You love your pets more than anything else, and you will do everything in might to protect your four-legged best friend. You even created a pet emergency fund to cover unexpected pet costs. Sure, this is a good idea: saving for the rainy days. But is this enough? You might need to secure a pet insurance.

Pet insurance is a coverage purchased by the pet owner in order to reduce the overall costs. It is similar to a health insurance, except it covers pets, including dogs and cats. Introduced in the United States, this type of insurance began in 1980, which was first sold for television’s Lassie two years after.

Pet insurers design their coverage in tiers. The higher the rate, the more types of problems are incorporated in the plan. When shopping for a pet insurance, bear in mind your pet’s general health and its medical history in order to determine the tiers applicable to your pet. Also, pet insurance has multiple deductibles, which is one deductible per incident, costing from $100 to $200 annually.

The following are some examples of pet insurance:

  • ASPCA Pet Health Insurance – Their coverage has three levels: Level 1 (Injuries), Level 2 (Injuries and Illnesses), and Level 3 (Injuries, Illnesses, and Advanced Care). The entity also offers flexible deductibles and custom reimbursements. A pet owner can also include wellness coverage to any plan.
  • Veterinary Pet Insurance – The company offers four types of plans for dogs and cats, depending on the pet and the budget: Major Medical Plan, Medical Plan, Pet Wellness Plan, and Injury Plan. Coverage for dogs is more expensive than for cats. They also offer Bird and Exotic Pet Plan, among others.

Other firms have the same multi-tiered plans. All providers allow the owner to choose their vet granted the practitioner was licensed. Majority of plans provide certain amount of preventive care coverage or rider. Also, co-pays range from none to 30%. In California for instance, monthly premiums are between $59 and $168 for a medium-sized dog.

Before obtaining a pet insurance, remember the following:

  • Pet insurance do not pay for itself for most pet owners, based on a report by Consumer Reports.
  • Read and understand the policies’ terms. Certain provisions of the coverage do not take effect immediately. And pet insurance policies have standard waiting periods.
  • Take note of the pre-existing conditions and other exclusions. Some policies have limited or no coverage for such. It is advisable to ask the pet insurance firm on how it defines pre-existing conditions.
  • If you intend to use the plan for catastrophic coverage, opt for the highest deductible you can afford.
  • Every state has differing premium rates, so do not be caught off guard by its increases.

At the end of the day, pet insurance companies are out there to generate money. Rates may change, firms may decide not to pay claims, or the insurer may send notices of changes to the coverage without outlining it. Before anything else, study the policy details, review the ruling, and ask questions, if needed. After all, this is for you dearest best friend and you want to provide nothing but the best for your pet, right?