To put it simply, pet insurance provides you with the peace of mind and confidence to make better healthcare decisions that are in the best interest of your pets. By providing you with protection from the financial strain of unexpected medical costs, pet insurance gives us the ability to focus on what is really important; being there for our pets when they need us most.
We would do anything to make sure our family stays healthy and happy. But life is filled with unexpected emergencies; our loved ones such as our children, our spouses, and our pets can get sick or hurt.
With the different types of insurance available, we can provide the care and protection that our family deserves.
But even though most of us have insurance to protect our human family members, many of us do not have pet insurance to protect our furrier family members.
With pet insurance, you can move the cost of pet illness from discretionary to budgeted. It provides financial assistance with medical expenses due to illness, accidents or emergencies.
Pet insurance gives you the freedom to make healthcare decisions based on what is best for your pet versus being constrained by your bank account.
Pet insurance removes the pain of economic euthanasia - the sad reality when pet parents have to put their pet to sleep because they can't afford their pets medical expenses. This is an all-too-common occurrence which can be prevented.
Pet insurance gives you the peace of mind that your pet will be protected if and when the time comes.
84% of us call ourselves our pet's "mom" or "dad".
American Animal Hospital Association Pet Owner Survey
81% of dog owners consider their pets to be true family members.
66% of people admit to having two or more nicknames for their pets.
18% of pet owners admit to using Skype or FaceTime to speak to their pets.
77% of pet owners celebrate their pet’s birthday by buying their pet a present.
Purina Pet Institute
Even with the arguments for having pet insurance above, you’ll read and hear several arguments against pet insurance.
As previous pet insurance industry executives, we can tell you that statistically, the first year of a dog's life is the most expensive; primarily from injuries. Although serious illness is more likely in an older animal, serious illnesses also do occur in young pets. The other problem with this argument is that if you don't insure your pet while young, and they do have a medical condition while uninsured, that condition could be a pre-existing exclusion on any policy you choose to buy in the future. Buying pet insurance while a pet is very young, eliminates the risk of pre-existing condition exclusions.
Although this is an argument you often hear, especially from financial sources, it is a false argument. It's hard for most people to diligently save for an event like this. And, if they do, it often gets raided for other emergencies. But the biggest argument against this strategy, is you have no idea when you may need the money. Let's say you start a savings account today and put $50 away per month for a future medical expense. What happens if your pet breaks a leg one month after you start your savings account and the repair is going to cost $2,000? If you had instead spent that $50 on a pet insurance policy, the $2,000 would be covered. That's why throughout this site, you will hear the phrase "transfer of risk". When you buy the pet insurance policy, that unknown risk of a $2,000 veterinary expense is now transferred to the insurance company.
Veterinarians can assure you that indoor animals not only get injured, but they get sick. Serious illnesses, like cancer, kidney disease, thyroid disease, liver disease, gastrointestinal disease, etc., don't care if your pet is indoors or outdoors. Even an indoor pet has the risk of getting hit by a car if they bolt through an inadvertently left open door. Indoor pets can also get injured simply jumping up and down off a couch or bed, this a common history when dogs are presented for torn cruciate ligaments. Indoor pets can also suffer the toxic effects of eating unguarded foods like chocolate and other human-safe foods that pet owners may leave laying around.
Insurance companies are required to pay eligible claims. The only way a claim is not paid is if it is ineligible. So, if you understand the policy you are purchasing, and you are honest in answering questions during the sign-up phase, you will know if a claim is eligible before you file a claim. Being honest means disclosing any conditions that could be considered pre-existing. It is better for you to know up front that a condition will be excluded than to find out during the claims process. Failure to disclose a known condition and then trying to claim for it is considered misrepresentation. Also, some companies will fully underwrite a policy before it is issued. Others will underwrite at the time of claim. And some will do both. It is harder to know what will be covered with companies that underwrite only at the time of claim. Understanding the policy means reading the general exclusions of the policy, the pre-existing clause and any special waiting periods or exclusions listed in the policy documents. For instance, what happens to a condition that manifests during a waiting period? What conditions are bilateral exclusions; meaning if it happened in one leg before the insurance, is it excluded automatically for the other leg. Are there special waiting periods for things like torn cruciates? Some companies have longer waiting periods for this condition.
If you have had pet insurance in the past and believe this to be true, there can be several explanations. First, if your reason is your pet never needed it while you had it, that is a good thing. Pet Insurance is not there to save money at the veterinarian, it is there to prevent a loss from an expensive accident or illness. A healthy pet today, or one that has been healthy in the past, doesn't mean there won't be a problem in the future. That is what insurance is for; the unexpected. We can't tell you how many times we've heard "I cancelled my insurance because I wasn't using it" only to have a serious injury or illness after cancelling. Second, if you've had an experience with claims that haven't been paid, there can be several reasons for this as well; the amount claimed was below the deductible limit; or, the condition claimed for was excluded because the condition was pre-existing or was for one of the general exclusions listed in the policy. To avoid this, the best thing you can do is to understand the policy you are purchasing and have realistic expectations based on knowledge. That is the purpose of this site.
The cost of pet insurance is an expense that will never be recovered. You are paying a fee to the pet insurance company to assume the risk for the veterinary care of your pet. If your pet is healthy, or only has minor issues, in any given policy period, you are right, the insurance will most likely cost more than the treatment. But, the purpose of insurance is to cover the unexpected high cost of an injury or illness that is above your ability to pay. For instance, cancer care can cost over $10,000 a year, surgeries can be $3,000-$5,000 per condition, etc. If you have this kind of unexpected expense, you'll be glad you have pet insurance.
We all try to protect our pets and not allow anything bad to happen to them. But, it's just not realistic to believe we can prevent all accidents, including injuries that can occur from simply playing, and we have very little, if any, control over illness. Animals can be unpredictable, and things happen. Pet insurance prepares you for the unexpected.