Does pet health

insurance really matter?

Does pet health

insurance really matter


Leaving pets uninsured means you’ll be on the hook for every single medical cost in the future.

We come across this question a fair bit.

 

We come across this question a fair bit.

The answer isn’t quite so straightforward as ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but we’d lean strongly towards ‘yes’ in most cases.

You might be thinking that of course we’d say that – we sell one of the best pet insurance program, after all. But in all honesty, we want to know that everyone’s able to take care of their pet without plunging into debt or being put in a situation where they need to make an awful decision.

To help you answer the question yourself, it’s useful to know the cost of visiting the vet. To start with, a quick ‘hi and bye’ check-up can cost between $50 and $400, depending on where you live, and the cost of things like heartworm and flea prevention might cost you another $20 a month.

Doesn’t sound too bad? Well, we’re only talking about the expected costs of everyday care here. It’s when something comes out of the blue that things can rapidly get out of control.

 

When things start to spiral

Take a deep breath. Getting pets treated by vets cost Americans nearly $19 billion in 2019. And a big slice of that is down to the millions of humans who needed to take their pet for emergency care during the year.
Obviously, the exact cost per trip depends on what’s happened. For a pet who got themselves into a small scrape (we’ve all been there), treatment could cost as little as a few hundred dollars. But when things get more serious, their human could end up paying more than $8,000  for a vet’s care – and then might also have to cover the costs of ongoing prescription meds and other treatments to help their pet get better.
Take a quick search around the internet for yourself, and you’ll quickly come across bill horror stories from other humans. Just as one example, when this cat got caught out  by an automatic garage door, he was lucky to get away with minor injuries.
But that didn’t stop him spending 48 hours at the vet, or stop the vet asking his human for $968.29 for the care he’d received.
And that’s just one case of many. 41% of humans with pets are (quite rightly) worried about footing a vet’s bill in an emergency, because they can be a big deal. If you’re unprepared – it’ll come as a shock.
Now, we don’t begrudge vets making a living – these humans have dedicated their own lives to making sure pets have the very best lives.
But the question you need to ask yourself is: Do you have a spare $10,000 in your bank account, just in case? If not, that’s where pet health insurance starts to look pretty useful.
 

Medical insurance for every member of the family

Pets are just as much a part of your family as everyone else. And, like everyone else, leaving them uninsured means you’d be on the hook for every single medical cost in the future.
Sadly, for some humans who go without pet insurance, the only way humane way forward after a serious accident is to put their pet to sleep – simply because they can’t afford to pay for their pet’s treatment. We don’t ever want that to happen.
With the best pet insurance, you’re far less likely to be put into a situation like that. As long as your claim’s covered, you’ll get the money back in your pocket before you know it. Then you can focus on being there for your pet as they get back on their paws.
Want to go a little deeper? Let’s look at how claims work in a bit more detail – just like human medical insurance, there are a couple of other things to think about when it comes to how much is being paid.
 

How much does pet insurance pay out?

To understand the real value of having this type of pet insurance, you need to know how much you’ll actually get if you make a claim. But there are a few things to work through first. It’s not just a case of grabbing the first pet insurance plan you see.
You need to know you’ve got the right coverage, sure. But you also need to know how to set things up in a way that works for you and your pet. That means thinking about a limit, co-pay and deductible amount.
The best pet insurance companies in the USA will let you tweak these to suit yourself. If you find a pet insurance program who’s fixed these, or there’s a very limited choice, think carefully about why they might’ve done that. Is it to benefit you – or them?
Plan limits
First up, most pet insurance plans will cover a certain amount of vet care per year. This is your plan’s ‘limit’. (We offer annual limits of $4,000, $8,000, and $15,000.)
You can also look into taking out an unlimited plan. It’s true that you’ll pay more per month for this type of plan, but you’ll never need to worry about whether or not you can claim the lot if your pet gets in a spot of trouble.
Find out how much each option would cost you with us by getting a quick quote right now.
 
Co-pay and deductible
Your co-pay is an amount you pay towards the cost of any claim you make (worked out as a percentage of the total claim). Your deductible works in a similar way. It’s either a contribution to the claims you make across the year or a payment per claim. Our plans have annual deductibles, but some other providers do things differently.
 
