If you own a pet; unfortunately, the time will come when you need to visit your veterinarian to address an illness or injury. With recent reports showing that 69.5 percent of households in the United States, there are many people who are concerned about their pets and their ability to provide proper care for them in the case of a serious health condition or emergency. Canine Chronicle reports that pet owners typically buy pet insurance to gain the ability to make good decisions regarding the well-being and health of their pets without cost being a major factor. Sadly, many pet owners are caught unprepared when emergency strikes and are left faced with hard decisions when they are unable to afford the procedure their pet needs. 91 percent of all pet owning families view their pets as valued family with 81 percent of them feeling their pets have equal status to the human family members. Yet only 10 percent of dog owners and 5 percent of cat owners have opted to purchase health insurance to protect their beloved pets. Is pet insurance worth considering? If so, who are the top pet insurance companies in the United States today?
To Buy Pet Health Insurance or Not to Buy It
Trying to determine whether or not to buy health insurance for your pet is a challenging decision. The important thing is to be financially prepared in case of emergency. Most veterinary clinics do not offer credit for pet emergencies, meaning you will need to pay for treatment out of pocket. If you are unable to afford this, the options you are left with are incredibly painful, ranging from surrendering your dog to the clinic to be placed in rescue or even having to euthanize your beloved pet. No pet owner can afford to be found wanting when it comes to the resources to properly care for their pets.
Some families prefer to set aside money from each paycheque as an emergency fund for their pets. Others obtain a credit card which is kept exclusively for emergency veterinary care. While both of these are excellent options, they do mean that the money you put out for pet medical care is gone once it’s paid out. It is in this area that health insurance truly shines. Yes, you will need to pay a deductible as well as a premium each month; however, those up-front fees pay for themselves time and again when you are able to make a claim and receive between 70-90 percent of what you paid out back. Some pet insurance providers also provide clinics with direct billing options, meaning all you pay up front is your portion of the bill which could amount to 20 percent or less.
Still you must bear in mind that each pet insurance company has its own policies regarding deductibles, monthly premiums, what they cover and how they will pay it out. That is why it is so important for you to do your research to select a company that offers you the best protection for the best price.
It is interesting to note the following statistics compiled by Canine Chronicle in reference to pet health insurance:
- Of those who purchase pet insurance, 50 percent file a claim for veterinary care each year.
- Many pets suffer with chronic health issues. 35 percent of all claims received by pet insurance companies are for ongoing medical conditions.
- Pet insurance is on the rise. In Canada and the US alone, over 2 million pets are now protected by health insurance, amounting to 17 percent increase over a period of one year.
Who are Top Insurance Companies for Pets Today?
Trupanion has long been the gold standard for people looking for pet insurance for their pets. Trupanion has a long-standing reputation in the industry for providing excellent coverage for the pets under the umbrella of their care.
Trupanion allows you to select your own deductible with your monthly premium reflecting which deductible you selected. Lower deductibles equate to higher monthly fees and higher deductibles to lower ones. Trupanion covers up to 90 percent of all expenses; however, it is important to note that Trupanion does not provide coverage for wellness exams, regular veterinary care, or taxes. In addition to this, the Trupanion deductible is applied per accident and condition, so while Trupanion offers excellent insurance coverage, you will be paying deductibles for a long time unless your pet has the misfortune of having a recurring condition or illness. Once you have reached your deductible amount for a specific illness or condition, your pet will be fully covered at a reimbursement rate of 90 percent for life. Trupanion is one of the few companies that has what no cap. This means that whatever care your dog or cat needs, it is covered for life once that one-time deductible has been met.
As with most pet insurance companies, Trupanion does factor into your monthly payments your pet’s age and current health conditions, and any pre-existing problems are not eligible for coverage.
Healthy Paws offers comprehensive pet insurance which covers illnesses, injuries, and emergency health care including cancer, hereditary illness, emergency care, diagnostic testing, bloodwork, and much, much more. One of Healthy Paws’ most popular plans is the Unlimited Lifetime program. It works in a similar fashion to Trupanion by offering full benefits once the deductible per accident, illness, or condition has been met. Also similar to Trupanion, Healthy Paws has no cap on payouts.
Direct billing is not an option with Healthy Paws; however, this tech savvy company has made it easy for you to submit a claim online by using their app. Reimbursements are dispersed within 3-10 business days.
There are some exemptions with Healthy Paws as well which include pre-existing conditions, dental care, elective procedures such as spaying and neutering, and parasite control products.
Nationwide has earned the distinction of being one of the largest insurance providers in the United States today. Pet insurance is a large part of their business, and to date, they are most popular pet insurance company in the country. Nationwide offers plans for dogs, cats, and even exotic pets; one of few providers to include this option. Nationwide’s plans include coverage for accidents, illnesses, exam and lab fees, prescriptions, x-rays, and even veterinary stays.
Nationwide offers low monthly premiums and reimburses up to 90 percent of all costs for veterinary care once a deductible has been met. It is unknown if Nationwide’s policy is similar to Trupanion and Family Paws or if there is a deductible which covers any and all conditions paid out on a yearly basis.
Pet Assure is a slightly different type of pet insurance. When you purchase a policy with Pet Assure, you are entitled to a discount of up to 25 percent on all veterinary care. Your monthly fee entitles you to a price break on all veterinary services with no exclusions applied and no imposed annual limit. However, Pet Assure is only available through participating veterinary providers, so you must ensure ahead of time that the clinic you plan to use is a member of the Pet Assure network.
Pet Assure is a discount program, and as such, the 25 percent discount will apply at the time of payment. There are no reimbursements with this particular provider.
Figo is a popular pet insurance which offers plans for both cats and dogs. For any surgery or treatment required to save the life of a dog or cat, there is no deductible required for care.
Figo is the only pet insurance provider to date to offer cloud-based services for their pet care. All policy questions and claims are handled directly through a cloud portal.
Figo offers three basic plans two of which do contain an annual limit for payments. The plans are: Essential (up to $10,000), Preferred (up to $14,000), and Unlimited.
Thinking about getting some health insurance for your pooch?
With so many great plans to choose from, you are sure to find the right one for you! Contact one of these great insurance providers today to learn more.