While you can’t put a price on the remarkable bonds people have with their pets, the financial reality is that many pet owners can’t afford the cost of veterinary care. In the United States, the average cost of caring for a dog throughout its lifetime can be anywhere from $17,650 a year to a staggering $93,520. For this reason, a growing number of pet owners are opting for pet insurance to manage and prepare for expensive treatments. But how does pet insurance work? And how can it benefit both pets and vets?
What is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance works similarly to health insurance. Pet owners pay a monthly premium in exchange for coverage. Once they have paid the vet and filed a claim, the insurance provider reimburses a percentage of the amount minus any uncovered expenses. How much a pet owner pays for pet insurance can vary depending on the kind of coverage they want and how they want to be reimbursed. Typically, there are three types of pet insurance plans: accident-only, accident plus illness and comprehensive.
- A comprehensive policy, sometimes known as a wellness plan, covers up to 90% of veterinary costs. This also includes preventative treatments such as routine care, exams and vaccinations.
- Accident-only provides protection for sudden, unexpected accidents and injuries as well as tests and diagnostics, emergency exam fees and prescription medication.
- Accident plus illness offers the same coverage as accident only but also covers the treatment and care for long-term or chronic health conditions. While pet insurance companies rarely cover pre-existing conditions, some offer additional coverage for hereditary illness but this requires a waiting period (usually 1 year).
Should I Recommend Pet Insurance to my Clients?
Research shows that while 94% of pet owners know about the availability of pet insurance, they don’t have a firm grasp on the different types of policies and the benefits they provide. To help them, here are five benefits of pet insurance your clients need to know about:
It provides financial freedom
Pet insurance can help clients manage their monthly spending as it is much easier to budget for fixed expenses than it is to budget for unforeseen costs. Moreover, clients have complete control over how much they pay out of their own pocket.
Many pet owners choose maximum benefit pet insurance. This means they can make as many claims as they like up to a pre-set cap, for example $1,500. As long as they renew their policy each year, this amount is always available for them to dip in as and when they need the coverage.
It is not expensive
While pet insurance can seem like an unwanted expense, it is relatively affordable. Monthly premiums can start from as low as $10 per month making treatment costs a lot more manageable. But it’s important to remind clients that a pet’s age or breed are major factors in determining how much pet insurance costs.
It improves care compliance
Financial limitations are the most common reasons that pets are unable to receive veterinary care. Therefore, pet insurance is likely to deliver better health outcomes for pets as vets don’t have to worry about restricting a treatment recommendation when it comes with a hefty fee.
It promotes a fairer market
Unlike health insurance companies, pet insurance providers don’t work with a preferred network of veterinary practices. The advantage of this is veterinary practices compete on equal terms and are more likely to work harder to keep costs down and improve services. When deciding the best place for their pets to receive treatment, clients can stay with a trusted veterinarian or go with a practice that has plenty of positive referrals.
Above all else, it delivers peace of mind
Although new technology such as the accessibility of electronic health records has made it easier for pet owners to track the health and wellness of their pets, it can’t predict an accident, injury, or sudden illness. But with pet insurance, clients can rest assured that they can give their pets the care they need should an emergency arise.
Here at Vitus Vet, we understand the biggest disadvantage of pet insurance is that submitting a claim can be slow and complicated. By working with Nationwide Pet Insurance, our teams have streamlined the process, reducing the financial burden of costly vet bills and improving client satisfaction. With better payment solutions in place, practices can focus on what’s most important: delivering the best care possible for our beloved pets. Contact us today to request your demo!