When you think about healthcare for your dog, you might think about annual vet bills and vaccinations.
But medical costs for owning a dog can run a lot higher than you might expect. There are accidents and emergencies that you need to be prepared for. And older dogs can have expensive chronic illnesses that can run into the thousands of dollars.
To help pay some of these costs, many dog owners are increasingly turning to pet insurance.
But what exactly is pet insurance, and what can you expect it to cover? Here, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about pet insurance for your dog.
Pet insurance may sound strange, but it’s actually pretty similar to the type of health insurance you might get for yourself. How does it work? You pay a monthly fee and you get partial coverage of medical bills related to your dog’s health.
What is covered can vary widely by plan. Most options will cover accidents and emergencies. If you want more extensive coverage, you can choose a plan that will pay for some preventive care.
There are many different providers out there to choose from for pet insurance. Here are some of the main companies to consider:
This company will cover accidents and illnesses, but only offer a preset benefit schedule for payments. There’s also a term limit of $14,000, and a deductible as well. You can also add a wellness plan.
This is one of the few companies that offer lifetime benefits without any term limits. They also cover congenital and hereditary conditions.
This company will only cover $1,000 to $5,000 per incident, and also has an $18,000 lifetime limit. And they will pay a maximum of 70% of any vet bill, which makes them less generous than most other options listed here.
This is one of the insurers with the widest variety of plans. You can get cheaper coverage that will pay for accidents, or choose a more comprehensive plan that will also cover chronic illnesses and other health conditions.
There are a lot of different insurance providers out there, many of them offering plans with a huge variety in what they cover. Make sure that you carefully review any plan before you choose a provider. Here are some factors that you should consider:
What exactly will be covered?
Pet insurance often doesn’t cover as much as what you would get in your own health insurance. They also often feature many exclusions for certain health conditions. Make sure the plan you choose covers what you need.
How will you be reimbursed?
You’ll want to choose a plan that will pay you based on the actual veterinary bills. Some insurers pay on benefit schedules, giving you less money than you’ll need to fully cover expenses.
How big is the deductible?
Almost all plans will have a deductible, which is the amount you’ll have to pay out of pocket before the plan will start to cover expenses. But these deductibles can vary widely between different plans, so always check before you pick an insurance provider.
Does the plan have claims limits?
Some plans also have claim limits that cap how much the insurer will pay for an accident or the maximum that they will pay for a given year.
How well reviewed are they?
You’ll want to choose an insurance provider that has at least decent customer care. Try to find as many reviews as possible to make sure that you will get good care after your purchase insurance.
Keep in mind that there is no pet insurance plan that will be right for every dog. You’ll want to choose a plan that suits your specific needs. If you are buying insurance for a young dog, you may not want as much coverage. But if you are choosing a plan for an elderly dog, you may want to choose a more expensive plan that has more comprehensive coverage.
Are you still looking for the perfect puppy? Head over to our puppy finder page and you’ll find your dream dog. All of our puppies also come with a 10 year health guarantee.
Ready to find the perfect puppy? Applications are totally FREE and take less than 5 minutes. Tell us a little about yourself, and let’s get your search started right now!