You love your pet like they were a member of your family, so it stands to reason that you’d want to protect them as much as you could. As you’d protect your own health and the interests of your family with insurance, you may want to consider insuring your pet. Covering your pet for everything from vaccinations to breeding, insurance can be a worthwhile investment.
How easy is it to get your pet insured?
You’ll find that there are several providers through whom you can get your pet insured, which means you should have no trouble shopping around for the best fit just as you would for any other kind of insurance. Janet Hunt writes for The Balance that Pet Assure, Figo, Healthy Paws, Embrace and Petplan are among the leading providers specializing in pet insurance, meaning you’ll have at least a half-dozen different providers to consider in your search.
Like auto, life or homeowners insurance policies, you’ll find that some offer unique advantages — Figo, for example, offers a plan with no co-pay or deductible for life-saving care, while Healthy Paws offers an Unlimited Lifetime plan that provides unlimited benefits once your deductible has been met. Another provider to consider is the ASPCA, whose Complete Coverage plan covers accidents, illnesses and even things like prescription foods and microchip implantation.
Major insurance providers like Geico and Nationwide also offer insurance for pets, which is especially convenient if they’re your provider for home or auto insurance. Hunt ranks Nationwide as the best insurer if you have birds or exotic pets, making the company ideal if you want to protect a unique pet like hedgehogs or tortoises. Geico offers a comprehensive plan in coordination with Embrace that lets you select your annual maximum, deductible and reimbursement percentage, while covering everything from conditions specific to your breed of pet to rehabilitation services and nursing care.
In order to make sure that you’re getting what you need, you’ll want to dedicate some time to comparing policies before committing to a plan. The best way to make sure that you’re getting an accurate quote, per Kelly Gurnett of The Penny Hoarder, is knowing your pet’s breed, age and whether they have any pre-existing conditions.
What will your plan cover
Like auto insurance, your plan will vary based on how much you want to pay and how much coverage you think you need. Angela Stringfellow writes for Pet Life Today that you can typically break pet insurance down into five types: accident-only, wellness, time-limited, max-benefit and lifetime policies. A lifetime policy, like that offered by Healthy Paws, provides the most coverage and the most peace of mind, especially if your dog comes from a breed with common health issues.
One thing that most pet policies don’t cover: if your dog bites someone. According to NerdWallet’s Jason Van Steenwyk, the event of a dog attack typically falls under the purview of your homeowners insurance policy, but you’ll want to check your policy first to make sure that your specific breed is included.
If you breed your pets for show or profit, you may also want to consider breeder’s insurance. Per Investopedia’s Julia Kagan, this policy type protects you against damage, theft or loss. Like regular pet insurance, breeder’s insurance breaks down into different coverages, including third-party liability in the event that your dog injures someone, pregnancy and birth, damage to equipment like kennels and even death.
The decision to insure your pet may come down to how much risk you’re willing to take. If you don’t want to pay the full cost of a medical emergency or feel like your pet may be at risk for long-term health issues, pet insurance might just be the way to go. The best way to be positive is to weigh all your options, do your research and decide what works best for your specific situation.