The cost of dog health insurance varies greatly depending on several factors including your pet’s age and medical history, and where you live. It also depends on the plan you choose.
Choosing the right dog insurance policy can be difficult because there are so many different plans to choose from. It’s important to know how much the insurance costs before you sign up so you can get the best possible coverage.
Premiums can be a significant portion of the cost of dog health insurance. That’s because insurance providers base their rates on a number of factors, including age, breed, species and location.
As pets age, premiums typically rise a lot more than they do for younger ones. This is because pets older than three years are more likely to have medical problems than younger dogs and cats, a fact that insurers factor in when determining prices.
Some plans also offer caps on particular conditions, set percentages that they’ll pay of the overall cost of care, or have per-incident maximums. Some policies don’t cover certain geriatric conditions, or only partially cover visits to specialists. Others have preset coverage limits for chronic diseases like arthritis or diabetes.
Many pet owners are surprised to learn that unexpected veterinary costs can be quite expensive. Even the most healthy pets are prone to diseases and injuries that can lead to thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Fortunately, dog health insurance can help to cover these expenses. It can also offer peace of mind knowing that you have a way to pay for the care your dog needs in the event of an accident or illness.
Most standard dog insurance plans will cover a variety of accidents and illnesses ranging from surgery to remove a swallowed sock to comprehensive cancer treatment. Some will also offer optional wellness coverage that pays for routine visits and vaccinations.
Deductibles in pet insurance are a key component in choosing the right plan for your furry family member. Just like with health insurance for humans, deductibles can range from $50 to $1000 or more, but you want to find the sweet spot that suits your budget and your dog’s unique needs.
A higher deductible will pay more out of pocket up front, but will also lower your premiums in the long run. It may be worth it if your pet has a health condition that you are concerned about developing or if you have an older animal that is more likely to develop chronic conditions.
Most pet insurance plans require a deductible before you can receive reimbursements for your veterinary expenses. Some have annual deductibles, while others have per-incident deductibles.
Insurers use waiting periods as a way to prevent fraudulent claims. That means if you see illness symptoms in your pet or know about a pre-existing condition, it may be too late to make a claim and pay expensive vet bills immediately.
The shortest waiting period is two days for accident coverage, while the longest is 15 days. Companies like Embrace, Figo, Lemonade, Pets Best and Toto offer policies with shorter or longer waiting periods.
In addition to the waiting periods, insurers also have policy terms that you need to understand before you purchase a policy. These include maximum annual coverage limits, deductibles and reimbursement percentages.
Pre-existing conditions are a common reason for pet owners to get dog health insurance. They can range from hereditary conditions (such as hip dysplasia) to congenital conditions, or issues that develop during your pet’s lifetime, such as arthritis and cancer.
The definition of a pre-existing condition can vary between insurers. Many exclude recent ailments and certain conditions from coverage, while others require a waiting period.
However, some dog health insurance providers offer plans that include coverage for curable pre-existing conditions. For example, Embrace defines a curable pre-existing condition as one that has been treated and does not show repeated symptoms within 180 days of treatment.
While some companies are more lenient than others when it comes to definitions and waiting periods, you should still read the fine print before buying pet insurance. You might also consider taking out a policy earlier than you planned to, to ensure your pet is protected against potential illnesses and injuries down the road.