Looking for a health insurance company for humans is hard enough. With pets being major family members in 68% of United States households, it's now common practice to find an insurance policy for your dog as well. As veterinary care can be pretty expensive even to spay and neuter your dog, finding a reliable insurance company is a good idea. It's necessary to first look at the type of pet health insurance you need to consider.
Pet Health Insurance Policies and Coverage Options
There are two major types of pet health insurance policies for dogs. The first type of dog insurance covers accidents only, which means these plans will cover emergency care from car accident injuries and poisoning to ingestion of a foreign object like a toy or bone.
The second type of dog insurance covers accidents and illnesses. Illnesses may include cancer treatments, ear infections, heartworm medications, and exam fees. Many full coverage options for insurance policies will also cover wellness care such as vaccinations, dental cleanings, and treatment for chronic conditions.
According to a survey done by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) in 2019, annual deductibles for accident only pet insurance coverage was much cheaper for dogs than wellness care coverage plans.
On average, accident and illness wellness care plans cost around $585 for the annual deductible, making the insurance policy monthly premium just under $50. However, for accident-only dog health insurance, the annual deductible was less than $200 with a monthly premium of less than $20.
Considering Dog Insurance Policies
Determining which type of insurance policy you need for your dog may depend on their current health condition as well as any previous medical care they've had due to pre-existing conditions. Pet parents may also look at pet insurance policies that are best for their dog's breed. Some breeds will have congenital conditions such as hip dysplasia and may require more frequent routine care. For dog's with more needs, a wellness plan might be right for your dog.
If you spay/neuter your dog or if you have a smaller breed, your insurance cost is usually less.
For pet owners with healthy and young dogs, a pet insurance plan might not be necessary until they are older. However, some insurance agencies also have age limits, which require a pet parent to get dog health insurance before their dog reaches a certain age, or they can't be covered. Senior dogs are often not covered by insurance policies.
Pet Insurance Companies
Finding the best pet insurance really comes down to your pet's needs. Some companies like Wagmo, Trupanion and Healthy Paws offer minimal coverage for vet visits and exam fees but cover many prescription medications. Others dog health insurance companies like Embrace Pet Insurance have long waiting periods for certain accidents and have limits on dental cleanings, but they often cover diagnostic testing and preventative care.
Regardless of insurance costs, having a good pet insurance policy can help with yearly veterinary bills and any emergency care. Over your dog's lifetime, having a good pet health insurance company can be worth it in the long run.
Whether you want a peace of mind or you have a pet with hereditary conditions, having a good dog insurance policy is necessary for pet owners to cover some of their vet bills.