By Therese Pope, a freelance writer based in California.
With the many pet health insurance plans out there, it can be confusing to figure out the best, most affordable plan for your furry family members. Whether you own a 7-week-old kitten or a 10-year-old dog, the coverage options below will fit the healthcare needs of your pet – at any stage of their life.
Which Statement Best Describes Your Pet?
1. I have a young dog or cat (1-3 years old)
Insure pets when they are young before any health issues arise. Companies such as Pets Best cover puppies and kittens as young as 7 weeks old. The best option for young pets is an Accident and Illness Plan. Playful puppies and kittens tend to be mischievous and can swallow harmful items, injure their paws or break a leg. Comprehensive Accident and Illness Plans cover unexpected injuries, illnesses, emergency care, surgery and hospitalization.
With young pets, you’ll also want to have a Wellness/Routine Care Plan. By adding wellness coverage to an accident and illness plan, you’re able to stay on top of your pet’s preventative care. Wellness plans cover items such as annual exams, vaccinations, dental cleanings, and spaying/neutering. A wellness plan is a cost-effective way to budget for routine medical expenses, as well as catch life-threatening illnesses early-on or before they happen.
2. I have an adult pet
For adult pets, look into Accident and Illness Plans. As mentioned above, these plans cover unexpected injuries and illness, including cancer. Dogs and cats – despite their age, breed, and activity level – can still become sick so it makes sense to cover both accidents and illness.
Similar to young pets, you should insure adult pets as soon as possible. This is because providers do not cover pre-existing conditions, so you’ll need your coverage to be in effect before issues arise for them to be covered. However, Pets Best is unique in that they cover some health conditions that can be considered cured.
An Accident and Illness Plan is your best choice so that you’re prepared for any health issues that come up in the future. Even if your pet has a pre-existing condition, you should consider an accident and illness plan so that you have coverage for any new health problems that can happen.
Additionally, you may want to add a Wellness/Routine Care Plan. Wellness plans cover items like vaccinations, dental cleanings, and flea/tick/heartworm preventatives. Routine and preventative care is important in helping catch illnesses early-on or before they happen.
3. I have a senior pet
Since many senior pets have pre-existing conditions, you may decide your best option is an Accident Only Plan. An Accident Only Plan covers injuries so that emergencies such as broken bones, swallowing objects, strains, and lacerations are covered.
An Accident and Illness Plan is also a good option for senior pets if they don’t have pre-existing conditions since they include more comprehensive coverage.
4. I’d like coverage for peace of mind, but my budget is tight
If your finances are limited, you should consider the budget friendly Accident Only Plan. Another way to reduce pet insurance plan premiums is to choose a high deductible and low reimbursement plan. You can do this for the Accident Only Plan as well as for the Accident and Illness Plan. Also, when insuring more than one pet, Pets Best offers a multiple pet discount.
5. Injuries are my main concern
If you are only worried about injuries, buy an Accident Only Plan – especially if you have an active pet. For example, if you like to run, hike, or hunt with your dog. Or if you have a working dog such as a police dog or rescue dog, your pet may be at a higher risk for injury. Also, certain breeds such as Labradors tend to be more playful and energetic which makes them prone to injury.
Whichever pet health insurance plan you consider, you should read the policy to ensure you understand what’s covered and what’s not covered in your pet’s plan.
To learn more about each of the three plans listed above, here are additional resources:
-Learn more about the Accident and Illness Plans.
-Learn more about the Accident Only Plan.
-Learn more about the Wellness/Routine Care Plan.
Pets are Family and Deserve the Best Vet Care!
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