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Hila Kay Group

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Should I Buy Pet Insurance

Determining which pet insurance company is the best for you can be overwhelming, especially now that there are so many providers in the market. Our step-by-step guide walks you through the process so you know what to expect. Keep reading to learn more.

should i buy pet insurance

After surveying the price of policies, we found that pet insurance premiums vary by breed, age and insurance company. Some companies may charge double the competitors' rate to insure pets of the same age and breed.

Generally speaking, pet insurance plans cover most accidents and illnesses as long as the issue is diagnosed and treated by a licensed veterinarian. That said, a company may cover a little more than others in certain areas, and those minor differences in coverage may dictate which provider is your final pick.

Generally, pet insurance policies will exclude pre-existing conditions, cosmetic surgery and alternative treatment from coverage (a few companies now accept some forms of alternative therapies like acupuncture). Insurers will also deny all claims if the injury or illness is caused by neglect, breeding, fighting, racing or using your pet as a guard.

With pet insurance, the outcome may be different. The owner can go through with the treatment, knowing that the insurance company will reimburse a large portion of the bill. After filing a claim, the insurer pays out $12,000, reducing the out-of-pocket cost to $2,000.

Everyone wants to protect the health of their pet. But does health insurance really pay off? Not for every pet. However, a close look at the numbers suggests it can make sense for owners with big hearts and deep pockets.

To provide a comprehensive answer to this question, we took a closer look at the benefits of pet insurance and whether they're enough to justify the cost. Keep reading to find out if pet insurance makes sense for you and your pet.

The decision to get pet insurance depends on the kind of pet owner you are. Pet insurance can allow you to make the best care decision possible for your pet if it gets very ill and vet bills climb into the thousands of dollars.

Like most insurance plans, a pet policy is primarily a hedge against the worst case. Say your pet lives eight years without any major health problems. According to APPA, the annual U.S. average for vet bills are less than the typical $500 deductible of many pet policies.

This limited value is hardly unique to pet insurance. After all, most people pay a lifetime of premiums on their homeowners and car policies, yet rarely if ever, make a claim. The coverage is mainly in case your home is gutted by fire or your car is totaled in an accident.

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), the average cost of pet insurance plans is $48.65 a month for dogs and $28.57 for cats. Upon closer examination, we found that the average monthly cost of insurance varied by an even wider range due to the following factors.

In our pet insurance price survey, we gathered insurance quotes from five providers and differentiated them by breed, age and location. In doing so, we found that premiums could be as low as $15 or over $100, depending on:

Despite the uptick in premium costs associated with purebreds, insurance has a higher chance of paying off if the pet is prone to hereditary conditions, as many purebreds are. The pet is more likely to need acute care in its lifespan and insurance would pay most of the cost.

We also recommend you shop around for policies and get quotes from budget-friendly pet insurance providers. According to our most recent price study, some insurers charge double what others do, and that difference could be the deciding factor on whether or not to insure. It can amount to hundreds of dollars a year, and thousands over the pet's lifetime.

What may come as a surprise to many is that pet insurance policies don't cover much of what we already spend on our pets. Exclusions include grooming, spaying, neutering, food and dietary expenses and preventive care (vet visits, vaccines and parasite prevention). Pet dental care coverage is also very limited and excludes teeth cleaning.

Note that the costs illustrated below represent the worst case scenario and many pet owners will never see a bill that high. That said, it can help owners determine whether insurance is a safe bet, especially if they own a breed predisposed to any of the issues listed.

When deciding whether to purchase coverage, there are several considerations that that should go into your decision besides the cost of the coverage. You should ask any insurer that provides you with a quote for coverage to also provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Are you interested in purchasing insurance coverage that will help pay for veterinary expenses necessary for taking care of your pet? Several insurers write pet insurance coverage which is intended to cover many of the costs associated with obtaining any medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment provided by a veterinarian, including, but not limited to, the cost of drugs prescribed by the veterinarian.

Our insurance content may include references to or advertisements by our corporate affiliate LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 8781838). And LLC may receive compensation from third parties if you choose to visit and transact on their website. However, all CNET editorial content is independently researched and developed without regard to our corporate relationship to LLC or its advertiser relationships.

Our content may include summaries of insurance providers, or their products or services. CNET is not an insurance agency or broker. We do not transact in the business of insurance in any manner, and we are not attempting to sell insurance or asking or urging you to apply for a particular kind of insurance from a particular company.

Pet insurance is a financial tool that can help per owners save money on vet bills. If you're worried about being able to afford major medical care for your furry friends, read on to discover our top six picks for best pet insurance companies.

Figo is our pick for the most comprehensive pet insurance plan available. It offers best-in-class 100% reimbursement for covered expenses with $5,000, $10,000 or unlimited annual benefits (complete with 70% to 100% reimbursement). Like other carriers, preexisting conditions, preventative dental care, elective procedures and routine wellness are not covered unless you purchase a separate rider.

Like most traditional pet insurance policies, you'll need to pay for your vet bills up-front and then file for reimbursement through the Figo Pet Cloud mobile app, online or by faxing or emailing your paid invoice. Reimbursements are issued within 10 business days by mailed check or five business days via direct deposit. The Figo Pet Cloud app also lets you store your pet's vet records online and connect with other pet parents in your area.

Discounts:Figo offers discounts for multiple policies and up to 10% discounts for employees at participating vets. Costco members are eligible for a 15% discount on Figo pet insurance.

For the lowest monthly premium and a solid array of policies for both accident and illness protection, we recommend Pets Best. This insurance provider offers inexpensive insurance coverage for pet parents. It can be a bit cumbersome to sort through all the conditions included and not included in its three tiers of policies, but doing so is worthwhile to ensure you opt for the right level of coverage.

Pets Best has plans that cover routine vet visits and for an additional $16 to $26 per month will cover the cost of vaccines, spay/neuter services, bloodwork, heartworm preventatives -- a rare find in the pet insurance industry.

Like Figo, Pets Best is a reimbursement insurance plan. You can file a claim by snapping a picture of your paid invoice and uploading it via the mobile app or online website, answering a couple of questions then submitting it for reimbursement. You can also file via email, fax or mail by submitting their claims form and a copy of your paid, itemized vet invoice. Pets Best states you can expect reimbursement in as little as two days with direct deposit or five to seven days by paper check.

Pet Assure is a little bit different than most pet insurance plans -- it's not technically pet insurance, but rather a discount plan that offers 25% off all in-house medical care at participating vets with no claims required. If your vet accepts Pet Assure -- and you should find out before applying -- we like that this plan offers discounts for preexisting conditions that aren't covered by most policies.

A newcomer to the pet insurance industry, Pumpkin offers comprehensive coverage that will reimburse you for many conditions other pet insurance companies deny, including dental disease, behavioral issues, parasite infection and hereditary disorders. But you'll also pay higher monthly premiums in exchange. That said, if you're visiting the vet frequently, this insurance offers a higher maximum annual coverage than most.

Waiting period and eligibility requirements:Waiting periods are standard -- it takes 14 days before coverage kicks in -- but Pumpkin does not have a separate waiting period for cruciate conditions and hip dysplasia like other pet insurance companies. Pets that are eight weeks old and up are eligible, and there are no age cap or breed restrictions. 041b061a72

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