Is it worth it? Here\’s what you need to know before you buy coverage

MoMo Productions | Digital Vision | Getty Images

An animal companion has a way of enriching your life, but if they\’re injured or sick, you\’ll need to cover the financial fallout from their medical care. If you don\’t have hundreds of dollars on hand, this could strain your budget.

This is where pet insurance comes into play. This type of coverage can help you pay for treatment for injuries and illnesses your pet faces. However, pet insurance doesn\’t cover every situation, so here\’s what you need to know to decide if getting policy is the right move for you (and your pet).

Pet insurance is an insurance contract where you pay a fixed amount called a premium (usually you pay it monthly or annually). When your pet frequently incurs eligible expenses at a licensed veterinarian\’s office, your insurance company reimburses you for part of the cost (some pet insurance companies offer the option to pay the veterinarian directly, but this is not that common). .

When you purchase your policy, you and the insurance company agree on how much you will be reimbursed for your pet\’s care. There are three moving parts to a pet insurance policy that affect the price and amount you\’ll be reimbursed: the deductible, the annual limit, and the reimbursement rate.

Here\’s how each of these factors affects how much you\’ll be reimbursed or paid:

  • The franchise. This is the amount you will pay out of pocket before your insurance takes effect. Your deductible usually resets every year, although some policies have per-accident deductibles to be met every time your pet visits the vet. Be sure to read your policy to figure out if your deductible is per accident or per year.
  • Refund amount. The amount you choose to be reimbursed after you meet your deductible, often 70%, 80% or 90% of the cost.
  • Annual coverage limit. The maximum amount repayable in any 12-month period. Some insurance companies and policies offer unlimited annual coverage limits.

If you\’re shopping for pet insurance, different companies differ based on price, service, and coverage. Our top picks for pet insurance companies include our top pick overall, Spot, and Embrace, our second pick.

Pet insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate costs is to request a quote

  • Policy Highlights

    Spot Pet Insurance offers accident and illness and accident-only coverage for dogs and cats. It has a variety of repayment rate choices, annual limits (including an unlimited policy), and deductibles to fit your coverage based on your needs and budget. The option to cover preventative care procedures and exams (including a dental cleaning and wellness exam) is available at an additional cost.

  • App available

  • Outstanding features

    There is no age limit for new Spot memberships, and plans include microchip coverage. Spot also offers access to a 24/7 veterinary helpline to answer questions about wellness and health issues.

  • Accident and illness plans are available, with wellness options available
  • Access to a 24/7 veterinary helpline included in your coverage
  • 10% discount for additional pets

  • Pets must be eight weeks old to sign up
  • A 14-day waiting period applies for coverage

View more

View less

Embrace pet insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate costs is to request a quote

  • Policy Highlights

    A variety of annual caps, repayment choices, and deductibles allow you to tailor coverage to your needs and budget. A two-day waiting period for accident policies can also help get your pet covered sooner, although illnesses have a 14-day waiting period.

  • App available

  • Outstanding features

    Embrace offers the option of unlimited annual coverage limits. It also offers coverage for non-invasive treatments, such as chiropractic care, hydrotherapy and acupuncture.

  • Unlimited annual coverage is available
  • Waiting times shorter than two days for accident cover
  • Available in all 50 states and Washington DC

  • Accident and illness coverage is limited to pets under the age of 15
  • No options for wellness insurance coverage

View more

View less

The average cat owner spent about $32 a month on accident and illness coverage in 2022, while the average dog owner spent about $53 a month on the same coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

However, pet insurance costs vary based on the type of pet you\’re insuring, the breed, age of your pet, the type of coverage you\’re getting, the limits you choose, and your location. It\’s worth noting that older pets tend to cost more to have insurance, and pet insurance premiums can go up as your pet gets older.

While there are a number of situations where it makes sense to have pet insurance, here are two of the most common scenarios where you should seriously consider purchasing a policy:

You don\’t have a very large emergency fund

If your emergency fund is limited and you\’re worried about affording a potentially large vet bill, getting pet insurance might make sense. Pet insurance coverage could help you pay for the long-term expense if your pet is in need of immediate and costly veterinary care.

While experts recommend keeping three to six months\’ worth of expenses on hand for unexpected situations like a pet injury or illness, this isn\’t always possible. Pet insurance could help fill this gap as you work towards building an emergency or savings fund.

Your pet is relatively young and healthy

Similar to life insurance, pet insurance tends to be the cheapest to purchase when the covered party is young and healthy. This is also when you can get an insurance policy with the most benefits, as your pet may not yet have developed any chronic illnesses that could be ruled out as pre-existing conditions.

Pets can often be signed up for pet insurance as young as seven or eight weeks old, but some pet insurance companies have higher age limits.

Before signing your pet up for a new insurance policy, it\’s worth making note of the things your policy won\’t cover. Because every pet insurance policy is a little different, reading the fine print can help you get a better picture of your coverage.

What your specific policy excludes will be listed in the policy documents and the exclusions can vary by company. Some of the common situations not covered by most policies include:

Pre-existing conditions

Pet insurance almost never covers conditions your pet already had before you signed up for coverage. For example, if your pet had a chronic illness such as diabetes prior to enrollment, expenses related to that condition may not be covered by your pet insurance policy.

Wellness visits and routine expenses

A standard accident or injury and illness policy generally excludes routine costs such as annual vet visits, vaccinations, or other expenses.

While there are policies that cover things like routine vet visits and vaccinations, they\’re generally an extra cost. Many of our top pet insurance policies offer wellness coverage. However, wellness plans add to costs, and it may make more sense to pay for these expenses without the help of insurance.

Sign up for the CNBC Select newsletter!

Money is important, so make the most of it. Get expert advice, strategies, news and everything you need to maximize your money, straight to your inbox. Register here.

Whether pet insurance is the right move for your pet and your wallet is a highly individual choice. However, knowing what a pet insurance policy would exclude and having a good understanding of your financial situation can help you make an informed decision.

Catch up with CNBC Select\’s in-depth coveragecredit cards,bankingANDmoneyand follow us onTick ​​tock,Facebook,InstagramANDChirpingto stay updated

Editorial note: The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff only and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

#worth #Heres #buy #coverage

Leave a Comment