Nowadays it seems there are insurance plans that cover just about anything: car, home, health, life insurances and more are all integral financial safeguards. Perhaps it’s no surprise that pet insurance programs exist — and are thriving.
At least 1.8 million pets are covered by pet health insurance. If you haven’t heard of it yet, you soon will. It’s a $1 billion industry that is poised to double by 2022.
Cat owners are flocking to pet insurance programs to protect the health of both their wallets and furry friends. If you’ve ever been concerned about vet bills or keeping up with the treatments your cat needs, pet insurance might be the answer.
But what is pet insurance anyway, and how does it work? We’ll cover that and more. Here’s everything you need to know about pet insurance.
1. What Do You Know About Pet Insurance?
Veterinary fees can be expensive. Your cat may develop a health condition later in life that requires regular veterinarian checkups and expensive medication. Just like health insurance for humans, a pet insurance program can cover the costs of these procedures or provide steep discounts.
And as your cat ages, unexpected trips to the local vet will become more common. A pet insurance program can diminish the costs and keep your cat living healthier and longer. Pet health insurance comes with a monthly premium, which will change in cost due to factors we’ll cover later on.
2. What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
There are a variety of pet insurance programs that cover different circumstances for varying amounts of time. A lifetime policy will cover any medical emergencies for your cat in perpetuity.
Accident coverage is a cheap policy that handles any expenses that arise in the result of an accident.
There are also pet health discount plans, such as Pet Assure, which provide sweeping discounts for routine and comprehensive medical care.
3. What Are the Additional Benefits?
In addition to coverage for accidents and illnesses, most pet insurance policies offer niche extras. For example, your pet insurance policy might cover the costs of finding your lost cat, such as advertising expenses and rewards.
Have an expensive breed? The policy will pay for the value of the cat if they can’t find your lost companion. If your pet passes away at a healthy age, you might also be financially compensated.
While they may sound insensitive, these coverages are no different than life insurance policies that are offered by most employers.
4. Is Pet Health Insurance Worth It?
Insurance programs exist to offer a financial safety net if the worst occurs. This means you might rarely use the coverage benefits of your pet health insurance program.
On the flipside, if your pet develops a chronic illness, you will likely get more from the policy than you put in. It’s a good sign that you need pet insurance if you regularly care for your sick cat.
If you want to keep your cat healthy and can afford regular pet insurance payments, it’s a wise choice. Pet insurance may be a worthwhile purchase just for the peace of mind, so you don’t have to worry about the well-being of your cat.
5. How Expensive Is Pet Insurance?
Just like health insurance for humans, pet insurance policies vary in cost depending on health-related factors. The breed of your cat is a major factor, as each breed has its own health risks.
The older your cat, the more expensive the insurance plan. The premiums are more costly since older cats are more likely to be in need of veterinary care.
It might also surprise you to learn that your geographic location has a significant impact on the cost of your pet insurance. Simply put: Some areas are more expensive than others. In areas where veterinarians charge more, insurers will want higher premiums to make up the difference.
And lastly, the type of pet insurance policy ultimately decides its cost. A lifetime policy is more comprehensive, but also more expensive than an accident-only policy.
6. How Do I Select the Best Pet Insurance Plan?
It’s all about the coverage. Before you know which coverage is right for you, you should know your cat’s needs. If your cat’s breed requires special food or is known to have behavioral problems, seek an insurance policy that covers these services.
When you’re familiar with your cat’s needs, and what your companion may need as they grow older, compare the prices of insurance providers who carry these policies.
Just like human healthcare plans, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of deductibles and premiums and decide which is right for you.
7. When Should I Get Pet Insurance?
The best time to start a pet insurance policy is when your kitten is young. If your cat develops conditions before you seek a health insurance policy, it may not cover any costs related to the illness.
This is known as a pre-existing condition. So long as your cat was already on a pet insurance plan, it will cover any conditions that develop after the policy begins.
Pet insurance premiums will also increase in cost as your cat ages since they’ll become more likely to have health complications.
Keep Your Cat Healthy
Now that you about pet insurance policies, you can decide if they’re right for you. We all want the best for our cats, and pet insurance is just one way we can help them live happier and healthier lives.
But it’s not the only way. Look at our health and behavior blog for more ways you can care for your favorite companion.