How about an example?
Let’s say you have a co-pay of 10% and an annual deductible of $250. You make a claim for $5,000, so we take $250 off that amount, then another $475 (10% of $4,750).
In total, you get paid back $4,750. And you’d have cleared your annual deductible too.
If you then made another claim for $5,000 later in the same plan year, we’d only keep the 10% co-pay and you’d get $4,500.
 
So I always have to pay something towards claims?
We know it might seem a little odd at first that you’re expected to put something towards the cost of claims. Isn’t that the point of pet insurance?
Yep, it is. But by sharing the cost just a little, we’re able to keep your monthly payments lower, so you won’t get saddled with extra day-to-day costs. And letting people tweak their plans like this means we can offer options for different budgets.
It’s the same way your home or auto insurance works. If something happens, you pay a little, your pet insurance often pays more than you. Then (fingers crossed) things start to get back to normal. 
 

When does pet insurance pay out?

You’ll need to make your claim after you’ve been to the vet. Then your payment comes through a little later on. We pay most claims within 10 days. And we do our best to work even faster than this, so that you’re not left in the lurch.
But we realize there are times when you won’t have enough cash sitting around to cover the upfront costs.
One solution is to use a credit card and clear it as soon as we pay your claim to dodge your card provider charging you much (if any) interest.
 

Why don’t I just save up instead?

You can put your money away for a rainy day instead of taking out a pet insurance plan, but it’s much riskier.
If you put away $100 each month, you’ll have $1,200 at the end of the first year. But that might be around the time your cat or dog gets the idea into their heads that actually, your secret chocolate stash is meant for them, not you.
$1,200 might be enough to cover the vet bill. But it might not be if you live in an expensive place. And if it’s something even more serious than a greedy pet – for example, they’ve been in an accident or they’re really sick – $1,200 almost definitely won’t be enough to cover the costs.
And, of course, if they get injured in the first month, you’ll only have $100 to put towards treatment.
 
What’s coming next around the corner?
As much as we all wish we could see the future, none of us can. That’s the whole point of pet insurance – it helps you deal with the things you don’t see coming, and don’t have time to prepare for.
Plus, if you’re looking at other big costs when the accident happens (let’s say you’ve just renovated your home) you might come up a little short. Not a good place to be in when your cat’s come down with a severe cough.
Look at it this way. Do you have a big stack of money ready just in case you need to pay a medical bill for yourself or your family, or do you have medical insurance? The same logic works for your pet’s health, too.
 
What about using a credit card?
Paying for emergency care on a credit card (or taking out a loan) might seem like a good idea to start with, but once the interest kicks in, you could end up paying far more.
Interest will clock up all the while, so expensive treatment can become a real drain on your wallet over time.
 

I’ve heard other humans say pet insurance isn’t worth it!

If you have one of those big stacks of money we mentioned earlier, then fair enough.
But we think this idea is mostly down to the pet insurance providers who have big lists of conditions that aren’t covered. Which means that something that looks great to start with, quickly gets watered down by the small print. 
We don’t cover a couple of things ourselves, but we don’t have a list as long as our tails. And we’re totally upfront about it.
The main things we can’t cover are conditions your pet had before your plan started, and issues with to do with hip dysplasia and cruciate ligaments (during a plan’s first year).
It’s perhaps fairer to say that certain plans, designed to keep coverage to a minimum (like accident-only plans) are the ones which aren’t always worth it. They might be cheap, but they’re not always there for you when you really need to make a claim.
 

What’s the bottom line?

You want your pet to live a long and healthy life. We want exactly the same thing.
We’re on your side, but most of all, we’re on the side of any cat and dog who’s fallen foul of gravity, run headfirst into a parked car, or has gone off their food (because they’ve been chewing who knows what).
Every pet matters (a lot) to us, and the more we can help, the happier we are.
So don’t get caught out by the unexpected – compare our pet health insurance to the rest, and get a quote today.

 

You might be interested in

Best dog insurance and cat insurance plan

How much does it cost?

Fair question. We've summed up what you need to know about budgeting for pet insurance.

Best dog insurance and cat insurance plan

Cheaper isn't always better

Getting the cheapest pet insurance sounds great on the surface, but we're here to sniff out the potential pitfalls. 

Best dog insurance and cat insurance plan

Why pet insurance?

Of course we'd say that pet insurance matters. But it's your pet we've got most in mind when we mention it.

