How to Find the Best Pet Insurance for Cats and Dogs In the USA, UK, And Canada

We all love our pets, they are like family and sometimes they can get very sick. For example, if your pet is diagnosed with cancer total treatment costs can go as high as 14,000 dollars. Emergency surgery to remove something a toy your pet ate could easily be 3,000 dollars. Investing in the right best pet insurance In the USA, Uk, And Canada can allow you to make the best medical choices for your pet without devastating your finances. Like any other pet owner, I sometimes worry if I can cover an expensive veterinary bill financially. I own two lovely cats, Teemo and Arya. They are both ragdolls from the same litter and both have pet insurance.

I spent quite a bit of time researching pet insurance In the USA, Uk, And Canada, and today I want to share the knowledge you need to properly evaluate the best pet insurance for you and your pet. I will simplify pet insurance to the most important things you need to consider and help answer some common questions you may have. Such as

  • How does pet insurance work?
  • What are the key coverages you need?
  • What to expect in costs?
  • Ways to save money on pet insurance?
  • And is pet insurance worth it?

At the end of the Article, I will share with you guys which pet insurance I decided to go with and my own experience with that company. I will also share why we selected that company and recommend a few other top pet insurance companies from my research. I am the Cat Butler and usually, I make Articles on how to help you become the best cat owner, but today’s information applies to dogs and cats. If you like the content please consider subscribing and giving the Article alike. And hit that notification bell for new Articles.

What is Pet Insurance?

Like human health insurance, pet insurance In the USA, Uk, And Canada requires the payment of a premium, and then the insurance company promises to pay for the treatment. A premium is an amount you pay per month to have pet insurance. In most cases, plans with a higher deductible have lower premiums. The Deductible is the amount of the veterinary bill you must pay before the insurance company starts paying. There are two types of deductibles, per-incident and annual. The per-incident deductible is the amount you must pay for each new illness or injury.

For example, if a pet is hit by a car, that is considered one incident and has one deductible regardless of how many times the owner must return to the veterinarian for rechecks. An annual deductible is an amount you must pay each year regardless of the number of new incidents. Most insurance plans also have a maximum payout. A maximum payout is the maximum amount of money the insurance company will give you. There are five different types of maximum payouts, but the one you should get is the maximum payout per annual year. This offers the most flexibility and resets every policy year. The other ones are confusing and try to limit how much you can get by illness or body system. The simpler and more straightforward your insurance policy is the fewer chances that you will not get paid by the insurance company. And next, we have exclusions. Exclusions are a list of things not covered by the insurance company. You want to make sure you read this carefully before choosing a policy.

how does Pet Insurance work?

When you first purchase pet insurance In the USA, Uk, And Canada there is normally a waiting period before coverage kicks in. The length of the waiting period varies from one pet insurance to another. Every pet insurance has a waiting period to prevent pet owners from signing up for their sick pet and getting a payout immediately. Pet insurance companies want people to buy coverage before their pets get sick. Existing medical problems with your pet before the policy waiting period is over are considered existing conditions. This is important because most pet insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions. So this is the reason why it is best to get pet insurance when your pet is young and healthy. Another thing to keep in mind is when you switch insurance providers during your pet’s life, any medical problems that developed in the previous pet insurance are considered existing. The minute you discover that their claim process is not great, or their underwriting is far more restrictive than they let on, you already have a pre-existing condition and cannot get that condition covered by another insurer for the life of the pet.

Pretty you are married to the pet insurance company you make your first claim with unless that condition is fine for you to have excluded from future coverage. So choosing the right pet insurance for your needs from the start is very important. You do not want to end up paying years of premiums to be denied coverage. Now the billing process.With human health insurance, the doctor bills the insurance company for you. With pet insurance, you pay the veterinary bill directly to the veterinarian and then you are reimbursed by the pet insurance In the USA, Uk, And Canada company after you file a claim with them. Usually, the reimbursement rate ranges from 60 to 90% depending on the policy you choose. The remaining amount not reimbursed is the copay. Reimbursement can take up to 30 days. In my experience, it usually averages about 2 weeks.

