Pet Insurance and Routine Care: Why To Keep Them Separate - The Trupanion Blog
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Pet Insurance and Routine Care: Why To Keep Them Separate

Pet Insurance, Kitten in Mailbox
Kitten in Mailbox

A good pet owner will take good care of their pet and especially keep up to date with proper pet health care. This includes providing routine care for the pet including regular vaccinations, vet examinations, and preventative medications. A really good pet owner is also prepared with pet insurance to pay for pet medical treatment costs. Pet insurance covers expenses associated with any unexpected accidents or illnesses thus allowing the pet owner to be able to provide the best medical treatment for their pet.

Some people choose to combine routine care into a pet insurance plan. Routine coverage, also known as wellness plans, can be added onto some pet insurance policies. The up-side of routine coverage is that it seem easier to receive payments for pet insurance claims all at once, and it is exciting to receive the pet insurance reimbursement check in the mail. However, before getting the fully comprehensive (and more expensive) pet insurance plan, there are a few things you should know about pet insurance and routine coverage.

Because pet insurance in the United States works on a reimbursement model, pet owners must first pay veterinary bills up front and then file a pet insurance claim to be repaid. This means that regardless of a pet insurance wellness plan, you are still paying the vet clinic directly for routine expenses. If you have a wellness plan with your pet insurance, then you are paying money to the pet insurance company, then paying the vet, then filing a pet insurance claim to get your money back. In this situation, it is much easier just to keep the money to pay the vet for planned expenses. Dollar trading with pet insurance companies for routine care only makes the monthly premiums more expensive without adding extra value to the pet insurance plan.

Why pet insurance wellness plans don’t save you any money: The pet insurance company typically charges higher premiums to add these features. Essentially, if monthly flea medications cost $150 per year, then the pet insurance company will charge you about $15 a month, or $180 per year so that the pet insurance company makes a profit. In cases like these, it’s better not to get routine coverage on your pet insurance plan, but rather keep the money.

Another down-side to wellness plans for pet insurance is that they have annual limits as to how much money the pet insurance will pay for routine care. This is to ensure that the pet insurance company continues to make a profit. If your pet needs more expensive vaccinations, or to replace lost flea medications, the wellness plan may not cover it due to annual limitations.

In conclusion, it is not particularly worth it to get routine coverage with a pet insurance plan. Because routine care costs are predictable, it would make more financial sense for the pet owner to plan for these expenses instead of purchasing a wellness pet insurance plan. Pet insurance is best without the added wellness plan because wellness coverage only adds confusion and higher cost to the pet insurance premiums.

Without routine coverage, pet insurance plans are great to have for all pets. Unlike wellness plans, accident and illness pet insurance has the potential to take care of very large vet bills that pet owners couldn’t always plan for. Pet insurance also has much higher limits which means your pet will be well taken care of in any incident. Because pets are unpredictable and can get hurt or sick at any time, they should be covered by a pet insurance policy.


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