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A Guide to Pet Insurance

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by Michael Harbron on May 15, 2018

Our pets are a big part of our lives, and visits to the vet when they become injured or ill can be financially trying. Just as medical insurance is available for ourselves, pet insurance is available for them! It’s vital that we’re able to provide the best health care for our furry family members; following is a beginner’s guide to pet insurance:

What is Pet Insurance?

Should your beloved pet have an accident or incident resulting in illness or injury that requires veterinary care, pet insurance policies would help cover the cost of that care. Some policies will also pay a type of life insurance benefit if a pet is lost, stolen, or dies. There are also policies available that will pay in cases of an insured pet causing injury or damage to a third party’s property or person, as well. Looking for dental coverage or overseas coverage? There are policies available out there for these situations, too.

This type of coverage isn’t only available for dogs and cats; in fact, many companies will provide coverage for a vast array of animals for reasonable premiums. For example, one leading company is a preferred provider for pets other than cats and dogs; they have policies available that will cover small and large mammals like ferrets, chinchillas, and rabbits, birds, and reptiles like lizards, snakes, turtles, and more.

Types of Pet Insurance Policies

Always be sure to read your terms and conditions, and be aware that different companies focus on different areas. For the most part, however, coverage is going to fall into one of four categories of care:

  • Lifetime Policy: Also called a “covered for life” policy, this provides a set amount of coverage for veterinary fees that renew each year. The policy covers the pet for its lifetime and provides the most peace of mind for owners.
  • Time-Limited Policy: Coverage is provided up to a maximum amount of money that is predetermined before the policy is accepted by the pet owner. Usually when a claim is made for a certain condition, a 12-month limit will be put into place for that condition, after which no further payouts will be given.
  • Maximum Benefit Policy: This type of coverage remains in effect up until a maximum amount of funds have been paid out; there is no time limit placed on how long a pet owner can claim for. Once the cost of any treatment has reached this amount that is specified by the policy, all remaining costs afterward is the responsibility of the pet owner.
  • Accident-Only Policy: This option is usually the one that is the least expensive, but also covers the fewest circumstances. It only covers accidents, but some policies will also cover emergency illnesses or those that are a result of an accident.

Do I Really Need Pet Insurance Coverage?

Treatments that were once only available for people are now available for our pets, and veterinary practices also have access to more advanced equipment than they did in the past. Inevitably, it is these advancements that must come at a steeper price than in the past, as well. It can leave pet owners to make a difficult choice, which is why so many people opt to cover their pets. This not only provides peace of mind, but also allows pet owners to explore more available treatment options without so much regard to the cost of them. 

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