When you think about insurance, what are the first couple of words that come to mind? Do they involve positive, educated feelings about what insurance is and the benefits associated with it? Do they involve negative connotations of cost or dishonesty? Or do you scratch your head and wonder where to begin as far as talking about insurance? It can be a daunting topic to discuss, because there are so many legal rules to be aware of, and that's before you even begin discussing a policy with an agent. It can also seem useless at times, especially if you have not had any accidents or need for insurance recently. Pet insurance is no exception, with as little as 1.7% of all pets being insured in the United States. In other countries, such as the U.K and Sweden, these numbers are often in the double digits. With so little usage in the U.S, it is understandable why pet insurance is not often talked about or even understood. This blog article will discuss what pet insurance is, the different options available for insurance, as well as how owners can become more educated about insurance for their pets. There are many companies out there that offer pet insurance, and it is good to know the basics before you begin discussing the benefits of having pet insurance and which companies to consider.
Insurance is where you pay a premium, often monthly, to a company in order to receive financial compensation or financial coverage in the case of an illness or accident. Pet insurance, by extension, is simply where you pay for coverage on your pet in case they get sick or hurt. Depending on the policy you sign up for, your premium may be low monthly payments, with the caveat that they will only cover 70% of costs. Alternatively, the company may pay for all expenses after a certain point you pay up to, called a deductible, as long as you make your monthly payments. Often these premiums are higher, but can be beneficial for covering larger unforeseen expenses. Balancing the best plan for your budget and pet comes down to your personal decision as a pet owner as well as what your budget will allow. Typically, it is best to set the deductible no lower or higher than the highest amount you are willing to pay out of pocket for your pet. By doing so, you can feel better about when insurance is called in, as you have previously already decided what your limit should be.
Pet insurance is worth it for the same reasons that health or auto insurance is worth it for humans. Though it costs money each month, it allows for coverage of unexpected costs, such as a broken limb or serious illness. We cannot plan when these injuries or illnesses will happen, but putting money into insurance gives comfort and peace of mind knowing that, should an emergency come up, expenses will be less at the forefront of your medical decisions for your pet. Pet insurance has been proven to reduce the occurrence of economic euthanasia, where a pet is euthanized because the owner is financially unable to take care of it anymore, regardless of its age. These are tragic events, and can be prevented if insurance was utilized to help cover medical costs, particularly later in life. By taking the financial burden off owners, most pets can live longer, healthier lives due to the better care they receive.
An argument can be made for putting money into a separate pet savings account, where you can pull out the money only for the pet. While on paper this idea is a good one, the downsides may discourage you from opting into a "DYI" insurance plan. One downside is that if you decide to go with this plan, you need time to accrue enough money to prepare for an emergency. If you decide to start putting in $100 a month into an account for your pet, but your pet gets into an accident that costs $2,000 to fix a month later, you do not have the financial strength of that account to cover the costs. In doing the math, you would need another 19 months to save enough money for that expense, in which time the pet could get into another accident, costing even more money! Insurance is useful in preventing these instances by offering coverage as soon as you sign up, depending on the company. This means that as soon as you are approved, you will get the money needed for that accident, regardless of when it happens after you are approved. The best treatment for your pet at a fraction of the cost you would pay out of pocket is now within reach, because you bought insurance. A win-win for your pet and your wallet!
Some owners may offer the argument that their pet does not go outside of their home and will not get sick or injured due to a lack of real threats from the outdoors. These owners should be aware that many diseases and injuries can happen whether the pet is indoors or outdoors, such as hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, or even accidents such as broken limbs or lacerated soft tissue. Illnesses can become lifetime diagnoses, where lifelong medication is required. Without insurance, the bills can add up quickly for pills and testing. With insurance, the cost is mitigated and you do not have to put off important testing for your pet to make sure the right treatments are being given. By getting insurance, you can help ensure that your pet receives the care it needs regardless of the financial cost, depending on your insurance plan.
Many times in the hospital we see small dogs presenting for limping or lameness, where the only incident that may have occurred is the dog jumping off the couch or bed! It is impossible to create a home that is 100% safe for the dog or cat while keeping its mental health as a priority. This means that no matter your home situation, the chances of a hurt limb are still present. While it is important to keep your home as pet friendly as possible, the risk still remains no matter how small. Insurance will help mitigate the financial damage from those incidents, and allow you to focus on getting the best care for your pet, which allows for the best chances of healing properly and making a full recovery.
There are plenty of different pet insurance companies available in the United States, each with their own perks and company-specific plans available for pet owners. I believe that four stand out as a good variety of insurance that covers a wide variety of needs: Trupanion, ASPCA Pet insurance, PetsBest insurance, and HealthyPaws Insurance. These four can be compared, along with many others, at this website - https://petinsuranceinfo.com/pet-health-insurance/compare-providers . Each company has many different options and the only way to find out which is best for your pet is to decide for yourself what is affordable and reasonable coverage for your pet. Remember to take your pet's age, breed, and pre-existing conditions into account before making a decision - some of these companies will not cover these or charge extra. Ultimately, the decision should be yours to make, as long as you feel they will be able to supply the best insurance care for your pet. Treat your insurance search like your search for a good vet. Your pet's health should always come first! With a wide variety of plans including sickness and accident, accident-only, sickness-only, or a wellness plan, there is an insurance company that can fit your needs.
Pet insurance should be obtained as early as possible. If your pet is older, it may have already developed conditions that are lifelong and require treatment, which may prevent certain insurance companies from writing a policy for your pet. By getting insurance when your pet is healthy and young, you can ensure that you have a policy prepared in the case that your pet gets injured or develops a severe illness. This also helps protect your puppies, as the most expensive year of owning a dog is typically the first one. This is because puppies have a tendency to eat things they shouldn't and injure or break limbs. With pet insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that should your pet get injured unexpectedly, you have the means to help cover the expenses.
Whether you have a dog, cat, or other pet, there is an insurance company that would be able to help you find a policy that best fits your needs. There are an astounding number of benefits that come with pet insurance, but it all boils down to taking care of your pet with the best methods available. With pet insurance, you can get access to treatment options and plans that may have not been possible otherwise. It is not very difficult to look up different companies using the links below, and they are willing to explain to you what the different policies mean. With a little bit of research, you might be surprised at the plans you can afford!
To Our Clients,
We hope you are faring well. As each week goes by we know the measures we take to keep you and our staff safe have been cumbersome and tiring.
Keeping our veterinary clinic open to care for our patients has been our top priority. To keep you and our staff safe and continue to maintain high-quality care (which is something none of us are willing to compromise on), we are limited to the amount of patients we can care for in one day. This means scheduling several weeks in advance for wellness exams. Often we are unable to accommodate same day visits. We are scheduling 2-4 weeks out for wellness visits and 3-6 weeks for surgical procedures.
Due to social distancing, phones and online communication have been heavily relied upon for communication which has resulted in increased phone volume, wait times or not being able to get through to us at all. We apologize for these frustrations and hope you realize we are doing the best we can.
As a clinic we have come-up with solutions to mitigate these challenges.
Below is a list of alternatives to hopefully make your visit with us easier:
To assist everyone during this pandemic, we are asking the following of you:
Thank you so much for your support and understanding. Please stay safe, keep your pets safe and know that we are always doing the best we can for you.
North Ogden Animal Hospital
“I won’t let pain turn my heart into something ugly. I will show you that surviving can be beautiful.” -Christy Ann Martine