Some pet insurance companies do pay the vet directly. With pet insurance, there are no networks. You can visit any licensed veterinarian in the US. Some plans also allow you to visit a licensed veterinarian in another country while traveling. The watch out here for the people in the US is some pet insurance does not have coverage in every state. So if you move you may have to give up your existing pet insurance. Having pet insurance can give you peace of mind that you are covered for the worst-case scenario, but the keyword is “covered”.If you are going to spend money on pet insurance, you need to make sure you are getting good coverage.

The last thing you want to see happen is the scenario where you have been paying monthly premiums for 10 years and your pet gets a disease that is not covered.

What coverage do you need?

In addition to purchasing a plan that covers accidents and illnesses, you want to have 5 points of coverage in your pet insurance In the USA, Uk, And Canada plans. If you do not have these 5 components of coverage, you are literally throwing your money away because you will not be covered for common, core diseases.

  1. Number One you need coverage for cancer. Cancer is common in veterinary medicine and treatment can get very expensive.
  2. Number Second is coverage for chronic diseases. Chronic diseases are illnesses that have a long duration and generally progress slowly. Examples include Heart Disease, Diabetes, Chronic Kidney Disease, and Chronic Liver DiseaseThese diseases are usually not curable and the costs over time can be enormous. These types of diseases usually show up in middle-aged to older dogs and cats.
  3. Number Three is the continual coverage of chronic diseases. Chronic diseases will continue to need treatments & diagnostic monitoring long after the diagnosis is made. If you do not get this coverage, the chronic disease will only be covered in the policy year it was diagnosed, after that, you will have to pay for any continuing medications or diagnostic monitoring yourself. Any chronic condition is going to have ongoing costs for the life of the patient, not just the first year in which it happens. Avoid plans that place limits on the continual coverage payout.
  4. Number Forth is Coverage for Hereditary and congenital diseases. These types of conditions can be present at birth or develop later in life. I will link in the description a list of hereditary and congenital diseases for each breed. Lastly, you want to get coverage for medical conditions common to your pet’s breed and species. For example, Golden Retrievers are more likely to develop hypothyroidism, and older cats are likely to develop kidney disease and diabetes. Ask your veterinarian to help you create a list. If your pet is older or has pre-existing conditions the type of coverage available to you may be limited.

You may have to use alternatives to help pay for conditions that are not covered. This is why sometimes getting insurance for your pet at a young age has its advantages. There are quite a few coverage options to add to your pet insurance.

I am going to highlight the most important coverage to consider. Wellness & Routine Care refers to preventive procedures like vaccinations, annual exams, medications, spaying/neutering, dental cleanings, and routine diagnostic tests. These procedures are very important in maintaining the health of your pet, as they prevent disease or catch the disease early. Most companies offer Wellness & Routine Care as an optional add-on for an additional cost.

how much does pet insurance cost?

Average premiums for young Cats start at 28.48 and 49.51 for young dogs (North America PetHealth Insurance Association). This is determined by where you live, the breed, and the age of your pet. If you live in a high-cost-of-living area or have a breed more prone to illness then the cost will be more. Also, age plays a huge factor in terms of cost. A younger pet usually is cheaper than an older pet. Something to consider is that every year your pet insurance can increase. Expect average premiums to go up to 100 dollars for senior cats and 189 dollars for senior dogs per month. This is primarily due to the age of your pet and inflation in your area. Before buying, make sure you fully understand how, when and by how much your premium will increase over time, and make sure you are prepared for those increases.

how can you save money on pet insurance?

The first is to check with your employer. If you work for a big company they may offer discounted pet insurance. The rates could be heavily discounted and the price increases over the years are very small. Second, you can opt to not add Wellness & Routine Care to your insurance coverage and have it be something you pay out of pocket. Vaccines, medications, and neutering aren’t too expensive and you can save for these expenses and use pet insurance for unexpected vet bills. The third is to get pet insurance when your pet is younger. If your pet is older or has pre-existing conditions you may not be eligible for full coverage in the insurance policy and not get the most out of your money.

