Because pet insurance is a newer concept, there are many misunderstandings and misconceptions about it. Many people are afraid to try something new, pet insurance for example, because they don’t understand it. People may be aware that pet insurance helps to pay for expensive vet bills, but they are afraid that there might be a catch. By learning the basic misconceptions about pet insurance, you can glean a better understanding of what pet insurance really is and how it works.
Pet insurance misconception #1: “I don’t need pet insurance.” Many people only want to buy pet insurance if they can get repaid a greater amount than they put in. This would suggest that the pet gets very sick or hurt and requires expensive pet insurance claims. Just like human health insurance or car insurance, we don’t get pet insurance for the payout. Rather, pet insurance is there to pay for bills when the unexpected happens.
Pet insurance misconception #2: “Pet insurance is too expensive.” In fact, pet insurance is actually very affordable. If you can budget for expected costs like check-ups, then accident and illness pet insurance policies are only about 20-40 dollars per month. Pet insurance only gets a little more pricey if you choose to include regular check-ups and vaccinations in your pet insurance policy. What is expensive is trying to pay for veterinary bills that are hundreds or thousands of dollars without the help of pet insurance.
Pet insurance misconception #3: “I’m not sure if my veterinarian accepts pet insurance.” Pet insurance is not like human health insurance where you have to find an accredited doctor. Pet insurance in the U.S. works by reimbursement so that you may go to any veterinarian of your choice regardless of which policy you have. Also, because you file the pet insurance claims and send them in, your veterinarian doesn’t have to worry about dealing with pet insurance companies.
Pet insurance misconception #4: “It’s better to put the cost of monthly premiums in a savings account.” There are benefits of self-insuring such as access to the money at any time and getting to keep the leftover money. However, there is great risk in accidentally spending the money elsewhere or quickly draining the account for vet bills. If you have been putting $30 in for 12 months, then you will only have $360 to put towards a thousand-dollar bill for a broken leg. With pet insurance, you are not limited to the amount of time you have been paying premiums. A pet insurance policy ensures that whenever something happens to your pet, it will be covered.
Pet insurance misconception #5: “Pet insurance is difficult to understand and confusing.” Of all types of insurance, pet insurance is actually very straight forward. Though some pet insurance companies have limitations and exclusions, others like Trupanion cover practically all medical expenses for non-preexisting conditions. Most pet insurance companies cover a set percentage of 80-90 percent of all medical costs. Plus, most pet insurance companies have customer service representatives who are happy to explain the policy details and clarify parts that you don’t understand.
Pet insurance misconception #6: “Pet insurance doesn’t cover anything, they are just trying to take my money.” Unlike car insurance or human health insurance that costs thousands of dollars per year, pet insurance is just a few hundred per year. Common complaints about pet insurance not paying claims usually relates back to preexisting conditions which are not covered by any pet insurance company. However, most conditions that occur after purchasing a policy are fully covered. Trupanion is an example of a pet insurance company that does not exclude breeds, breed-specific conditions, or hereditary conditions which means they cover just about everything.
As you can see, these and other misconceptions about pet insurance can be cleared up just by doing some research. Because each individual pet has its unique health history, it’s difficult to base your experiences by those of another pet owner. It’s best to do thorough research when considering pet insurance to look at the big picture and how each company treats all of their customers as a whole. Pet insurance can be a great financial plan if you have done plenty of research and understand it.