Pet dog insurance explained. A practical, user-friendly guide to choosing the right pet health insurance for your best friend.
Getting your pup covered by a good pet health insurance plan means that
you won't have to empty your savings account to cover veterinary bills
if your puppy gets seriously injured or sick.
The cost of veterinary care just keep going up.... and no matter how well you take care of your puppy, or how careful you are about his diet, safety, health care etc. - accidents and illnesses can happen (and often do!)
Could you afford to spend hundreds of dollars to have your puppy's stomach pumped after he's eaten a Snickers bar?
To have porcupine quills removed from his muzzle? Or to repair the damage done during a heated disagreement with another dog?
Or any one of a dozen or more common issues that send dogs and puppies to their veterinarian's clinic every day? Chances are the answer is 'NO'!
To take a closer look at why you NEED a pet health insurance plan for your pup, check out my 'Why Get Pet Health Insurance?' page, it has the answers you're looking for.
Pet health insurance is pretty much the same as the health insurance you have for yourself and your family.
You pay a fixed amount each month (this is called your 'Monthly Premium') to cover your pup or dog for unexpected major veterinary bills.
As with human health insurance there's a co-pay and deductible that you're responsible for paying and then the balance of your bill is reimbursed to you by the pet health insurance company. There may be a limit as to how much the policy will pay out over a year, or the lifetime of your pet.
Many more European owners have pet insurance coverage on their pets than do their US counterparts - in the UK approx. 42% of pets are covered, in Germany it's about 33% - while in the US it's currently about 2%.
But the number of American pet owners protecting their pets with insurance is now growing, due in part to the rapid rise in veterinary costs that we've seen over here the past few years.
In fact, recent studies have shown that the two biggest expenses for dog owners today are veterinary care and dog food.... with most owners pay three times as much per year on vet bills than they do on food... and pet health care is projected to cost pet owners in the US approximately $9.5 billion this year!
By buying the right dog health insurance policy for your pup you can protect his health (because you'll be able to afford whatever care he needs in the future) and protect your bank balance. It's really a win-win situation for everyone.
Today there are several different pet insurance companies to choose from (with more appearing all the time), and figuring out which one is best for YOU and YOUR PUP can be a challenge.
Most pet health plans are similar in that they include monthly premiums, deductibles (either per incident or per year), and offer a range of different coverage options to suit a every need and budget.
But there are many differences too. Some of them are minor, but others aren't.
These can affect how much you pay for your premiums, which conditions are covered and what out-of-pocket expenses you need to allow for. It's also really important to take a look at pet insurance comparison information when you choosing a pet dog insurance plan.
These are some of the points you ought to check out -
Some plans have widely differing age limits, both minimum and maximum, make sure you know what the numbers are on any policy you're considering
Some policies may exclude certain breeds, or charge extra to cover them. These may be breeds that are prone to specific hereditary or genetic conditions
A few health insurance policies include routine procedures (such as vaccinations, annual check-ups and/or routine preventative care) but most don't and instead may charge an additional fee for a 'wellness plan' add-on
Waiting periods can also vary quite a bit (this is the time it takes for your pet dog health insurance to come into effect after you've signed up)
Covered procedures can vary These might include neutering & spaying, dental care, eye care, prescription medication, alternative treatments, cancer, hip dysplasia and more may or may not be covered, depending upon the pet health plan you choose
The 'caps' or limits differ from plan to plan Each pet health insurance company's policies may differ in the 'caps' or limits that they apply to individual medical procedures, or over a year or the lifetime of your pup
If you have several dogs, or other pets (cats, rabbits, even birds), you may want to check whether or not the pet dog insurance provider you're interested in, offers discounts for multiple pets. Some do, some don't.
And while you're at it, why not also ask if they offer any 'extras', such as discounts on pet products or services, a regular newsletter, or even help towards paying for your pet's boarding costs should you be hospitalized yourself.
Choosing the right insurance plan for you and your pet/s will save you money and heartache, and it's a whole lot easier to make a smart decision when you have the correct information and guidelines at your fingertips.
You can get a lot of information about many pet dog insurance providers online. Check out their policy options in detail, remembering to use the above checklist! You can usually get free quotes and even enroll online as soon as you've made your choice.
Remember to be sure to do your research carefully though, and ask all the right questions BEFORE you 'sign on the dotted line'.
You can learn more about which questions to ask by checking out my PDF article entitled 'Pet Dog Health Insurance Questions'. Click here to download it FREE.
If you've just started to look at pet health insurance, it can seem overwhelming at first... because there are just so many variables!
I went through the same process when I started to look for a plan to suit my new puppy and I did a LOT of research - in fact my brain hurt by the end of the day!
Now you can benefit from the time and brain-ache I went through because I'm going to share the information I gathered with you :)
I'll compare pet health insurance quotes that I got for my 4 month old German Shepherd puppy, tell you which pet insurance companies I think have the best plans and explain their options...
.... plus give you a quick look at what the most common words/terms that you're going to come across actually mean.
Just jump on over to my 'Best Dog Health Insurance' page to get immediate access to all of this and more.