Have you ever had to make a difficult decision about your pet's health because of the cost?
The cost of veterinary care is on the rise, and many pet owners are finding themselves struggling to afford the care their pets need. Pet health insurance can help to ease the financial burden of unexpected veterinary bills, but with so many different plans available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you and your pet.
Finding the Best Pet Health Insurance Providers & What to Look For
If you're considering pet insurance, you've probably only got one question on your mind: "What's the best pet insurance for my financial needs?" If you're in the dark about how to find the best pet insurance providers and plans, you're not alone. More pet insurance companies are out there than ever, and each offers a wide range of policies. Plus, everyone's pets (and financial situations) are different, meaning the best pet health insurance policy for each person may vary. That's where we step in. We've put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand what to look for in pet insurance plans to find one that fits your exact needs.
Understand Why You Want Pet Insurance
Finding the best health insurance for pets a different process for everyone because everyone has different reasons for getting pet insurance in the first place. So step one is to identify your goals. Here are four reasons why you might want pet insurance.
1. You want to have access to life-saving treatments at all times.
For some, the best pet health insurance policy is strictly about avoiding a potentially life-threatening situation where they might have to choose between financial security or treatment for their companion. Treatments for certain illnesses, most notably cancer, can cost individuals upwards of $8,000.
If you want to always be able to say yes to a critical treatment, you'll want to know your cut-off point. How much money is too much for you to pay out-of-pocket? That figure is what you’ll want to keep in mind when the time comes to choose your deductible and annual limit. You'll also want to know how much you can afford per month because that figure will be your budget for premiums.
2. You want to prioritize your pet's overall health over your wallet.
Some pet owners are looking for the best pet insurance providers who offer all kinds of healthcare rather than just the life-saving stuff. A comprehensive pet health insurance policy can offer full coverage for various treatments, from extensive surgeries to vet-recommended behavioral treatments. This will come at a price, though. Typically, it's in the form of higher monthly premiums.
Consider the types of concerns and treatments most likely to come up for your pet and how much you'd be willing to pay to cover them. Know your priorities and have a good idea of your budget when comparing pet insurance companies.
3. You want to avoid sudden financial shocks.
Choosing the best pet health insurance plan is ultimately about how you want to manage your budget and protect your pet's health. Maybe you're confident you can cover most emergencies, but you'd be in a bind if a sudden emergency vet bill drained your savings. If this sounds like you, you might want to prioritize a reasonably comprehensive plan with smaller monthly premiums, a small deductible, and a wellness add-on to help regulate your routine expenses.
4. You just need help with your vet bills.
Pet insurance can help to offset the cost of unexpected veterinary bills, but it is not a guarantee that you will save money on your pet's healthcare overall. However, there are more limited accident-only plans available that can help to cover the cost of unexpected accidents and injuries, without high monthly premiums.
Wellness plans are a great way to budget for your pet's routine veterinary care. They typically reimburse you for the cost of annual checkups, vaccinations, and flea and tick prevention, as well as other preventive services such as dental cleanings and spay/neuter surgery. Wellness plans can help you to spread out the cost of these services over time, making them more affordable and easier to manage.
Learn About Breed-Specific Health Risks
Cats and dogs come with different health risks, as do different breeds. That's one reason why the best pet health insurance will vary so much from pet to pet. Having a good grasp on your breed's specific health risks can give you a serious leg up in knowing what to look for in pet insurance policies, as it will help you target providers with more favorable plans for issues you're more likely to run into.
For example, some large-breed dogs like German Shepherds and Huskies are more vulnerable to hip dysplasia. However, many pet insurance providers have substantial waiting periods for hip issues – you might not be able to see coverage for vet visits for six to 18 months, depending on the plan.
Even worse, if your pet develops symptoms of hip dysplasia while this waiting period is in effect, it will be treated as a pre-existing condition and might never be covered. Knowing that you have a higher-than-usual chance of needing coverage for breed-specific conditions might lead you to prioritize finding a provider sooner rather than later when comparing pet insurance companies.
There are a lot of hereditary conditions linked to breeds that you might want to be aware of when browsing pet insurance providers. Make sure you do your research.
Other common breed-specific conditions include:
Glaucoma & Cherry Eye
Intervertebral Disc Disease
Compare Quotes & Find Your Plan After you've established what the best pet health insurance looks like for you, start comparing pet insurance providers and their quotes to find out what you might pay. Premiums can vary from provider to provider based on several factors, including your location and your pet's age and breed. Some companies will be a better deal for you than others.
You'll also want to consider how to customize your plan to suit your needs and finances. Typically, the best pet insurance providers will offer you a choice between deductible costs, annual limits and reimbursement rates.
Frequently Asked Questions: The Best Pet Health Insurance
If you still have questions or need more information on how to find the best pet health insurance, check out the answers to our most frequently asked questions below.
Can I choose my own veterinarian with pet insurance?
Generally, the best pet insurance policies allow you to visit any licensed veterinarian. However, some plans might have a network of preferred providers offering higher reimbursement rates.
Can I get coverage for preventive care like vaccinations and dental cleanings?
Some pet insurance providers offer optional coverage for routine preventive care, including vaccinations, dental cleanings and wellness exams. These add-ons might increase your premium or be separate from your premium but can help manage ongoing healthcare costs.
When should I get pet health insurance for my pet?
Ideally, you should get pet health insurance when your pet is young and healthy, as this helps avoid pre-existing condition exclusions. However, you can enroll pets of any age. Just note that older pets might have limitations on coverage for specific conditions.
Find the Best Pet Health Insurance at Embrace
As a pet parent, you know that your furry friend is more than just an animal - they're a member of your family. And just like any family member, you want to make sure that they have access to the best possible care when they need it.
That's where Embrace pet insurance comes in. Embrace offers a variety of pet insurance plans that can help you cover the cost of unexpected veterinary bills, so you can focus on what's most important - your pet's health and well-being.
Embrace Pet Insurance stands as the proven leader in the field, earning the prestigious title of #1 Pet Insurance Provider by Forbes in 2022. With an exceptional track record of 92% of claims paid out in 2021, Embrace offers you the assurance you need. Make the choice that reflects your commitment to your furry friend's well-being. Get a quote and find the best health insurance for your pet today.