Animals are susceptible to illness and injury just like the rest of us, which means that they are also capable of racking up a pretty hefty vet bill. Sometimes the cost may be small and result in a one-time fee, while other times, the price to heal your pet may be costly and result in ongoing treatment and medication. Whatever the case, it can be difficult to foot the vet bill yourself, which is precisely what pet insurance is for.
Pet insurance is available to animal owners to ensure that their furry friend gets the medical care and attention that they need when hurt or ill. Unfortunately, too many animal owners see an injured creature as a liability, and so instead of opting to get treatment for them, they opt to euthanize them instead. This is unacceptable. When you take on an animal as your own, you take it on as a family member, and it is your responsibility to ensure that it is well cared for for the remainder of his or her life, no exceptions. For this reason, we at the United Veterinary Center feel that every pet owner should consider investing in animal insurance. From diagnostics to hospitalizations, and surgery to ongoing medications and treatments, pet insurance covers it all to ensure that your furry friend lives a long, healthy and happy life with you (and that you’re not stuck with huge medical bills because of it).
When to Get Pet Insurance
Just like with your own insurance, the best time to invest in coverage for your animal is when they are still young and healthy. Animal insurers are not likely to consider covering your pet if they are elderly or have a preexisting condition. For this reason, if you are considering adopting a new animal, you should look into pet insurance immediately after they receive their first physical and healthcare screening. So long as the doctor rules out any hereditary conditions, your new friend should be able to gain coverage without a problem.
Again, like with people insurance, you cannot enroll for coverage upon learning that your loved one has a serious and costly illness or injury. This defeats the purpose of insurance and will get you nowhere.
If you are interested in obtaining coverage for your pet, look into Trupanion, Nationwide’s Whole Pet and Wellness plan and Embrace, all of which reimburse 90 percent of veterinary costs.
Pet Insurance Statistics
Pet insurance is not something that new pet owners typically think about investing in, but it should be! Pet insurance costs very little but can go a long ways towards ensuring that your new family member receives the medical care that he or she needs to stay healthy. Don’t believe us? Let’s see what the stats say:
- 75 percent of policyholders file a claim within the first three years of enrollment.
- Over 50 percent of policyholders file a claim each year.
- 35 percent of all pet insurance claims are for chronic conditions.
- The most common claim is for torn knew ligaments in man’s best friend (the dog).
- The second most common claim is for ingested foreign objects.
- The most expensive health condition domestic animals are seen for is heart disease, which can cost their owners more than $20,000.
- The second most expensive health condition is cancer, which can also exceed $20,000.
- The third most expensive condition that animals are seen for is orthopedic related and can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.
- One in three domesticated animals will need emergency veterinary care every year.
- An animal receives emergency care every 2.5 seconds.
- Every six seconds an animal owner is faced with a veterinary bill that exceeds $5,000.
The numbers are staggering, and they make a very solid case for why pet insurance is so important to purchase.
Reasons to Purchase Pet Insurance
“I want to make decisions about [my] pet’s health care without worrying about whether or not they can afford treatment.” – #1 reason for purchasing pet insurance.
There are several obvious reasons that pet owners should invest in insurance for their furry friend, but healthcare reasons aside, some great reasons to purchase healthcare coverage for your new family member include:
- No Discriminatory Policies: If your cat, dog, rabbit or exotic animal is diagnosed with or predisposed to contract a certain condition, your veterinarian will have to treat them, no questions asked. Thanks to your foresight, they will be privy to the best care available.
- Pick Your Vet: Like with most human health insurance plans, pet coverage policies allow you to pick your own veterinarian. If you like a vet and want to continue working with their office, pet insurance will allow you to do so.
- Prevent Unnecessary Spending: “I have been faced with expensive vet bills in the past and want to avoid them in the future.” – #2 reason animal owners invest in insurance for their loved ones.
Animals are active and curious creatures, and as such, as susceptible to dangers we wouldn’t think twice about. That log in your backyard could be the cause of your dog’s broken leg. Your stairs at home could be the reason your rabbit suffers from broken ribs. An avocado pit lying on your kitchen table could be the reason your cat almost dies from asphyxiation. Everyday objects and obstacles to us could be a great threat to your pet, which is why you should err on the side of caution and ensure they’re protected no matter what life throws their way. In doing so, you will ensure that your bank account is protected from unnecessary spending when you have to go to the vet emergency room yet again.
- Peace of Mind: Peace of mind is the top third reason that pet owners invest in healthcare coverage for their furry friends. With insurance on your side, you no longer have to worry about how you will care for your cat, dog, rabbit or other animal should they become hurt or ill.
Your furry friend deserves the best possible treatment, period. For this reason, insurance for them should not be an option—it should be a no brainer.
Before You Buy
Before you purchase a policy, it is important to review the terms and conditions very carefully, just as you would when purchasing a policy for yourself. Some things to look out for are what is covered (make sure that the types of injuries and illness covered are relevant to your animal), how much copays and deductibles are, what your coverage amount caps out at, and what exclusions the policy has. You want to ensure that your policy covers any injuries or ailments that your particular animal is susceptible to, otherwise pet insurance will not do you any good.
At the United Veterinary Center, we want to make sure that your loved one receives the quality medical care they need when they need it. Your four-legged family member deserves to live a long and happy life, and pet insurance can help make that possible.