These days, medical technology in veterinary field has been rapidly developed. Many illness and diseases in animals that was fatal and incurable in past can be easily prevented and removed, thanks to the development. Pet owner can breathe easier now knowing that their pet mortality risk due to illnesses has decreased compared to the past years.
However, the development comes with literal price. The cost of veterinary service also increases, in line with the development of medical technology. Treatment for severe illness with surgery for a pet now may cost as much as $5.000.
Pet owners often face dilemma when their beloved pet requires medical care as costly as that. While they certainly don’t want to let their pet suffers, not everyone can afford to provide a large amount of money for pet emergency.
This is where pet insurance come handy. Much like any other insurance, pet insurance will pay for the medical expense your pet needs in exchange for premium you pay monthly to the insurers. Pet insurance blooms this past decade, however even until today a lot of pet owner is still not sure what it is and whether they truly need it or not. Learn more about pet insurance to answer that question!
Q: What is pet insurance
A: It’s insurance system designed specifically to cover medical expense – fully or partially – of your pet. You pay certain amount of money (premium) every month to the insurer and later if your pet get involved in an accident or fall sick, the insurer will pay the expense for you.
Q: What does pet insurance cover?
A: It different for each insurer and even different for each police. Usually they cover medical expenses causes by illness or accidents. However, most of the insurance police usually don’t cover preexisting medical condition, pregnancy, and birth.
Q: What are the types of pet insurance plan?
A: Depending on the cause of medical treatment, there are three types of pet insurance: wellness, illness, accident. There is also insurance plan that cover all causes.
- Wellness insurance plan covers medical expenses from routine health maintenance such as vaccination, spaying, and other general heath check.
- Illness insurance plan covers medical expenses from illness.
- Accident insurance plan covers medical expenses from injury caused by accidents
Depending on the time range, there are two types of insurance plan:
- Non-lifetime plan covers any medical expense for pet during the course of the policy, usually for one year. However, if the plan is renewed next year, expense that previously covered will be excluded.
- Lifetime plan covers any medical expense for pet throughout the pet’s lifetime – so the previously covered expense won’t be excluded. However, the inclusion also has limit of “per condition”, “per condition, per year”, and “per year”.
Q: How much does the premium cost?
A: It depends on various factors such as:
- The species: common pet such as cat and dog usually cost lower than exotic pet such as snake or iguana
- The breeds: rarer breeds with risky health condition has higher premium than more popular breed
- The age: younger pet has lower premium than older pet
- The preexisting condition: most of insurance plan usually don’t cover this, but if they do, they will charge more premium. The more severe the medical condition, the higher the premium.
Q: How does the insurance work?
A: Since veterinary system and medical system is different, unlike usual medical insurance where the insurer pay directly to your health service provider, pet insurance insurers usually reimburse the medical expense directly to you instead of paying the veterinary service.
Reimburse system has a weakness. It means even if your pet is insured, if she needs medical treatment, you have to provide the money first. If you don’t have enough saving to cover the expense, you may need to provide the money from other source.
You may want to ask what the point for insurance then if you still have to provide the money for medical expense in advance. The answer is because you don’t have to lose that big amount of money – because the money is reimbursed later. Without the insurance, you may pay $5.000 in a single event and your cash flow and financial plans may get disrupted. With insurance, you may pay $5.000 first, but then you will get reimbursed. Your cash flow won’t get disrupted and you can still follow your financial plans.
Do I really have to?
No, unlike medical insurance in which it is a must for individual, nobody forces you to insure your pet. However, like mentioned above, medical cost for pet is increasing as technology develops. If you can afford the cost easily, maybe you don’t want to sign your pet up. However, if you can’t afford medial cost as high as that – at least not without saving – then medical insurance will be beneficial for you.
Is pet insurance right for me?
It really depends on you. To help you decide, here is some question to help you decide.
- Would you rather pay medical cost up to $5.000 for your pet or let vet put him to sleep?
If it’s the first, you can consider pet insurance is right for you. Otherwise it is not.
- Do you currently has enough money in saving should your pet needs emergency medical treatment?
If you do, then probably you don’t need the insurance. If you don’t, you may want to purchase a plan
- Do you wish to get some kind of profit from the insurance plan?
If you do, then pet insurance is not right for you. Usually insurance plan is never profitable for the clients and usually people don’t purchase insurance for the profit either.
- Do you mind paying a little extra money to be reassured that your pet will get medical treatment when emergency happens?
If you don’t, then you’ll probably find pet insurance helpful.
In the end, pet insurance is helpful to ensure your pet can get the proper medical treatment should emergency happens. Review and compare every company’s plan – including the coverage, the premium, the deductible, and other conditions carefully before you choose one.