Just as people require health insurance to cover care costs, pet owners have this option as well for their furry family members. Many people may not realize this is even a possibility, let alone what exactly it entails. Understanding what pet insurance is and the associated costs can help you make the best decision for your canine or cat companion.

What Is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance is intended to cover the cost of your animal’s vet bills. They aren’t billed directly, though. In many cases, you still have to cover the cost of the bill upfront, but you can then submit the bill you received to your insurance agency. They will reimburse you based on your policy. For example, if you need to meet a certain deductible first, then you will only get reimbursed for the remaining amount after you’ve fulfilled your obligation.

You may also only receive a certain percentage of the total cost, or the full amount. It all depends on which agency you’ve used and the terms of your particular agreement with them. It’s important to look closely at your policy and know what services you’re receiving and what costs you need to handle before you take your pet to the vet.

Pet Insurance Cost Considerations

Before you decide on getting insurance for your pet, you need to know which pet insurance cost considerations there are. First, you need to see if there is a required deductible. A deductible is part of cost sharing, meaning you have to share some of the costs first before the insurance agency will pay out anything. Some companies require an annual deductible to be met, while others only require you to pay this amount once.

On average, monthly prices for pet insurance fall between $25 and $70 for dogs and $10 to $40 for cats. The area in which you live plays a major role in overall costs, as does your pet’s breed, age, and other factors. The precise type of plan you need will also affect costs. You may decide to opt for accident-only coverage, or you might prefer to get both accident and illness coverage. Add in a wellness plan for regular care, and you’ll be paying a higher monthly premium.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?

Pet insurance may cover a wide variety of services, which is one of the many benefits of getting it in the first place. What exactly is covered, however, depends on the policy you chose. For example, routine wellness checks may not be covered unless you added this plan to your coverage. If you do add this extra service, your pet may be covered for annual wellness visits, spay or neuter procedures, teeth cleanings, vaccines, and even heartworm preventatives.

Otherwise, your insurance will typically cover emergency care. This may be in the form of diagnostic testing and imaging, rehabilitation, cancer treatments, surgery, and breed-specific conditions that develop. You will often have to add on coverage for prescription medications if you don’t want to pay for those out of pocket at the time your pet needs them. It’s a worthwhile addition since medication for both people and pets can be incredibly costly. This is made even more true if your pet requires the medicine indefinitely due to a chronic illness. Antibiotics or pills that only need to be taken for a short time to aid an illness won’t be nearly as pricey in the long run.

Pet insurance may be a complicated decision to make, just as insurance for yourself might be. However, it’s a worthwhile thing to have should your pet ever face a medical emergency or develop a chronic illness that will require regular visits to the vet and hefty costs. Choose the coverage and price that works best for you and your furry friend.