Debunking Pet Insurance Myths
Myths about pet insurance are simply that—a myth. Learn the facts before signing up your pet.
Enrolling in pet insurance can be an important decision for you and your pet(s). Whether you have a canine or feline member of the family or a combination of both in your household, prioritizing their health and happiness is something all pet parents can agree upon.
Like you insuring your house and car or having health insurance, there can be great value in insuring your pet. With insurance coverage, there’s no telling how long you will have it before using it—maybe a few months. That said, it’s always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Pet insurance, like other types of coverage, can provide people with peace of mind and reassurance that if a covered accident or illness were to occur, they would have some assistance financially. Even if you plan and set money aside in case your pet has an incident, one visit to the veterinarian or a single surgery could use up all the money you had saved in your pet fund. This can prove a little tricky or stressful when unexpected pet bills arise. However, with pet insurance, you can much more easily budget for your plan’s monthly payment, and if a larger bill comes your way for a covered condition after your deductible is met, you may have some assistance with paying your bill.
Pet insurance can also be an excellent source of encouragement to provide your pet with preventive care, including annual veterinary appointments. Due to added costs, this could be care you may have otherwise not prioritized.
Whenever you add a puppy to your family, you will have a lot of items to decide on: their name, leash and collar color, food bowls, food brand, bed type, and toy options. Among these important choices is the opportunity to sign your puppy up for pet insurance.
Many people are under the notion that older dogs are more likely to experience health issues, so pet insurance isn’t necessary for a puppy. However, the truth is that signing your dog up for coverage at a young age can be equally beneficial. Puppies are high-energy and can sometimes have accidents, such as falling down the stairs or getting into things they shouldn’t, such as swallowing socks on the floor. For these incidences and countless others that could occur, it’s easy to see why even an accident-only plan could provide essential coverage options.
Illness coverage can be just as valuable since many illnesses and health conditions can arise as unpredictably as an accident. Whether the illness is a more common issue, such as an ear infection, a urinary tract infection, or a more serious or rare condition like meningitis, having coverage for these items can help reduce a pet parent’s worries when their pup has a new diagnosis.
Even when considering preventive care measures, like vaccinations, veterinary exams, parasite medication, and spaying and neutering procedures, these items often occur more frequently or all at once with a puppy. Thankfully, some pet insurance providers offer a preventive care add-on plan for a small additional cost.
Pre-existing conditions should also be considered when you are debating whether to sign your puppy up for insurance. A pre-existing condition is an accident or illness that occurs or shows symptoms before an insurance plan goes into effect or during the waiting period. Although each pet insurance provider might define pre-existing conditions differently, most generally do not cover them. Unfortunately, this means the longer you wait to protect your pet, the greater their chance of developing a pre-existing condition.
Kittens, like puppies, can also get their paws into some sticky situations. Whether your kitten takes a tumble from one of their high perches or has slips and falls when jumping around, kittens can be affected by any number of accidents. The same is true with illnesses. Many health conditions can affect a kitten at any point, not to mention the numerous issues with which a kitten can be born .
By enrolling your kitten in an insurance plan, you can stay a step ahead and better avoid worrying about an incident becoming a pre-existing condition. Another great benefit of enrolling your kitten at a young age is that for many insurance providers, the monthly plan cost is often less for a younger cat. This means that to start, your insurance may cost the equivalent of a movie ticket or less than a tank of gas.
If you are considering enrolling your kitten in an insurance plan, remember to check out any customization options your pet insurance provider may offer. By being able to pick and choose the options you want, you can have a plan that better reflects your cat’s needs, one that will fit in your budget, and the options to change your choices as your cat ages—this is generally done at the end of your old plan period before your new one begins.
It is typically recommended that you sign your pet up for an insurance plan as early as possible, even as soon as the day you bring them home. This can help limit the number of items categorized as pre-existing conditions. Some insurance companies may have a minimum age requirement of six to eight weeks, but double-check your provider’s specific rules.
That said, some pet parents may wish to wait to enroll their pet until after the first veterinary visit—many veterinarians have helpful recommendations about which pet insurance providers to research.
The exact cost of your pet’s insurance can be affected by many factors. These can include:
Age may also be a factor in how much your monthly plan costs. As your cat or dog ages, they may develop more health issues, or their conditions might become more expensive. Not to mention, the price of veterinary services may also increase year to year.
Since multiple items can affect the price of your pet’s insurance plan, there isn’t a definite answer to how much a plan may increase from one year to the next, but for many, a slight increase reflects their pet’s changing needs, and the price is still well worth what they get in return.
One of the many great aspects of pet insurance is that it is never too late to sign your best bud up for a plan. Whether you have a young adult dog or an elderly cat, both can still be signed up for coverage.
If there is no age limit, but the longer you wait, the higher the chance of a health issue becoming a pre-existing condition, many pet parents may wonder, “At what age should you get pet insurance?” Technically, you can sign your cat or dog up at any point in their life, but it’s generally encouraged that the sooner, the better.
An ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance plan can help you with eligible costs for covered conditions like surgery expenses for accidents and help provide peace of mind that your pet can receive the care they need. Check out our online resources to learn more about your insurance options and get a free quote today. The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.
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title: Benefits of Early Pet Insurance Enrollment
author: Emily W.