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We come across this question a fair bit.

 

We come across this question a fair bit.

The answer isn’t quite so straightforward as ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but we’d lean strongly towards ‘yes’ in most cases.

You might be thinking that of course we’d say that – we sell one of the best pet insurance program, after all. But in all honesty, we want to know that everyone’s able to take care of their pet without plunging into debt or being put in a situation where they need to make an awful decision.

To help you answer the question yourself, it’s useful to know the cost of visiting the vet. To start with, a quick ‘hi and bye’ check-up can cost between $50 and $400, depending on where you live, and the cost of things like heartworm and flea prevention might cost you another $20 a month.

Doesn’t sound too bad? Well, we’re only talking about the expected costs of everyday care here. It’s when something comes out of the blue that things can rapidly get out of control.


Leaving pets uninsured means you’ll be on the hook for every single medical cost in the future.

 

When things start to spiral

Take a deep breath. Getting pets treated by vets cost Americans nearly $19 billion in 2019. And a big slice of that is down to the millions of humans who needed to take their pet for emergency care during the year.
Obviously, the exact cost per trip depends on what’s happened. For a pet who got themselves into a small scrape (we’ve all been there), treatment could cost as little as a few hundred dollars. But when things get more serious, their human could end up paying more than $8,000  for a vet’s care – and then might also have to cover the costs of ongoing prescription meds and other treatments to help their pet get better.
Take a quick search around the internet for yourself, and you’ll quickly come across bill horror stories from other humans. Just as one example, when this cat got caught out  by an automatic garage door, he was lucky to get away with minor injuries.
But that didn’t stop him spending 48 hours at the vet, or stop the vet asking his human for $968.29 for the care he’d received.
And that’s just one case of many. 41% of humans with pets are (quite rightly) worried about footing a vet’s bill in an emergency, because they can be a big deal. If you’re unprepared – it’ll come as a shock.
Now, we don’t begrudge vets making a living – these humans have dedicated their own lives to making sure pets have the very best lives.
But the question you need to ask yourself is: Do you have a spare $10,000 in your bank account, just in case? If not, that’s where pet health insurance starts to look pretty useful.
 

Medical insurance for every member of the family

Pets are just as much a part of your family as everyone else. And, like everyone else, leaving them uninsured means you’d be on the hook for every single medical cost in the future.
Sadly, for some humans who go without pet insurance, the only way humane way forward after a serious accident is to put their pet to sleep – simply because they can’t afford to pay for their pet’s treatment. We don’t ever want that to happen.
With the best pet insurance, you’re far less likely to be put into a situation like that. As long as your claim’s covered, you’ll get the money back in your pocket before you know it. Then you can focus on being there for your pet as they get back on their paws.
Want to go a little deeper? Let’s look at how claims work in a bit more detail – just like human medical insurance, there are a couple of other things to think about when it comes to how much is being paid.
 

How much does pet insurance pay out?

To understand the real value of having this type of pet insurance, you need to know how much you’ll actually get if you make a claim. But there are a few things to work through first. It’s not just a case of grabbing the first pet insurance plan you see.
You need to know you’ve got the right coverage, sure. But you also need to know how to set things up in a way that works for you and your pet. That means thinking about a limit, co-pay and deductible amount.
The best pet insurance companies in the USA will let you tweak these to suit yourself. If you find a pet insurance program who’s fixed these, or there’s a very limited choice, think carefully about why they might’ve done that. Is it to benefit you – or them?
Plan limits
First up, most pet insurance plans will cover a certain amount of vet care per year. This is your plan’s ‘limit’. (We offer annual limits of $4,000, $8,000, and $15,000.)
You can also look into taking out an unlimited plan. It’s true that you’ll pay more per month for this type of plan, but you’ll never need to worry about whether or not you can claim the lot if your pet gets in a spot of trouble.
Find out how much each option would cost you with us by getting a quick quote right now.
 
Co-pay and deductible
Your co-pay is an amount you pay towards the cost of any claim you make (worked out as a percentage of the total claim). Your deductible works in a similar way. It’s either a contribution to the claims you make across the year or a payment per claim. Our plans have annual deductibles, but some other providers do things differently.
 
