Pet insurance has had an average annual growth rate of about 13.2% since 2009. Some breeders require new puppy owners to carry pet insurance for the first two years. Recently, I have been having more families ask me about it and if it is worth it. When registering your puppy with the American Kennel Club (AKC) they provide a Pet Insurance Gift Certificate. This certificate must be activated but is good for 30 days. You can find the details here: AKC Pet Insurance Certificate Activation
Pet Health Insurance Research
Only you can decide if Pet Health Insurance is the right choice for you and your pet, however here are some items to consider and questions you should ask when researching your options:
1. Not all insurance companies are the same
Each company has different plans and there are different plans within each company. It can get very confusing. Some plans are for accidents only, others cover a wide variety of illnesses, some include cancer and others do not. Some plans include annual checks up and health testing. Know what you are buying!
2. Price isn’t the only consideration
While some plans are cheaper, it is usually due to less benefits and higher deductibles. Again, know what coverages you are getting, so there are no surprises.
3. Can you use your own Veterinarian?
My research showed that pet insurance companies allowed claims from any licensed vet. I would still make sure that your choice of vet is accepted by the pet insurance company you choose.
4. Submitting your Claim
You will be required to pay your vet bill up-front and then submit your bill and any necessary paperwork directly to your Pet Insurance Company.
5. Are Pre-Existing Conditions Covered?
Pre-existing conditions are NOT covered. Make sure you understand how this works with your insurance policy. Some policies are annual policies only and what was not considered pre-existing one year, will be the next if your pet developed an illness within the previous year.
Having the monthly expense of pet insurance is a personal choice. Some families at least have insurance the first two years of a puppy's life. Insurance will protect you from the large unexpected vet bills. Those unexpected bills sometimes put the owner in the position of going into debt or putting your “furry” family member to sleep — a difficult choice either way.
Before you buy — please do your research and know what coverage you are getting.