All of us here at the Alexander Insurance Agency have noticed a trend toward adopting a furry family member over the past few years! In fact, pet ownership in the U.S. has risen drastically, as people nationwide realize how their mood, outlook and general happiness can improve after adding a pet to the home. The American Pet Association has also shown that around 70% of households added pets to their troupe in 2021, compared with just 67% the year before. 

The report also estimated that owners put forth an expenditure of over $30 billion on products and medical attention for their pets, which was an increase of 3% from the year before. The pandemic also brought about a record number of pet adoptions, as many workers were given the option to work remotely and found it to be the right time to bring a new pet into the home. After this period of growth, many of our customers are now asking us what types of insurance coverage can help with pet ownership.

What Type of Coverage Options are There for Pets?

The pet insurance plans that exist are designed to assist pet owners with the cost of expenses that come up when their pet becomes hurt or ill. Most policies require you as the owner to abide by a reimbursement-based plan and provide you the option of choosing which form of care or specialist to select for their pet’s needs. Here are the predominant categories that this type of coverage falls under:

Accident and Illness:

This is the most common form of pet insurance, and it will cover you for injuries such as bites, eye pain, poisoning, routine sickness, torn ligaments, broken bones, and infection. Many pet owners are satisfied with the fact that it can cover cancer and arthritis, which are more prevalent and detectable now in pets, as well as parasites and ear infections. It is recommended to obtain this coverage during younger years as well, because many providers will put the brakes on extended care for pets as they age, helping you cut down on cost while keeping your loved one healthy and happy.

Accident-Only Coverage:

Some insurers offer accident-only coverage that would aid you in the event of an accident that causes your pet a drastic physical injury.  It can be less expensive than Accident and Illness plans, and is ideal for an animal suffering from a pre-existing condition. Swallowing foreign objects and accidental poisoning are common occurrences covered, but your provider may impose a limit on how many total claims you are allowed coverage for.

Wellness Coverage:

This is a form of coverage that assists with the more routine side of things such as scheduled examinations. Many pet owners have great experiences with this type of coverage because you can get reimbursement for annual exams, spay or neuter procedures, routine blood panels, heartworm testing and treatment, fecal testing, urinalysis, routine vaccinations, teeth cleanings and flea and tick treatments!

What Should I Look for When Purchasing a Plan?

There are a few important factors to consider when choosing the pet insurance policy that will best fit your needs. Some of these are:

  • Deductibles: It’s important to consider how much you must pay before the policy pays out. There are only 2 types of pet insurance deductibles: an annual deductible and a per-condition deductible. If your policy has an annual deductible, you will pay the amount in each policy term. If it is a per-condition deductible, you will pay the amount for each condition or incident. 
  • Reimbursement: It’s also very important to consider the percentage of veterinary expenses that will be covered under your policy. Most commonly, policies offer 70%, 80% or 90% reimbursement options, but there are some insurers that will offer up to 100% reimbursement of veterinary costs.
  • Coverage Cap: The Coverage Cap is the highest amount your pet insurance policy will cover. Most policies have a cap of $5,000, but there are also insurers that offer unlimited coverage. It is important to consider your needs when choosing your policy.

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?

Many industry experts agree that pet insurance is well worth the cost. First and foremost, it eases the stress of pet owners who worry about being able to cover an expensive illness or incident. While it is impossible to predict when your pet will become sick or injured, you can protect your finances (and your pet!) with a carefully selected policy that covers large and/or unexpected vet bills. You’ll get peace of mind knowing that you’ll never have to turn down treatments and/or care because of not being able to afford the bill.

Just as the cost of healthcare for humans has risen over the last few years, the cost of healthcare for pets is increasing as well! Here at the Alexander Insurance Agency of St. Charles, we understand how important it is to protect your entire family – even the four-legged family members! We can assist you with picking the perfect pet insurance policy to suit your needs, so you’ll never have to spend a minute worrying about whether or not your pet will be able to be cared for no matter what may happen.