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Pet parents do all they can to ensure their dogs are healthy, but how do they handle the financial obligations if their dogs require care after severe accidents or serious illnesses? Dog pet insurance is worthwhile, especially in emergencies.
Whether they're waiting until their dogs get older, think insurance is unnecessary, or don't know it exists, it is helpful for pet parents to understand the benefits of pet insurance for dogs.
Some pet parents may not have looked into dog pet insurance for one reason or another. However, they may choose to invest in this vital aspect of healthcare after realizing the benefits.
If an accident or emergency occurs, dog pet insurance can cover the significant expenses that pet parents would otherwise have to pay out-of-pocket. Many insurance plans offer savings on costly procedures and additional care costs, such as:
Tick paralysis treatment
Dog pet insurance plans vary but may reimburse up to 80% of costs after deductibles.
Pet parents can have the freedom to select treatments based on the best medical alternatives for care and not on how much those alternatives cost. Dog pet insurances allow for healthcare decisions based on the dog's best interest.
Pet parents who have pet dog insurance can avoid end-of-life decisions when a viable medical alternative exists. They can pursue costly treatment options, such as:
It can help pet parents that have to make a choice between financial strain versus euthanizing a pet.
Pet parents are responsible for a predetermined annual deductible before their insurance kicks in. At that point, reimbursement is 70% to 90% of the year's covered expenses, depending on the policy terms. There are no in-network or out-of-network vets, so pet parents can choose to see any vet they’d like.
One thing to be aware of is that most veterinarian offices don't process insurance claims themselves. Instead, pet parents pay the vet bill upfront, submit the claim to their insurance provider, and then the provider reimburses the pet parent. The size of that reimbursement depends on the percentage and deductible stated in the policy. Many providers send reimbursements within two weeks, although some policies may vary on the processing times.
Aside from the benefits of saving money, experiencing peace of mind, and avoiding the risk of economic end-of-life decisions, there are additional reasons why vets recommend dog pet insurance.
Policies are not just for sick dogs. It is recommended that pet parents sign up for dog pet insurance when their puppies are young and healthy, even if they seem “low risk” for needing insurance coverage.
Pet parents with insurance are more likely to seek care when their dogs need it, sooner than later. Prompt actions can prevent unnecessary suffering, and their dogs may recover from illnesses more quickly.
Dogs of all ages and breeds can have unforeseen accidents or require emergency treatment. However, it’s worth noting that dog age and breed may affect policy premiums.
There are several types of dog pet insurance plans, and pet parents can choose based on their needs and their dogs’ needs:
Accident-Only Plans. While these plans typically have the least expensive premiums, they only cover the costs related to accidents, such as exam fees, X-rays, and most treatments.
Accident and Illness Plans. These comprehensive plans cover illnesses, accidents, and breed-specific conditions. Prescription medications and dental care are also included. Some plans also cover breed-specific conditions like hip dysplasia and ACL surgery. Therefore, pet parents of large breed dogs, such as Labradors, will benefit more from a comprehensive plan than accident-only coverage.
Pet Wellness Plans. These often come as an add-on option and cover physical exams, lab tests, and other routine vet care up to a predetermined amount.
When researching different insurance plans, pet parents may want to consider the following factors:
Coverage for breed-specific conditions
Their dog's temperament and lifestyle
Additionally, different providers may have varied policy stipulations. For example, some plans may not cover pre-existing conditions — another reason why vets recommend pet insurance early in the dog’s life.
Fuzzy members and pet parents alike want only the best quality of life for their dogs. Signing up for dog pet insurance early on can help when their dogs need expert care, without cost being a primary decision factor.