Pet Insurance For Dogs: Important Details To Know Before Buying

Is pet insurance for dogs necessary? Healthy pets can be expensive, but if something goes wrong, the costs can be astronomical. 

Providing your pet pup with routine care is part of being a pet owner. You go above and beyond to make sure that your pet's wellness is a priority. As a pet parent, have you considered getting pet insurance for your dog?

Even a seemingly healthy dog can rack up expensive vet bills, which can happen unexpectedly. Emergency care like a snake bite or even getting hit by a car can end up costing you thousands of dollars in pet health care bills. Unexpected situations is where pet insurance for your dog can come in handy.

What is dog insurance? 

Pet insurance policies can be useful for major expenses your furry family members may incur. With most pet insurance policies, you pay the initial bill upfront and submit a claim to them for reimbursement. Your insurer will likely have you cover the deductible and will reimburse you for the rest of the bill.

There is usually a waiting period after you first sign up, and with some policies you will need to satisfy your annual deductible before your insurance company will pay the veterinary costs up to your reimbursement percentage. However, many plans have an annual limit, which is the most an insurer will pay in a given year. So keep that in mind while you shop for pet health insurance.

You will pay a monthly premium for your pets insurance coverage just like you do for your own healthcare coverage. There are many different types of plans; Some carriers offer accident-only plans while others have full coverage or wellness plans. Most insurance companies encourage pet owners to enroll their new puppies as soon as possible to avoid any accidents or possibility for pre-existing conditions and to give you that extra peace of mind.

What does pet insurance cover?

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Some insurance agencies, like ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, cover things like:

  • Accident Coverage: torn ligaments, wounds, broken bones, x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, and even surgery.
  • Illness Coverage: cancer, UTIs, hypothyroidism, ear infections, and arthritis.
  • Hereditary Conditions and Congenital Conditions: heart disease, hip dysplasia, and intervertebral disk disease (IVDD).
  • Alternative Therapies: acupuncture, chiropractic care, hydrotherapy, rehabilitative therapy.
  • Behavioral issues: pacing, chewing, excessive licking and fur pulling.
  • Chronic conditions: diabetes and cancer.
  • Prescription Medication: pain medications or medications to manage chronic conditions.
  • Prescription Food and Supplements: food and supplements needed to help with a chronic condition.

Some will even cover a microchip implantation on your pet. In certain situations, they will even cover your exam fees. In some pet insurers wellness plans they also cover the costs to spay or neuter your pet, especially if it is done by a licensed veterinarian.

Many insurance providers do not cover preventive care like vet visits or annual wellness exams. They also will not cover your pets vaccinations, heartworm, or flea and tick medications. Though some carriers do have add-ons for preventative care if it is added to another coverage plan, like an illness plan or one of their others.

Other things many plans do not cover are:

  • Checkups.
  • Cosmetic procedures.
  • Costs of breeding.
  • Pre-existing conditions.

What is the best pet insurance plan? 

There are many different options for insurance plans on the market since many pet owners are starting to embrace the idea of insuring their pets. There is no one best plan out there though, as many things will affect your coverage and pricing.

When you go online and select enrollment, you can get a look at a pet insurance quote. You will be asked questions about your pets breed, your pet's age, and where you live. Your policy terms can vary depending on which state you live in — Someone in California may have a very different looking policy that someone in New York.

Some polices have age limits in place for when you can sign up your pet. Age will also factor into your online quote and determine you final price.

Are there free pet insurance companies? 

While free pet insurance does not exist, there are low-cost options available for those who want to insure their pets but cannot afford high monthly premiums.

1. Trupanion 

2. Nationwide Pet 

3. ASPCA Pet Insurance

4. Embrace Pet Insurance

5. Healthy Paws 

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