For most people, pets are as much a part of the family as any human member, and when accidents or illness strike your furry friends, you could find yourself shelling out quite a bit of cash to help them get back on their feet. Just like you have insurance for the rest of your family, it could be worth investing in pet insurance to avoid landing yourself in debt with the veterinarian.
While it may sound a bit out-there to some, pet insurance is becoming more and more common in the U.S., with the North American Pet Health Insurance Association estimating around 4.41 million pets were insured at the end of 2021 – up 27.7% from 2020.
There are three standard varieties of pet insurance policies: accident and illness plans, accident-only plans and routine wellness plans, with combination accident and illness plans being the most common. The combined plans usually cover injury and sickness (broken bones, cancer, etc.), while accident-only plans – as you can guess from the name – only cover accident-related issues. Wellness plans can usually be included as an add-on to these policies.
Like any other line of insurance, pet policies often include exclusions from coverage. According to Forbes Advisor, some of the most common exclusions include:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Preventative or elective procedures
- Exam fees
- Breeding costs
- Expenses not related to veterinary care (i.e. taxes or administrative fees charged by the veterinarian)
- Food and vitamins
Much like human health plans, when shopping for pet insurance you’ll be able to select your plan’s annual maximum coverage, deductible and reimbursement percentage. It’s also important to consider many pet insurers have required waiting periods for coverage, which vary – usually between 2-14 days – carrier-to-carrier.
Source: 10 Best Pet Insurers for 2022