As of 2022, about 45% of pet owners take their pet to the vet at least twice a year whether it was unplanned or not. And of that less than 14% rely on pet insurance policies to pay for their expenses. Most pet owners do not have pet insurance because they do not know much about it, their pet to them, does not need it or it is too expensive. However, it is important to keep in mind that the chances that you’ll be making a claim on your pet insurance are higher than the chances of you claiming on your homeowners or auto policy.
The Unplanned Expenses
The word “unplanned” is key here. We don’t mean routine treatments such as vaccinations or worming, you most likely won’t find a pet insurance policy that covers preventative treatments. Nor will you be able to get cover for elective treatments such as neutering. Essentially, the common reasons for visiting the vet cannot be insured against.
It’s the unplanned visits that are the expensive ones. Pet care has progressed over the years allowing treatment for many and all different kinds of maladies, but this does not mean these treatments will all come cheap to you as a pet owner, it is most likely to be an outrageous cost. For example, if your dog needs an X-ray, it may cost you anywhere between $75-$500.
An MRI will most likely cost you even more than the X-rays. However, the cost may vary depending on variables such as the number of X-rays needed, your current geographic location and exactly where the dog is injured because some parts of the body are easier to access than others.
What Does Pet Insurance Include?
Now we’ve established that most reasons for a visit to the vet cannot be covered by insurance, so what is included?
Pet insurance plans generally come in 3 formats:
- The value of the claim for each condition or event is capped.
- The total annual payout cannot exceed a set amount.
- The payout per condition is limited and ceases to cover your pet after twelve months of treatment. This is the cheapest option.
When shopping for or considering pet insurance it is important to find out what each policy covers. Pet insurance policies may cover accidents, wellness checks, X-rays, and surgeries. While some plans may not cover preventive care, dental care, and hereditary conditions.
Virtually all pet insurance policies will most likely pay out if your pet dies. As with other types of insurance, you may have to pay an excess if you make a claim.
The cost of the policy can solely depend on which type of policy you want, how much excess you are prepared to pay, the kind of pet you have, its breed (rare breeds are more expensive), its age and even where you live can make a difference to the premium.
How Can I Get the Cheapest Pet Insurance Policy?
The cheapest insurance is directed at young pets and seeing as most pets can be insured from 8 weeks old and you can then continue insurance for its lifespan, that’s recommended to be the best way to go. If your pet is already 8 or 9 years old when you decide to get it insured, it may be difficult to get worthwhile coverage. This is mainly because the exclusions will most likely list existing health conditions, and at that age, it is likely that your pet will have some known conditions. In any case, at that age a new policy will most likely be more costly.
There are a few ways to lower the premiums. Some insurers may discount insurance if your pet has an identity chip, and if you are insuring more than one pet, you may be able to get a quantity discount. These are widely available for your second and subsequent insured pets.
To get the cheapest premiums, browse the Internet for deals. The Internet is a great place for cheap insurance of all kinds – your home, your car or pet, your holiday – all just a click away.
- Top Pet Insurance Facts and Statistics of 2022, MarketWatch.
- How Much Does a Dog X-Ray Cost? Canine Journal.
- What’s Covered and Not Covered Under Pet Insurance, Office of the Insurance Commissioner.