It never fails; pets always end up with some reason for a trip to the vet. Whether it is their yearly shots, an ear infection, or something more serious, it always feels like it costs an arm and a leg. You can try making it to a low cost clinic, but chances are they are booked for weeks in advance. This is something I have had to deal with many times until about six months ago when I purchased pet insurance. There are many different pet insurance companies to choose from, and all offer multiple types of plans. After doing my research and comparing plans I chose to go with the Comprehensive plan from VPI pet insurance.
There are a few things you should consider when shopping for pet insurance. The first thing you should consider is what you would like the insurance to cover. Most insurance companies offer different levels of coverage. There are usually basic coverage plans that will cover things like ear infections, minor cuts, as well as other things, all the way up major medical plans that cover almost anything. The more coverage you have on your plan, the more money it costs. I chose the most extensive coverage plan that VPI offered. I chose this plan because it also covered hereditary problems that can be passed down. Rottweiler’s are known for having bad hips and knees, so this is something that I thought was very important.
Another important thing to consider when looking at pet insurance policies is the amount of a deductible you want per pet. A deductible is the amount of out-of-pocket expenses you have to incur before insurance will cover the charges. When I was doing my research about different insurances, most of the insurances had the option of either a $100, $250, or $500 dollar deductible. For me, since my dogs tend to be rather expensive, I opted for the 100 dollar deductible. If you have a breed of dog that is low maintenance, and you don’t find yourself at the vet very often, it may save you some money to go with a higher deductible.
Lastly, you need to decide if you want to include a preventative maintenance plan on your pets insurance. A preventative maintenance plan is coverage for yearly shots, teeth cleaning, and spaying/neutering. Preventative maintenance packages are generally an add-on to your medical insurance plan, but they are pretty pricey, at least from my research. I chose not to add the preventative maintenance plan for my dogs because they only go to the vet once a year for shots. For the additional amount that it was going to cost each month per dog, it was not worth it for me.
Overall, purchasing pet insurance has been very beneficial to me and my animals, but it is very important to do your research first. I found two websites that helped guide me in my decision of which pet insurance to go with. Pet Insurance University (http://www.pet-insurance-university.com/) and About.com (http://puppies.about.com/od/Homecoming/fl/Pet-Insurance.htm) both were very helpful for me. If you are thinking about purchasing pet insurance be sure to check these two websites out!
I am always interested in hearing your opinion! If you have pet insurance which Company do you go through, and do you like it? Please let me know with a comment below!