How to pick the right pet insurance
Around half the adults in the US own at least one pet, so you are not alone if you care about your furry (or feathery or scaly) companion. Unfortunately, pets do get sick, and when they do you want to be sure that you are in the position to give them the best possible care.
Most pets only need to visit the vet for illness or injury every three years or so, but the clinic fees do add up. This is where pet insurance can step in, ensuring that your pet will receive the treatment they need without you having to empty your bank account.
Similar to choosing other types of insurance, it is a good idea to check comparison sites to choose the pet insurance that meets your needs. There are a number of policies out there, and each comes with its own terms and conditions, so pay attention to the fine print to make sure that you get the right policy for your pet. For example, any pre-existing medical conditions or your pet’s age could void your policy and thus make them ineligible. Here are some of the types of insurance available:
- Accident-only pet insurance only covers treatment for injuries your pet has sustained in an accident. This is generally the cheapest form of pet insurance.
- A per-condition policy covers specific injuries or illnesses by providing a certain fixed sum for each. In cases where the treatment costs exceed what the policy has specified for a given condition, then you will need to pay the difference.
- Annual insurance policies are valid for a single year and generally cover only short-term illness or injury. This varies according to the policy, so it’s important to check beforehand. This form of pet insurance is not always available for older pets and the premiums often increase as your pet ages.
- To completely cover your pet and protect them from all eventualities, consider getting lifetime insurance. This type of policy will cover a broad range of recurring and chronic conditions, which of course means the price is correspondingly high. Specific conditions are subject to an annual limit and once your pet reaches a certain age, it may no longer be covered for all types of treatment.
What doesn’t pet insurance cover?
Most pet insurance policies don’t cover pregnancy or birth-related veterinary costs. Similarly, preventative and routine treatments are also generally excluded, so you will have to pay for spaying, vaccinations, and parasite treatments yourself.