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Pet Insurance: What Is It and How Does It Work?

You wouldn’t hesitate to carry insurance for your children or spouse, but what about the furry creatures who hold an important spot in your family’s heart? If you could, would you buy insurance for your pets? Pet insurance is an actual product that can help you control the cost of treating your pets when they are ill or injured and ensures that a beloved animal never needs to go without medical attention for financial reasons.

Like people insurance, pet insurance is a protection plan that allows you to pay a monthly or annual premium in exchange for predetermined benefits that are paid out as a result of insurable incidents such as accident or illness. And while some plans focus on major medical protection or injury coverage, there are others that can provide benefits for preventative care like shots and annual exams.

Pet insurance policies can have deductibles, which is the amount of money that you must pay out of pocket before insurance benefits kick in, and limits that create a maximum for payable benefits. There may also be copayments, depending on your policy.

Many insurance plans are structured to cover the hereditary problems that you might expect your breed of dog or cat to encounter. Others focus simply on immediate injuries like lacerations or infections. It’s a good idea to research the health conditions known to affect your pet’s breed before you decide which plan to take out. In addition, make sure that the policy is portable so that you know it works with a veterinarian in your area. In most instances, pet insurance is a reimbursement plan, which means that you must pay your vet and then file a claim with the insurer for reimbursement.

Facing pet medical bills can be daunting and in a rough economy, pet care is often last on the list of priorities. But with pet insurance, you can help ensure that your cherished pet has the care it needs at a price you can afford.
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