In our lives, we have insurance for nearly everything - our cars, our houses, our phones, and our health. But it turns out, there's another type of insurance you might not have thought about - insurance for your pet.
Though there are many pet owners throughout the country, only 1% of pet owners actually have their pets under a health insurance program. Since pet health insurance is not very popular or talked about often, we're here with some tips to help you decide if pet health insurance is right for you.
First, it's important to take into account the average cost of your dog's healthcare. For the regular pup (who doesn't have medical issues), Petfinder lists the first year's healthcare to be $100 - $350 the first year and $80 - $250 for each year following. This only takes into account vaccinations and annual visits, not emergency visits, which can be upwards of $2000.
So, how does this compare to the average cost of health insurance for your dog? Well, it depends. Just like our health insurance, pet health insurance can vary depending on the levels of coverage desired. And just like our insurance, most dog insurance plans have a deductible (a.k.a. the amount of money you must pay out of pocket before your insurance covers costs.
The way pet insurance differs from our insurance is that it is focused on reimbursement instead of copays/delayed bills. Instead of paying just a copay at a pet visit, you would pay the full cost upfront and then receive a reimbursement for services, depending on what they are. Since insurance plans vary, there's no set percentage on how much refund you might get, but generally you'll be reimbursed for anywhere between 20% and 100% of your costs.
So, is it right for you? If you have an average, healthy dog, health insurance for them might not make sense. Here's why: you can predict their annual costs, and they typically remain low. While emergencies can happen, they're less likely if your pet is healthy. However, insurance might be right for you if your pet has extra health needs or a chronic illness. Since these costs can be higher, it might be worth it to pay a premium on the health insurance, as you might be getting more money back.
If you're interested in health insurance for your pup, you can look into it online or ask your vet. You'll need to know your pet's name, breed, age, pre-existing conditions, and your vet's contact info.