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Pet Insurance for the New Year

Pet Insurance for the New Year

Posted by Armarkat on 21st Dec 2023

As the new year begins, you’ve likely gone through the process of updating your health insurance plan. But what about health insurance for your pets? Whether you’ve enrolled your cat or dog in a plan already or are new to insuring your pet, there are many crucial factors to consider. In this article, we cover an interview with a veterinary imaging technician, advice from cat expert Jackson Galaxy, and information on where to find coverage from the top-rated pet insurance companies.

We spoke with Stephanie, a veterinary imaging technician for a large animal hospital. She shared her experience with insuring her cat Chico.

Stephanie, how important is it to get pet insurance soon after adopting your pet?

“I'm very grateful that I have the insurance and that I got it for [my cat Chico] when I did. As my plan does not cover pre-existing conditions, you want to get the plan in place before they develop anything new. Also, you never know when your animal is going to eat something that they shouldn't and wind up needing emergency surgery.”

When did you get pet insurance?

“I got it after I started working at an animal hospital and saw just how comprehensive and advanced the care available to animals is. Veterinary care, like medical care for humans, can be quite costly.”

How often have you used your pet insurance?

“I’ve only actually used it once because Chico was vomiting. We wanted to make sure that it was just hairballs and not related to a more serious condition. He had some blood work and an ultrasound. But I can tell you it was really nice to have insurance because it does save you a lot of money and make it more likely to get your pet seen by a doctor. Once I had spent $250 out of pocket, then I was able to seek reimbursement from my insurance for 80% of the remaining cost. It’s also nice to know that if something happened to him, we could have him treated without being out tens of thousands of dollars.”

What do you think is most important to look for when selecting an insurance company or insurance plan?

“I would say the most important thing is to consider whether or not they reimburse you for your expenses. I've heard there is at least one insurance company that will pay for the services up front. The plan that I have is reimbursement only. People need to consider whether or not they could make the payment to the veterinarian and then wait for the insurance company to reimburse them. It did not take me long to receive my reimbursement, and I'm sure that time frame will vary from company to company. If your animal is having a surgery or getting an expensive treatment like chemo, you may end up paying thousands of dollars for that treatment.

It's also good to consider what the monthly premium is and whether or not they cover pre-existing conditions. I had gotten insurance quotes for an elderly dog that I had and I had decided not to insure her as the monthly premium was over $100 and they did not cover any pre-existing conditions. She was already being seen by a specialist and had a previous urinary tract infection. It didn't seem worth it to me to pay so much for a monthly premium if they weren't going to cover any of her known conditions.”

What kind of pet insurance plan did you select for your own use?

“My company lets me select my deductible. Mine's currently $250. I currently pay about $40 a month to insure my cat. The cost of your animal's premium is going to vary with several factors, their age being one of them. You might want to look at what information is asked of you when you go to get an insurance quote for a pet. They also factor in where you live as the cost of veterinary care varies from region to region.”

Cat expert Jackson Galaxy agrees on the importance of pet insurance: “The cost of vet care is skyrocketing.” When it comes to selecting an insurance plan, “it’s up to you to do your due diligence, but do it.” Jackson Galaxy stresses the urgency of insuring your pet. “I’m telling you, take my word for it. It will pay off and it’ll give you peace of mind.”

According to Insurance Ranked, the top 5 pet insurance companies of 2023 are Pumpkin, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, Lemonade, Healthy Paws, and Embrace Pet Insurance. Each has a minimum age requirement for the pet insured and some offer a multi-pet discount. Be aware that a few require a veterinary exam to determine if your pet qualifies for their insurance plan. To learn more, visit http://tinyurl.com/petsandinsurance.

Quote of the day: “Time spent with cats is never wasted.” – Sigmund Freud

Sources:

Firsthand Interview, Veterinary Imaging Technician, December 18, 2023

Insurance Ranked, “5 Best Cat Insurance Providers (2023)”

http://tinyurl.com/petsandinsurance

Jackson Galaxy, “Do You Have Pet Insurance?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIrrnFXR8lY