How about an example?
Let’s say you have a co-pay of 10% and an annual deductible of $250. You make a claim for $5,000, so we take $250 off that amount, then another $475 (10% of $4,750).
In total, you get paid back $4,750. And you’d have cleared your annual deductible too.
If you then made another claim for $5,000 later in the same plan year, we’d only keep the 10% co-pay and you’d get $4,500.
 
So I always have to pay something towards claims?
We know it might seem a little odd at first that you’re expected to put something towards the cost of claims. Isn’t that the point of pet insurance?
Yep, it is. But by sharing the cost just a little, we’re able to keep your monthly payments lower, so you won’t get saddled with extra day-to-day costs. And letting people tweak their plans like this means we can offer options for different budgets.
It’s the same way your home or auto insurance works. If something happens, you pay a little, your pet insurance often pays more than you. Then (fingers crossed) things start to get back to normal. 
 

When does pet insurance pay out?

You’ll need to make your claim after you’ve been to the vet. Then your payment comes through a little later on. We pay most claims within 10 days. And we do our best to work even faster than this, so that you’re not left in the lurch.
But we realize there are times when you won’t have enough cash sitting around to cover the upfront costs.
One solution is to use a credit card and clear it as soon as we pay your claim to dodge your card provider charging you much (if any) interest.
 

Why don’t I just save up instead?

You can put your money away for a rainy day instead of taking out a pet insurance plan, but it’s much riskier.
If you put away $100 each month, you’ll have $1,200 at the end of the first year. But that might be around the time your cat or dog gets the idea into their heads that actually, your secret chocolate stash is meant for them, not you.
$1,200 might be enough to cover the vet bill. But it might not be if you live in an expensive place. And if it’s something even more serious than a greedy pet – for example, they’ve been in an accident or they’re really sick – $1,200 almost definitely won’t be enough to cover the costs.
And, of course, if they get injured in the first month, you’ll only have $100 to put towards treatment.
 
What’s coming next around the corner?
As much as we all wish we could see the future, none of us can. That’s the whole point of pet insurance – it helps you deal with the things you don’t see coming, and don’t have time to prepare for.
Plus, if you’re looking at other big costs when the accident happens (let’s say you’ve just renovated your home) you might come up a little short. Not a good place to be in when your cat’s come down with a severe cough.
Look at it this way. Do you have a big stack of money ready just in case you need to pay a medical bill for yourself or your family, or do you have medical insurance? The same logic works for your pet’s health, too.
 
What about using a credit card?
Paying for emergency care on a credit card (or taking out a loan) might seem like a good idea to start with, but once the interest kicks in, you could end up paying far more.
Interest will clock up all the while, so expensive treatment can become a real drain on your wallet over time.
 

I’ve heard other humans say pet insurance isn’t worth it!

If you have one of those big stacks of money we mentioned earlier, then fair enough.
But we think this idea is mostly down to the pet insurance providers who have big lists of conditions that aren’t covered. Which means that something that looks great to start with, quickly gets watered down by the small print. 
We don’t cover a couple of things ourselves, but we don’t have a list as long as our tails. And we’re totally upfront about it.
The main things we can’t cover are conditions your pet had before your plan started, and issues with to do with hip dysplasia and cruciate ligaments (during a plan’s first year).
It’s perhaps fairer to say that certain plans, designed to keep coverage to a minimum (like accident-only plans) are the ones which aren’t always worth it. They might be cheap, but they’re not always there for you when you really need to make a claim.
 

What’s the bottom line?

You want your pet to live a long and healthy life. We want exactly the same thing.
We’re on your side, but most of all, we’re on the side of any cat and dog who’s fallen foul of gravity, run headfirst into a parked car, or has gone off their food (because they’ve been chewing who knows what).
Every pet matters (a lot) to us, and the more we can help, the happier we are.
So don’t get caught out by the unexpected – compare our pet health insurance to the rest, and get a quote today.

 

You might be interested in

Best dog insurance and cat insurance plan

How much does it cost?

Fair question. We've summed up what you need to know about budgeting for pet insurance.

Best dog insurance and cat insurance plan

Cheaper isn't always better

Getting the cheapest pet insurance sounds great on the surface, but we're here to sniff out the potential pitfalls. 

Best dog insurance and cat insurance plan

Why pet insurance?

Of course we'd say that pet insurance matters. But it's your pet we've got most in mind when we mention it.