What Is Pet Insurance and How Does It Work?


Pet insurance is an insurance policy that pet owners buy to get rid of the overall burden of vet bills. It is a savior for pet owners in extreme conditions. If you cannot pay for your pet’s surgery then ultimately you have to leave him. In such a case, you can immediately make use of pet insurance. Most of these plans require you to pay on a monthly basis. The coverage may exclude conditions like hip dysplasia.


Pet Insurance: History

If we talk about the first pet insurance policy then it was written by Claes Virgin. He wrote it in 1890 and the main focus was on livestock and other animals rather on domestic animals. Have you ever heard about Lassie? She was a famous dog in the United States. It was Lassie who was the first dog to receive a pet insurance policy in the United States. Soon after Lassie, companies began to provide more options to other pet owners. Hartville Group has a subsidiary agency that is one of the most notable companies. This company offered pet insurance under its health care plan for pets in the US.

About 46.3 million households in the United States own pets. There is a high percentage of these owners who have insurance for their animal friends. Just like human health, pet health has become important. Plus nowadays people earn good enough to afford such policies.


What Does Pet Care Cost?

The connection between humans and animals is beautiful. Humans have taken animals to their homes with open hearts. It won’t be wrong to say those pet owners consider their pets as their children. There has been continuous progress in veterinary science. That’s why there are various procedures that pets go through for treatment and care. The average cost of emergency treatment for pets ranges from $800 to $1500.

The primary pet care stages include annual exams, dental cleaning, and vaccinations. However, you may have to get treatment of your dog that is secondary. If you go for vaccination for your pet then it starts from $18 each. So you have to invest a bit if you are planning to bring a pet to your home. That’s the reason a lot of people hesitate in keeping pets. Everybody cannot afford veterinary care costs.


What Does Pet Insurance Cost?

To help yourself with emergencies or annual costs, you can buy a pet insurance policy. It will save you from out of pocket expenses. Just like human health insurance, pet insurance requires monthly or yearly payment. There are a few factors that affect the cost of this policy. They are geographical location, type of pet, coverage offered, and more.

If we go by The New York Times article then you have to pay $516 per year for pet insurance. These stats are of the United States. In North America alone, this insurance’s market value is US$774 million. These stats are for between the years 2013 and 2014.

Insurance won’t cover the full charges of medical treatment of your pets. Although, companies do advertise that they offer 90% coverage for some procedures. In the case of senior pets, the veterinary care cost is quite high. So if you buy this policy it will cut those costs to a minimum. Policies will vary depending on insurance companies. However, most of them cover veterinary surgeries, dental care, and more.


How Does Pet Insurance Work?

Pet owners consider their dogs or cats as a family but the insurance companies don’t. They view them as property or business. Still, the company works in your favor and that’s what matters the most. Pet insurance isn’t that difficult to understand. There are a few advantages that you get with this policy.


#1: You reserve the choice of vet:

If you visit a specific vet and would love to continue with the same then that’s possible. Your policy allows you to choose your vet. There is nothing like you can’t visit this doctor or that doctor. All they want is that you visit the ones with a license.


#2: Many tiers, many options:

Unlike human health insurance, pet insurance policies are quite simple. Most of the companies will show you a few tiers to choose from. Each tier will work for specific needs. For example, accidents, or illnesses, or a combo of few conditions.


#3: Premiums are cheap:

The average monthly cost of this policy with minimum advantages is $14 per month. Even the minimum advantages cover a good set of issues. So anyone can afford pet insurance. The premiums are cheap. Of course, it depends on other factors like breed and age. Still, they aren’t a huge problem.


#4: There is a gap between buying policy and getting it:

Pet insurance companies usually keep a gap between buying policy and offering benefits. People cheat by taking their already sick pet for insurance. So companies need to be extra careful. In case of an accident, the waiting period lies between 3 to 4 days. The insurer will confirm whether there are any pre-existing conditions or not.


#5: Claim takes a bit to arrive:

There is a major difference between your insurance and pet insurance. Here, the first person to make payment for bills is a pet owner and not the company. You have to file a claim after making the payment. The company will then examine your claim and after approval, you will get the cheque. This process usually takes two to three days. In rare cases, it may take more than a week.

Some veterinarians may wait for their payment until the company pays you. Before taking a decision on medical procedure, do think about payment.


Final Words

If something really bad happens with your pet then insurance companies come to your rescue. For small issues, you can avoid making payments for premiums. It’s better to keep some emergency funds in that case. Pet insurance has become one of the fastest-growing markets. The reason is that pet care is not inexpensive. You have to pay for medical bills to surgeries that can burn your pocket. So if you own a pet then go ahead and buy this policy. In case, you have any doubts about this policy then feel free to contact us.