There’s no doubt about it…having a pet costs money. Food, toys, veterinary visits, grooming appointments, treats, accessories, the list goes on and on, but we don’t even think twice about it because they’re worth it! Many of these costs we plan for and incorporate into our budget. So, what happens when the unexpected happens? A trip to the emergency vet, a surgery, or specialized care aren’t usually something we plan for and they add up…quickly! One of the best ways of being a proactive pet parent is to sign your pets up for pet insurance.
In the time that we’re fortunate enough to spend with our pets, the what-ifs and hypothetical medical situations can be terrifying. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) states that “as veterinary medicine becomes more technologically advanced, the cost of care increases. That's because of higher costs associated with the equipment, facilities and training required to provide these higher-quality services. Pet health insurance can help by offsetting some or most of the costs of diagnosing, treating and managing your pet's illness or injury.” In addition to reducing total costs, pet insurance acts as a sort of safety net and now those “what-ifs” have something to fall back on, bringing peace of mind and allowing us to enjoy those precious moments.
After making the initial decision to sign up for pet insurance, the next step is choosing a plan that’s right for you. Since every plan and company is different, it is important to do your research while taking many factors about your pet into account. These factors can include medical history, age, breed, activity level, pre-existing conditions, etc. A real life example of how insurance needs may vary would be to look at an indoor cat vs an outdoor cat; while their age, and breed may be the same, their activity level and environment differ drastically. In an article written by New York Times/Wirecutter, they suggest that “you need to know your pet’s medical history and your budget. Then, prior to getting quotes, make a list of what matters most to you—such as the types of accidents and illnesses you want to have covered and the percentage of costs you’re able to pay. Obtain quotes from a few reputable providers, and compare the types of coverage to get an overview of the options in your budget.”
At Compassion Animal Project we strongly recommend: Trupanion, Nationwide, and Petplan. In a recent U.S. News article, they gave a detailed list of the “Best Pet Insurance Companies of 2022” which includes these three insurance companies. Here’s what they have to say:
“Trupanion: Trupanion is unique in our rating for offering direct payment of veterinarian expenses. This means that if you use a participating vet, Trupanion will pay the vet’s office before you leave and you won’t need to file a claim....Trupanion has only one plan and no payout limits and offers many plan options, including a Recovery and Care Rider and a Pet Owner Assistance Package. The Pet Owner Assistance package is designed to pay for things like rewards for a lost pet, fees for boarding your pet in the event that you’re hospitalized, and liability coverage if your pet damages someone else’s property. It also offers a lifetime per-condition deductible.. The company also has a refer-a-friend program, where you can earn $25 for each friend referred, up to a limit of $100 a year.
Read more in our Trupanion review. ”
“Petplan: In addition to accident and illness policies, Petplan covers vet exams, unlike most of the companies in our rating. This insurer also covers virtual vet visits which could be a boon for those who have trouble making it to a vet’s office. Additionally, Petplan says it will cover up to $1,000 in boarding fees for your pet should you be hospitalized. Petplan’s policies come with an annual-style deductible and payment limits.
Read more in our Petplan review.”
“Nationwide: Nationwide is the first insurer in the U.S. to offer pet insurance. Its main plan covers both routine and preventative care for your cat or dog. You also have the option of separately purchasing accident and illness insurance or wellness plans. Nationwide is the only company in our rating to offer coverage for birds and other exotic pets such as chinchillas, ferrets, rats, amphibians, lizards, snakes, and tortoises.
While Nationwide looks expensive compared to other companies in our pet insurance rating, keep in mind that the plan includes wellness coverage, something most of the other companies don’t include in their main plans.
Read more in our Nationwide review.”
In the same way we rely on human insurance, we can rely on pet insurance to give financial support in many unexpected situations. While we can’t be prepared for everything, laying this foundation can make all the difference.