When you add a new puppy or kitten to your home, it can be a big and important decision.
After all, you need to be ready to take on the responsibility of taking care of your new family member.
And with that responsibility, many questions come to mind from the type of food to buy to whether you need to train your new pet!
One of the bigger and more important questions is whether to purchase pet insurance.
You want to make sure that whatever happens to your new family member that you have the means to pay for the medical bills.
Pet insurance can be a real lifesaver when your pet does need medical help as most policies will pay up to 90% of your bill. And that can be a real saving and relief if your puppy, kitten or even older dog needs serious medical help.
Pet insurance is really the assurance that no matter what happens to your pet that you can afford to pay the bill.
Pet insurance can also be extremely complicated and confusing as there are so many companies to choose from as well as so many decisions to make on coverage, pricing and more.
Where do you even start?
Don’t fret! Our goal is to walk you through how pet insurance works from the different types of coverage offered to the details of what to look for in a policy.
Pet Insurance Coverage Options
One of the most important decisions to make when you first enroll in a pet insurance policy is choosing the right coverage.
After all, you want to make sure to get the most extensive coverage so your dog or cat is covered for any accident or injury that might occur.
There are essentially three different coverage options available for your pet.
Comprehensive coverage, also known as accident and illness coverage, is also the most popular choice due to its breadth of coverage.
A solid comprehensive coverage policy includes coverage for almost any accident or illness and the treatment that is necessary to address that condition.
It will usually include all:
Every solid comprehensive coverage policy will include a minimum of the following:
Accident Only Coverage
For instance, if your pet swallows an object, injures his paw or gets a spider bite, these accidents are covered. However, if your dog or cat gets sick or any type of illness, you won’t be covered.
Whiles these plans are usually less expensive, they can be limiting. Accident only coverage can be a viable option for an older pet who is too old to be covered under a typical accident and illness plan.
Some of the procedures that are usually covered are spays and neutering, vaccinations, insect bites, heartworm, and other routine procedures.
While this seems like a great option, it can get expensive because wellness plans are added on to your pet insurance policy and will, therefore, raise your premiums. Further, these plans only pay part of the routine procedure and therefore you are not fully reimbursed.
While there is no deductible for a wellness plan, you are only reimbursed for a specified amount per procedure. For example, if your dog or cat has their vaccinations and it costs $200, a pet insurance wellness plan will usually pay you back only $100 of the bill.
Wellness plans can be appealing if you have a young cat or dog that needs many of the routine procedures that are usually offered like vaccinations and spaying and neutering. However, for a dog or cat that is older, these plans will just increase your monthly premiums.
Pet Dental Insurance
While this seems like a great deal because dental care can be expensive, the wellness packages, as we mentioned above, are an add-on to an existing policy which increases your monthly premium.
In fact, the wellness plans with dental only give you a certain allowance towards dental care and don’t pay even close to the full amount. Therefore, if you like a wellness plan for other routine procedures that it provides, it could be beneficial to offset some of the costs.
Pet Insurance v. Wellness Plans
Pet insurance plans and wellness plans are very different in what they cover. Most comprehensive pet insurance plans cover all accidents and illnesses.
They offer full comprehensive coverage from:
Wellness plans are really just an add-on to an existing pet insurance policy. They cover routine procedures such as vet visits, spaying and neutering, vaccinations and other preventative care treatment or procedure.
They are also not stand alone policies and therefore are in addition to a pet insurance policy. Therefore, they raise the monthly premiums. Only Nationwide has a stand-alone wellness plan that is extremely comprehensive.