Got a New Pet? Here’s What You Need to Know About Pet Insurance

Getting a new pet can be a very exciting time. The day finally comes to pick up your new companion and the local shelter or adoption agency gives you a list of the shots they need, possible surgeries, and things to watch out for medically.

This may be around the time that you realize that with great pet companionship comes great owner responsibility, and sometimes there is a price tag involved. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, better known as the ASPCA, you can spend anywhere from $1,200 USD to $2,000 USD on your new dog or cat in the first year alone.

Annual costs of upkeep after the first year can also range from around $750 USD to $1,000 USD for a healthy animal. If these numbers seem surprising or begin to worry you, pet insurance can help to ensure you can take care of your new best friend. 

Getting insured

Although the pet insurance industry historically served only livestock and equine owners, the market has shifted so that companion animals (like dogs and cats) are becoming more of a focus. However, as demand increases for pet insurance plans, the more pet insurance companies there will be to sift through.

As more companies and plans arise, it becomes crucial to compare pet insurance policies, so visit iSelect to compare providers. Some of the basics to keep in mind include deductibles, premiums, and what the policy does not cover unless you add it on for additional cost.

When looking at policies, you have to crunch numbers to see what works for your budget. The main expenditures you have are set yearly deductibles (which is what you pay before the insurance company covers a claim) and premiums (monthly fees you pay to have the insurance). In pet insurance, it may be critical to acknowledge that if you do not get the policy when your pet is still young, your premiums may go up with the age of your animal.

There are also some policies that are not available to older animals at all. With that said, it is ideal to insure your pet at a younger age, but it’s certainly still possible to insure an older pet. You may also want to see the cost and benefit of negotiating lower premiums and higher deductibles. This is a common way to cut costs, but be aware that you run of risk of paying more vet bills if you have unexpected trips to the clinic.

What’s covered

Unlike most human medical insurance plans, the typical wellness check up for your pet is generally not included unless you purchase it as an add on. The most common kinds of plans include accident only or accident and illness coverage.

When considering a plan that includes illnesses, be sure to look at the list of pre-existing conditions and breed specific illnesses that will not be covered. This way, you can make sure that you’re getting the kind of coverage you need for you pet.   

As you may now have discovered, there is a whole set of considerations that go with adopting a new pet, and many of them include financing the health and wellbeing of that companion. In order to feel secure in making a large investment in animal care, you can choose a pet insurance policy to help cover your bases.

The insurance industry can be confusing, but the bottom line is that you must compare plans to determine which fit your needs and your budget.

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