Your pet is part of your family and just like the rest of your family they can get sick or hurt and cause damage that you’ll be liable for. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are a variety of insurance products that can help protect you from the financial costs that come along with these unfortunate events.
If you have a dog, cat, or any other animal you keep as a pet, you’re probably not a stranger to the local veterinarian and aware that it can be expensive, especially when the situation calls for tests or surgery. Pet health insurance is similar to health insurance policies for people with features such as annual premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and caps. Health insurance is available for most types of pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, exotic birds, reptiles, potbelly pigs, and certain rodents. The cost of coverage is typically based on the animal’s age, health profile, and level of care you want for your pet. Generally, older animals cost more to cover and some companies have age limits. There may also be exclusions for pre-existing conditions and some insurers may not cover breeds that are prone to hereditary conditions. Here are the general levels of coverage:
When shopping for pet insurance, you may come across something called veterinary discount plans, which are membership-based services rather than an insurance policy. With a veterinary discount plan, members pay a monthly fee and receive reduced rates on pet services, medical procedures, prescriptions, and products from a group of veterinarians who participate in the plan. In the event of a catastrophic and costly pet illness or injury, a discount may help but you’ll likely still have to pay for much more than if your pet is insured. Also, veterinary discount plans are not regulated by law, unlike insurance.
Homeowner’s insurance policies may offer some protection when it comes to pets. Here are some common coverages you might find in a homeowner’s policy:
Animal life and theft insurance is meant to cover the lives of unusually high-valued animals and is typically taken out by zoos or owners of championship cats, dogs, horses, and police dogs. The policy reimburses owners of stolen animals and pays a death benefit if an animal dies during transport or other covered events.
If you’ve got furry friends as members of your family and you’d like to know more about making sure you’ve got the right coverage just let us know.