So is pet insurance worth it?

Most people would argue if your pet is healthy, why not set aside money every month and save for unexpected vet bills? In some scenarios, you may not have saved enough money when a medical emergency happens. Such as your pet getting cancer at the age of 2 or some freak accident. What pet insurance does is a way to handle those catastrophic, unexpected, costly accidents and illnesses. Pet insurance is worth it if you have a young pet that is healthy with no pre-existing conditions and you make sure you get the right coverage. While they are young, you hopefully won’t have to use it much, but it will be worth it later down the road when they do start aging and/or experience some kind of veterinary emergency. For older pets, people often purchase pet insurance too late in their pet’s life for it to be useful. Pets are not covered for pre-existing conditions, and these generally arise as the pet ages. Pet insurance isn’t for everyone. If the premiums are a burden to your finances, don’t get pet insurance In the USA, Uk, And Canada.

To get the most out of your pet insurance you need to have your pet covered for the duration of its life. But if you can comfortably afford it, insurance coverage for your pet means you won’t have to make a difficult choice between your loved one and your finances. And that’s ultimately what you’re paying for: No matter what issues your pet might have, you’ll know that you can give them the very best. So now you have done a lot of research and you are ready to choose a pet insurance plan. Before we talk about the different companies I want to give you a couple of pieces of advice in finding the right insurance policy. First is to ask the pet insurance companies to send you in writing what they actually cover and exclude from their policy. The devil is in the details. The marketing materials and websites are usually vague. Make sure the policies have what you need to be covered! Number 2 is to consult with your vet based on your pet’s breed and age and figure out what medical conditions you need to be covered in your pet insurance.

Best Pet Insurence recommendations

Alright, so you are probably ready for some recommendations. I based my recommendations on a few factors. The track records of these companies.Coverage.Paying out claims without a hassle. And excellent customer service. I also read tons of reviews on each company to understand how other customers felt.

The first company is Trupanion. Trupanion offers one single comprehensive plan and has the option to pay your vet directly. So no waiting to be reimbursed. It also reimburses you at 90% and has no maximum payout.

The next company is Healthy Paws. It also offers a comprehensive plan with no limits to how much they pay out and has coverage when you travel out of state to Canada and Mexico. Healthy Paws also has excellent customer service that is responsive to your needs.

The next company is Embrace Pet Insurance. They offer comprehensive coverage and may cover pre-existing conditions if they deem it curable. Your pet must remain symptom-free and treatment free for a year. They also offer a max discount of 10% on multiple pets.

The last company is Nationwide and the pet insurance I chose for my two cats. Nationwide Pet Insurance was formerly VPI, which was the oldest pet insurance In the USA, Uk, And Canada company in the United States. They offer two plans, but I recommend the whole pet plan. As it offers a generous maximum payout structure and provides solid comprehensive coverage. Another reason why I chose Nationwide was its Wellness Coverage. I believe in preventative care such as blood tests and dental cleanings as it can catch illness early and keep my pet’s teeth intact. The claims process has been painless, you submit the vet bill and you are reimbursed in less than two weeks. For example, Teemo needed an X-ray because he fell on the concrete at an awkward angle. He is a clumsy cat. For hours he limped and cried. The bill came out to 600 hundred dollars and the reimbursement was painless.

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Customer service has been top-notch. Every time I call the representatives they have been pleasant and very helpful. They were also transparent about the cost increases to expect when my two cats get very old. The only con is that Nationwide is a little pricier than the other options, but I would recommend it if you want great coverage for your pet. The links to all of the pet insurance companies are in the description below. So I hope that I armed you with the knowledge to make the best decision for your pet. Never buy pet insurance without doing your own research.

The article was dense so feel free to go Top and re-reading it. If you have any questions feel free to comment down below and I will do my best to answer them.

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