What Is Pet Insurance?

If you have a dog or a cat, you know how expensive an emergency trip to the veterinarian can cost. Several years ago, there was nothing the owner could do except pay the bill and somehow manage with the money they had left to make ends meet. Often, it turned into an emergency in the home when the money for rent or other bills were used to pay the veterinarian bill. Veterinarians expect payment in full when they treat your pet, and they do not offer payment plans. There is a better way to keep your pet protected and that is with pet insurance, which many companies now offer as a way to help you recoup your expenses.

It is such a simple idea that it makes you stop to wonder why it took so many years to offer insurance for your dog or cat. The insurance works different from your health insurance in that if your dog or cat becomes ill and you need to take them to your veterinarian, you pay the bill in full and then bill the insurance company. You are then sent a check for the reimbursement, up to the plan’s maximum amount within a couple of weeks. Therefore, you do have to have the money upfront, but you can recover some of these costs by having pet insurance.

In the past, when insurance for your pet first came on the market, there was only one major insurer and it was only for life-threatening illnesses or accidents. For example, if your dog broke his leg the insurance would reimburse you for part of the bill. Another example, if your dog needed cancer treatments or diabetes medications and testing; the insurance would pay a percentage of the cost you paid. This could equal thousands of dollars of reimbursement depending on the treatment course your pet was receiving.

Today, there are several cheap pet insurance companies and these offer many more benefits than the early days of insurance. For example, many of the plans now offer a wellness option, which means the company will reimburse you for annual exams, tests, and vaccinations up to a dollar amount. For example, if you signed up for an insurance plan and had an option of choosing a wellness plan that pays $300 annually with no deductible and you chose this plan. When you bring your cat or dog to your veterinarian to have its annual checkup along with vaccinations, the plan will reimburse you up to $300, which can help a lot when it comes to taking care of your pet.

Cheap pet insurance plans vary in monthly costs and you can still choose the accident and illness plans that do not have any wellness options, which are typically a bit cheaper. Generally, basic plans begin around $15 per month and can go up to $75 per month depending what you add to the policy and the age of your pet when you insure them. Lastly, if you have more than one pet, many of the insurance companies today offer multiple-pet discounts.

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