Pennsylvania is the home to many pet owners with dogs and cats becoming an integral part of the family.
And what happens when your fur kid gets in an accident and has to be taken to a hospital?
Not only is this devastating emotionally, but financially it can really hurt too.
Pet insurance can help take that pain away.
How do you find the best pet insurance for your dog or cat in Pennsylvania?
The good news is that there are many great companies to choose from but it can take some time and patience.
And that’s where we can help.
We will help guide you through what to look for your new policy with the right coverage and pricing.
Why Purchase Pet Insurance In Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania has some disparate climate. Summers can be really hot and humid, while winter is bone-chilling cold.
Your dog or cat could suffer either hypothermia during the summer or frostbite in the winter.
And that’s just the beginning.
Healthy Paws, one of the top pet insurance companies, warns us that for 1/3 of all pets will become seriously injured or sick.
With prices for all veterinary costs increasing, a $15,000 medical bill is all too common. And that could be just for one visit!
You never want to be in a position where you can’t treat your cat or dog to the proper care because it’s too expensive.
And with pet insurance, you can be reimbursed up to 90% of your entire bill.
Health Issues Commonly Seen In Pennsylvania
Let’s take a look at some very common health issues and the price you would pay in Pennsylvania for treatment:
You can see how just one common ailment or disease can be really expensive.
Pet insurance helps offset those costs, by a lot.
Practical Example Of How Pet Insurance Helps
Your dog swallows a sock and has to be taken to the emergency room.
Your dog is administered treatment to help push the sock through his digestive system. And, thankfully it works and all is well.
But, the entire incident costs you $5,000. And this is ONLY because your dog didn’t need surgery (which could have cost up to $20,000)
Luckily, you had enrolled in a policy with 90% coverage.
And you have a $200 annual deductible (only need to pay it once).
You pay the $200 deductible and your vet bill balance is $4,800. So your payment is 10% of the cost of $480.
Your pet insurance will then pay you back the balance of $4,320.
Instead of paying $5,000, with pet insurance, you will now pay $680. That’s quite a savings!
When Is The Best Time To Enroll Your Pet?
The best time to a pet is when they are at their youngest, kittens or puppies.
Kittens and puppies, while having some common illnesses, are very healthy at this phase and the prices are really affordable.
Pet insurance companies won’t cover anything that your pet has already developed or what is referred to as a pre-existing condition.
Therefore, while it seems counterintuitive to insure a healthy pet, you are banking on future ailments and injuries.
If your cat has chronic ear infections, they will be treated for life if you have pet insurance. And this can even save you money in the long run.
What Is Included In The Best Coverage?
The top companies have coverage for almost any treatment or diagnostic test necessary.
The better pet insurance plans cover at least the following:
Coverage Plans For Your Dog Or Cat In Pennsylvania
The broadest coverage is comprehensive pet insurance that includes almost any illness or accident that your pet might encounter:
Comprehensive Pet Insurance
A comprehensive plan covers any treatment, accident, condition, therapy or whatever your pet might encounter including hospital care.
If you are investing in any policy, make sure it is comprehensive.
As the name implies, these plans cover only accidents and sometimes a few other events, but not illness.
Any serious illness can be very expensive so this is not recommended.
Wellness is coverage for preventative care procedures like flea treatment and annual vet exams that can easily be paid for on their own.
It is added to a normal pet insurance policy for an additional fee.
Benefit limits are essentially the cap or the most that a company will pay out each calendar year.
The best plans will have very high limits or even unlimited. Healthy Paws has unlimited lifetime benefits in all of their plans which is always preferred.
As the name suggests, you will have unlimited benefits for an illness or condition for your cat or dog’s life.
Annual Per Incident/ Maximum
These two plans set a maximum amount that can be paid for each illness or condition.
While this helps lower some monthly pricing, if your cat or dog gets hurt or sick, you could easily hit the limit.
A maximum amount is set for your pet’s entire life.
Again, you can see why this isn’t preferable as lifetime limits can be hit quickly.
Factors That Affect Pricing
We all want the best price for our plans and there are many factors that can help adjust the cost.
In fact, pricing is influenced by not only your pet’s type and age, but even the city in which you live.
A dog in Allentown is less expensive to insure than a dog in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania because the cost of living is less there.
Pet insurance takes these costs into account.
The deductible is a set amount that you determine at the beginning of each policy.
It is if the required payment that needs to be met before the pet insurance plan begins.
The price of a deductible can range as low as $50 to a high of $1,200.
The amount you choose will affect your premium. If you want a lower premium, choose on the higher end of the deductible offered.
We always recommend this option as it is a one-time annual payment. You choose the amount, pay it and you’re done for the year
Per Condition (either annual or lifetime)
This is not our favorite as you have to pay each time our dog or cat develops any condition or illness.
This can be helpful if your cat has a serious disease, like cancer, and you pay the lifetime deductible once.
But if your dog has any other condition, you have to pay another deductible.
Of course, the higher the reimbursement range you choose, the higher your monthly premium cost. It is up to you to decide how to budget your payment structure.
On the flip side, a lower reimbursement choice will reflect in a lower premium.
Pet insurance companies have some choices of reimbursements:
The plans that are reimbursed on actual costs are preferred because you are being reimbursed directly from the vet’s medical bill on the actual costs. And at the percentage that you chose.
These are reimbursements with set amounts for certain conditions or illnesses which can be restricting.
Usual and Customary
Some companies will base reimbursement on the “typical costs” of the treatment or procedures.
This is too arbitrary and random and not a good choice.
Customer Service And Reviews
Reviews and customer service are always important in any new insurance policy. The same can be said for pet insurance.
Does the company have good reviews? Do they have a good rating from the BBB?
What about customer service? Are they readily available and able to answer all your questions?
How about claims? Are they being paid instead of being denied? Do they have a quick turn-around time to get your reimbursement?
If you like to pay directly online, make sure the company of your choice has an easy way to pay directly or even a mobile app. The best companies will give you that option.
In consideration of all the above factors from coverage to pricing and even customer review, below is a list of the top 5 pet insurance companies in Pennsylvania.
Top 5 Pet Insurance Companies In Pennsylvania
Healthy Paws Highlights
To learn more about Healthy Paws, our full review will give you all the details.
To learn more about Petplan, our full review will give you all the details.
To learn more about Figo, our full review will give you all the details.
To learn more about Embrace, our full review will give you all the details.
Pet First Highlights:
To learn more about Pet First, our full review will give you all the details.
And there you go!
With veterinary costs rising, it really is a great idea to at least look into a pet insurance policy for your dog or cat in Pennsylvania. It can be both a stress reliever emotionally and financially.
There are, of course, other top pet insurance companies not on this list. Our top 10 pet insurance companies in 2019 can give you some other options.