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Here's Your Guide to an Affordable Pet Insurance

Picking the right full coverage pet insurance policy can be a wise money decision, but it's important to know the costs upfront.
Image Source: Photo by Lauren  Whitaker | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Lauren Whitaker | Pexels

The decision to own pets is becoming more and more common these days. As per the American Pet Products Association, the percentage of American families with a furry friend has increased from slightly over half in 1988 to seven out of 10 now. On the other hand, owning a pet can be expensive. For example, a USA Today Blueprint study found that the average dog owner spends $4,512 annually on their companion. Taking your pet to the veterinarian can be expensive, particularly if they get into an awful incident or become ill.

According to Dr. Ray Spragley, who founded Zen Dog Veterinary Care, if your pet injures a ligament, the veterinarian may need to do several tests, x-rays, surgery, and prescriptions. All of this may cost more than $10,000, depending on where you reside.

Image Source: Photo by Snapwire | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Snapwire | Pexels

"Pet insurance can save you from the shock of a huge vet bill or having to skip important treatment for your pet," says Dr Spragley. Allowing unforeseen medical expenses to interfere with your pet's care is not something you should do. Look through some free price quotes to get started.

It's crucial to understand that not every pet insurance plan is the same, though. For a lesser price, some provide restricted coverage for particular circumstances, such as accidents alone. Some offer more extensive coverage, which can be regarded as complete pet protection.

A plan that provides a comprehensive variety of veterinarian treatments is referred to as full coverage pet insurance. According to Dr. Spragley, "Full coverage would include accidents, illnesses, hereditary conditions, behavioural issues, and sometimes even alternative therapies." He also points out that you have other options to think about, such as coverage for preventative care. This can assist in defraying the expense of your pet's routine surgeries, checkups, and vaccinations.

The coverage percentage, deductible, and flat rate offered by the insurer are some of the variables that can affect the overall cost of pet insurance. For example, policies covering illness, accidents, behavioural disorders, and genetic conditions may be called general coverage. On the other hand, the policy can offer this as an additional option, while on the other hand, it can cover the cost of a specific veterinary study.

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), the average cost of an accident and illness pet insurance policy for dogs is $640.04 per year, compared to the average cost for cats is $387.01 In contrast, the average accident-only cost for dogs is about $200.58 and for cats it is $122.19 per year.

Image Source: Photo by Francesco Ungaro | pexels
Image Source: Photo by Francesco Ungaro | pexels

You may save a few hundred dollars a year by choosing less comprehensive pet insurance, but you may have to pay a lot more out of pocket if your pet becomes sick and needs treatment for diseases like cancer, gum disease, or parasites. It can be quite important to purchase full coverage pet insurance in advance, particularly if you wish to protect yourself from the costs associated with inherited diseases.

Certain breeds are lifelong victims of particular diseases. Dr. Spragley says, "Your veterinarian can advise you on this, enabling you to secure pet insurance well before any predisposed issues arise." "It's important to note that pet insurance companies won't cover preexisting conditions, so you won't be reimbursed if they were diagnosed before initiating the insurance policy."

Image Source: Photo by Mikhail Nilov | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Mikhail Nilov | Pexels

To save money on pet insurance while still ensuring your pet gets quality coverage, start your search early to qualify for lower premiums. Dr. Doug Mader, a retired veterinarian, suggests getting insurance when your pet is young to avoid existing health conditions, which can lead to higher costs later on.

Another money-saving tip is to choose a policy with a higher deductible. This may require a larger emergency fund, but it can lower your monthly expenses while providing comprehensive coverage.

You can also adjust factors like reimbursement percentage and coverage limits, according to Dr. Spragley, but be aware this may increase out-of-pocket expenses for medical care. It's essential to shop around and get quotes to find the best deal, considering factors like your pet's age and breed, advises Dr Mader. Whether you choose comprehensive coverage or a more limited plan, investing upfront in pet insurance can save you from unexpected veterinary bills later on, says Dr Spragley.