Mom has believed in pet health insurance ever since she had Hank, her Yorkshire Terrier, from 1987 - 2003. Pet insurance was not really a thing back then, so Hank wasn’t insured initially. Later when a couple of pet insurance carriers launched, Hank was past the age limit for insurance – which was 5 years at the time.
While Hank was basically a healthy dog, he dislocated both his hips (separate incidences) and needed surgery, had skin allergies, was chased by another dog who scratched his corneas, etc. Over the course of his 16 years, mom says the vet bills totaled at least $25,000.
The Importance of Pet Insurance
When she adopted me in January 2015, pet insurance was one of the “must-haves” in addition to microchipping, when it came to being fiscally savvy about future vet bills and how to effectively manage the costs involved with being responsible for the health and welfare of an animal.
The good news is that the pet insurance industry has exploded over the last decade, and now there are many carriers and various premiums based on deductibles, percentage of reimbursements, etc. As a result, you have many more choices and levels of coverage based what you can afford.
When to Get Pet Insurance
During my initial health checkup after adoption, our vet handed mom a pamphlet on one pet insurance company with the recommendation to strongly consider getting insurance.
#1 most important point to remember – as soon as your pet has a clean bill of health – apply for the insurance policy!
Why? Because if your pet’s health records show that there are any health conditions on that initial visit, they will not cover any “pre-existing” conditions going forward.
First, clear any issues so that your pet has a clean bill of health before you apply for the policy. You have to apply within 30 days of that vet visit (check with each carrier) so act fast.
How to Choose Pet Insurance
Do your research!
Mom invested several hours on the internet researching who the “best pet insurance” providers were – very subjective of course – read the reviews both 5 star and 1 star…reviewed everything about their coverage, costs etc.
Most if not all, do not reimburse for the regular check-ups so you will be paying for that cost.
Also they will not cover the costs of pet supplements unless they are approved by the FDA for pets. Right now, the only supplement recognized by the FDA is probiotics.
Narrowing down her search to 3 carriers, she called each one with a list of questions, and based on all that research selected one company to use.
And we used them until Beau arrived in October 2016 and we asked if they had a “family plan” for multiple pet households – and they said no!
Why “Family Plans” Are Important
Ask every carrier you are considering if they have a family plan even if you only have one pet now – because you never know when the next pet will walk into your life.
In the end, we switched to another pet insurance company who had family plans, as well as an ANNUAL deductible rather than a “per incident” deductible – try to avoid those!
Our Pet Insurance
We are very happy to report that we love being members of the Healthy Paws Pet Insurance family today. Every interaction with the team has been easy and follow-up and reimbursements happen quickly.
We are mentioning only their name because we are happy to highlight them as satisfied customers and state that their plans really suited our pet family’s needs.
There are several very good providers in the pet insurance industry but we have not personally used all of them, so we would never try to rate one insurance company over another.
No matter which insurance company you go with, mom feels that pet insurance is a MUST…she says the cost per month to cover both Beau and me is similar to that of a nice dinner out for ONE person – can you imagine that!
Skip one dinner out and you can cover 2 pets that month! Now that’s a deal!
As always, please remember that any recommendation of a company or brand is strictly our opinions through research and personal experience. At no time are we ever compensated for these recommendations.