“That free kitten isn’t really that free!” How many times have you heard this advice – or perhaps you have said it to someone! It really is true that a free puppy or kitten isn’t free for long. There are vaccinations, flea preventive, food, toys, spay/neuter surgery… or worse, a medical emergency. Any of us who have loved a “free” pet know how expensive being a pet parent can get.
The truth is, many of us adore our “free” pet. We refer to the pet as a member of the family, our four-legged child, our fur-baby (some even claiming grandparent status to the fur-baby). It is also true that many of us would do anything for our pets. The problem is that sometimes “doing anything” can place our bank account in the red. Until Fur-babies can be added to their human’s health insurance plan, setting up a savings account for each pet or purchasing a healthcare policy for the pet is the next best option.
Pet insurance is a healthcare policy very similar to our human health insurance. Some pet insurance plans provide coverage for routine wellness expenses, as well as coverage for unexpected and costly medical expenses. One advantage of pet insurance compared to human health insurance is that pet insurance does not have “networks.” Claims are paid on a reimbursement model –choose a policy, visit your favorite veterinarian, submit the claim and get reimbursed on covered expenses. The procedure sounds simple enough; however, the first step – choosing a policy – is perhaps the most challenging part of the entire sequence.
Currently, there are several US based pet insurance companies from which to choose. Comparing plan coverages, premiums, deductibles, co-pays, reimbursements, exclusions, and additional features can get confusing. Add to that reviewing the insurance provider’s consumer ratings and knowing the health issues of the pet’s breed – and one begins to think enrollment in the human Health Insurance Marketplace looks like a cake-walk! Pet parents today need a pet healthcare concierge to walk them through the process!
There may not be a concierge to speak to (at least not yet), but there are some resources to use. A word of advice is necessary at this point – some resources push pet parents towards a particular insurer or display incorrect/outdated information about policies. Check with trusted sources when starting the process of choosing a pet insurance policy – the family veterinarian is always a useful resource, perhaps the veterinary practice has a list of pet parents using different insurance companies who are willing to talk to a pet parent looking for a policy. Another resource is PetInsuranceShopper.com by Petegrity.
PetInsuranceShopper.com allows pet parents to research and review the top-rated pet insurers in the US as well as compare key features of their policies. It is a genuinely unbiased and easy to comprehend website for pet parents. If you have one or more pet, you should be looking into how pet insurance can protect your bank account and this site makes it easy to find the right plan for your specific situation.
Being a pet parent can be an emotional roller-coaster ride – the highs of the companionship and the lows of a serious medical condition. Being prepared for the lows is a personal decision every pet parent must make, and having pet insurance is a wonderful tool to help budget and pay for costly medical care for the pet. Use trusted sources when choosing a plan and get back to enjoying the companionship of that “free” pet.