The cost of caring for pets is on the rise, and for many, when an unexpected serious illness or injury occurs, owners are left with bills into the hundreds to thousands of dollars. Payment at most hospitals is due upon discharge of their pet or even if a pet is euthanized due to their illness. Getting pet insurance after the fact will not cover that now “pre-existing condition” and could mean the difference between treatment or euthanasia. Options such as Care Credit are great for owners that cannot pay the lump sum but can afford to finance their bill. Even with Care Credit though, owners must pay the full cost of their pet’s hospital bill. In comparison, pet insurance can lower the burden of cost to pet owners significantly.
Like human health insurance, pet insurance involves monthly fees and deductibles. The younger the pet you insure, the cheaper the insurance plan will be. Many companies provide great websites that allow you to simulate your pet’s monthly payment to get an idea of which company can fit your budget. Be careful to look into exactly what each plan covers as your vet will not know your plan. Plans can be simple and only cover wellness visits, but the savings do not appear to be worth it to most owners. Policies covering injury and illness can reimburse up to 80-90% of vet costs after the deductible is used. Different levels of coverage are available for everything from fractures, cancer treatment, foreign body removal, bladder stones, and more. Imagine the feeling of relief knowing your pet can be properly treated for a severe illness or injury and you will be reimbursed. A large difference from human insurance, though, is in general, pet owners must pay their hospital up front, and after a claim is submitted with vet records, owners will be reimbursed. The investment may seem daunting at first, but time and again, we have seen it pay off for owners that would otherwise have not been able to afford the best for their pet’s care. Take a look online or ask your vet about plans they recommend.