When your dog gets ill or injured, your first instinct is to rush your dog to the vet to get urgent medical care. If the issue turns out to be serious, you could face hefty medical expenses.
If you’re after lower treatment costs, dog medical insurance is something you can consider. Let’s take a look at this unique type of insurance and how it works.
What is Dog Health Insurance?
Dog medical insurance is an insurance policy that can help you pay less for your furry friend’s treatment. It works just like health insurance plans for people, with a focus on your canine and its medical expenses.
Dog insurance plans can offer full or partial coverage of your pet’s treatment costs. Additionally, these policies vary in pricing. Factors like your dog’s breed and age can determine how much your pet insurance policy costs.
What Does Dog Medical Insurance Cover?
Dog insurance plans can cover any of the following:
- Unexpected injuries or accidents
- Unexpected ailments like cancer, glaucoma, and hip dysplasia
- Surgeries, including TPLO surgery
- Laboratory tests or diagnostic services
- Expenses for urgent medical tests
There are also policies that it can shoulder:
- Alternative treatment such as chiropractic care
- Hospital room rates
- Missing pet notice publications
- Rewards for finding a lost dog
However, insurance for dogs won’t cover any of the following.
- Existing health problems
- Routine care or health exams
- Precautionary treatment
- Spay or neuter procedures
- Exclusions set by your policy
How Does Dog Insurance Work?
More often than not, pet insurance follows the same process as a renter’s insurance. You’ll need to give your insurer a set fee to shoulder your canine’s medical expenses. If you take a look at your dog health insurance plan, you’ll see the following:
- Covered conditions or expenses
- Reimbursement rate
- Maximum payout or annual limit
Your policy’s reimbursement rate is the amount returned by your insurer after coverage. Meanwhile, the deductible refers to how much you’ll pay before your provider can shoulder your vet bill. Lastly, your plan’s limit is the highest amount that your insurer will cover.
A pet insurance policy’s way of payment is also worth noting. Most policies will pay you back, making the search for a vet under your chosen insurer less of a problem. You just need to pay your pet’s bill and arrange your coverage with your provider to receive 70% to 100% of reimbursement. But in some cases, an insurer can pre-approve your claim and pay your vet. This way, the company can help you manage your canine’s expenses easier.
If you’re submitting a claim, make sure to keep receipts and documents from your vet. Your insurance provider will approve your claim more easily when you provide them with these documents. Once you’ve filed for insurance coverage, you can get your money back within five to nine days.
How Much is Dog Health Insurance?
The North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) states that dog medical insurance plans have an average cost of $47. But as we’ve mentioned earlier, policy prices vary. Most insurers will offer plans for as low as $12 per month while other policies can cost up to $100.
How much you’ll pay for your dog health insurance plan will depend on the following factors:
- Your dog’s breed
- Your canine’s age
- Your location
- Your preferred deductible
- Your chosen reimbursement rate
- Your preferred maximum payout
Why Should I Get a Dog Insurance Plan?
If you’re still thinking about investing in pet insurance, here are three reasons why it’s worth considering for your dog.
Accidents can affect your canine at any time. In fact, statistics from the American Pet Products Association show that one in three pets requires urgent care. By getting a dog insurance plan, you can take care of your furry friend whenever it gets injured or sick.
High Treatment Costs
Research from Pet Insurance Quotes found that pet owners get billed $1,000 or more for treatment every six seconds. Additionally, Bankrate reports that less than 40% of dog and cat owners pay their veterinarian bills. That said, pet insurance can help you pay for your canine’s medical costs.
Long-term Pet Protection
When it comes to pet insurance, you should think about your canine’s future condition. The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that cancer will affect about 50% of senior dogs. More than that, millions of canines can have arthritis, diabetes, and other weakening ailments with age. Enrolling your pet in dog insurance can help you save and maintain his quality of life.
How Do I Choose the Best Dog Insurance Plan?
Are you ready to get a pet insurance policy for your furry friend? Keep the following tips in mind as you find the right plan.
Compare Insurance Providers
This is the first thing you should do before getting a pet insurance plan. Put your potential insurers side-by-side and see how the plans, premiums, and deductibles vary.
Look at the Company’s Credentials
By checking out your potential insurer’s credentials, you can see how reliable the company is. A dependable, seasoned provider with good recommendations should be right for you. With that said, it’s best to look at the following details when searching for an insurer:
- The company’s years in operation
- The provider’s credibility
- The number of existing policies from your potential insurer
- The number of vets in the company
See What Your Potential Insurer Can Cover
You should also look into the following before getting your pet’s dog insurance plan:
- Exclusions included in the policy
- Frequency and reasons for a higher premium
- Possible changes to your premium with the number of filed claims
If your policy details aren’t clear to you, get in touch with your insurer for any clarifications.
Pick the Right Coverage
Dog medical insurance plans can cover regular health procedures, unspecified treatments, or full care. If you’re after a policy with any of these types of coverage, talking to your vet is a good idea. Your doctor can help you find breed-related conditions that can affect your dog or look at its family’s medical history.
Choose the Best Reimbursement Option
Insurers can pay you by a percentage of invoice (a veterinary bill) or follow an annual benefit schedule of allowances for your reimbursement.
Percentage of invoice policies allow insurance providers to return a part of your total bill payment. Meanwhile, a benefit schedule of allowances includes your specific coverage and the exact amount for reimbursement. This type of policy offers annual payments.
Additionally, the amount returned by your insurer can vary depending on your chosen deductible. You can pick any of the following deductibles to go with your policy:
- Per-incident deductibles – payments that you give for every incident you file a claim for before your insurer can pay you back
- Annual deductibles – the amount that’ll you pay for your dog’s treatment every year
Assess the Plan’s Cost & Value
A low-cost pet insurance plan without the right coverage for your dog isn’t worth the purchase. That said, looking at your policy’s cost and value is important.
Your preferred coverage and deductible options will determine how much your premium and reimbursement amount will cost. If you’re going for a per-incident deductible, keep in mind that it can give you a lower premium. As for annual deductibles, a lower amount increases your premium, and going higher decreases that fee.
Don’t forget to think about policy benefits, as well. Fewer benefits for your canine’s injury or sickness aren’t something you’d want.
Get Your Furry Friend Protected Today
Enrolling a young and healthy pup in a dog insurance plan will help you get complete coverage and save on costs. Policy premiums can go up as your canine gets older, so purchasing a dog insurance plan while it’s still young is worth considering.