just as important as every other family member’s health. If you’ve been a pet owner for a long time, you know healthcare is one of the largest expenses you’ll face over the lifetime of your pet. In fact, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, pet care costs are on the rise and lack of insurance may lead to big bills. They estimate “that pet owners spend anywhere from $9,000 to more than $13,000 for medical treatments over the course of a companion animal’s lifetime.” With that in mind, what exactly is pet health insurance, and is it something you should consider?

What is Pet Health Insurance?

Pet health insurance is a relatively new industry. It was popularized in America when a famous and well-loved doggie movie star named Lassie received a pet insurance policy in 1982. Pet health insurance policies have very similar language to human health insurance. When dealing with a pet policy, you’ll see terms like: annual coverage limit, deductible, hereditary and congenital conditions, pre-existing conditions, reimbursement percentage and waiting period.

Each insurance plan varies, but as a whole, pet health insurance often covers accidents and illnesses, and may even cover preventive or wellness care. If you’re looking for a base plan, we recommend choosing a plan that covers accidents and illnesses, congenital and hereditary conditions, cancer, and chronic diseases.

Is It Right For Me and My Pet?

There’s no question pet health care costs can add up, especially if your pet has a chronic illness or requires surgery. You may be considering health insurance for your pet because they’re ill, or you may just want to be prepared for the future.

But the best time to get insurance is early on in the life of your pet. When your pet is young and healthy, pet health insurance may not be on your mind. However, pre-existing conditions are taken into consideration when applying, so waiting until your pet is aging or sick to consider insurance might mean you’ll have trouble finding a good plan that fits your needs. While there are a few insurance companies that will take senior pets or pets with chronic illnesses, the list of options is short.

Choosing A Plan

As with anything, it’s always a good idea to do your research on the various pet insurance companies and plans out there. There are a variety of choices available, and depending on the current health of your pet or your particular concerns, you’ll want to know what each plan covers. We suggest you create a list of what’s most important to you regarding your pet’s health and use that list to help you find the right plan.

Once you’ve chosen a few of the plans that match your most important concerns, it’s time to give the providers a call. Contacting a providing insurance company to get all the plan details, including the fine print, is a smart idea that will help narrow your options until you’ve discovered the plan that best suits your family and your pet.

For a more comprehensive overview of the ins and outs of pet health insurance, check out a valuable online resource called 365 Pet Insurance. And if you’re looking for an experienced and compassionate animal clinic in Gilbert Arizona, we’re confident you’ll be happy with our team at East Valley Animal Hospital. We’re always willing to meet with potential new patients to answer questions and go over options for treatment and payment. Contact us today. We can’t wait to meet you and your furry friend!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/07/2018) Pixaby