How to find the right pet insurance for your beloved dog

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27 April 2020
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Most of us rightly place a priority on human health. We make sure that all our health needs are covered, whether by the NHS or health insurance, so that we get the best care when we need it. But we don’t all do the same for our dogs.

There seems to be a misconception that insuring your pet’s health is somehow gratuitous. It’s an added expense that none of us want. However, when it comes down to it, we should be willing to pay anything to keep our dogs healthy.

If you live in the US, or are thinking of moving to the US and flying with your dog, vet fees are particularly high. An emergency procedure can cost thousands of dollars. Many dog owners go into debt because of this. After all, at some point in their lives, every dog will need special care.

The good news is that there are tons of pet health insurers in the US that are affordable and reliable. The question you will have to face is how to find the right one. Insurance in the US has the potential to be a minefield.

To help you, here is a quick guide of what to look for in US pet insurance.

Coverage and waiting periods

The health insurance industry in the US, whether for humans or pets, generally has a number of restrictions and exclusions. Therefore, the first thing you need to look for in pet insurance is which dogs they do and don’t cover, and how long the waiting periods are.

Many pet insurance companies won’t cover older dogs or dogs at high risk of hereditary diseases like hip dysplasia. They may also make new customers wait for months before being able to claim. This is going to be problematic if your pet needs care for travel-related issues, soon after a move.

On these fronts, PetsBest pets health insurance is a good bet. They cover most dogs even if they’re a little older, and you’re eligible for coverage after just three days.

Deductibles

Another hurdle you need to face when dealing with US insurance companies is deductibles. While insurance companies around the world will charge deductibles, or excess, on certain occasions, this is far more common in the US, and the amounts are significant. Considering the inflated cost of vet bills, your insurance can cover most of the cost and still leave you with a big bill.

Find out about deductibles before settling on pet insurance. Things like deductibles can make your life that much harder when you most need the help.

Routine care

Many pet insurance companies in the US will offer routine care for an added cost. This care may include neutering, grooming, defleaing, and the like. When deciding on these extras, you’ll need to do the maths. Much of the time, the extra money you are paying is equivalent to what you would pay out of pocket. However, when you’re trusting your pet insurance with it, this becomes unnecessarily complicated.

Cost

How much should insurance for your dog cost? There’s no ‘right’ answer to this question. It depends on your dog’s age, existing health conditions, breed, and more. A mid-range premium at PetsBest for a relatively young, healthy dog comes to around $30 (about £24), for example. But prices will change depending on the annual cap you choose, and it’s again worthwhile doing the maths.

A higher annual cap might make more money available when you need it, but sometimes you will be better off paying any extra expenses out of pocket rather than committing to a higher premium.

Customer experience

One of the important factors when it comes to dealing with pet insurance is the customer experience. You’ll be contacting the insurance company during stressful times, and the last thing you want is to have to jump through hoops just to speak to the right person.

Take a look at customer reviews to see how they felt about the process. If they speak about how difficult it was to find out what was covered, pay deductibles, and simply get the support they needed, you’re better off choosing another option.

You need pet insurance

Pet insurance is yet another expense that’s hard on your bank account. However, all pets age and face health issues, injuries, and accidents. You’ll need to get medical help for them, and if you’re not prepared, you can end up in a significant amount of debt. By investing in pet insurance, you’re making sure that stressful times for your dog are made that much easier.