If you get into an accident, you’re protected from paying obscene amounts on your medical bills thanks to your health insurance policy. What about your cat or dog? The average cost for an annual vet visit can range from $200-$400 for dogs and $90-$200 for cats, but unplanned events or accidents can cost thousands.
Many insurance companies offer pet insurance to help reduce the cost of veterinarian bills. Pet insurance is just like your insurance – most are paid on a monthly schedule and the coverage is dictated by what plan you choose and how much you pay each month.
The plans can cover anything from illnesses to injuries with some exceptions depending on who the provider is. Some companies do not offer coverage for dental diseases, pre-existing conditions, hip dysplasia, grooming, routine check-ups, and behavior issues.
How Pet Insurance Works
Just like with your insurance, there is a deductible. The annual deductible is the money you pay towards a bill before the insurance kicks in and it typically ranges from $0-$1000.
Unlike your insurance, pet insurance has a reimbursement level and annual max payout. The reimbursement level is the amount of the bill that will be reimbursed by the insurer after you pay the full bill and is usually between 50-100%. The annual maximum payout is the total amount the insurer will pay throughout the year.
The cost of your insurance plan is affected by what animal is going to be covered. Companies look at the species, breed, age and location. According to Value Penguin by Lending Tree, male dogs typically have the highest premium while female cats have the lowest. Larger pets typically have higher premiums as do older animals.
All licensed veterinarians will accept pet insurance. When you pay for the service, simply submit a claim form to your pet insurance company. The insurance company will go over the bill and will reimburse you based on your coverage.
Best Pet Insurance Companies
Consumer Advocate put together a list of the top 10 best pet insurance companies in Tucson, Arizona. Acoma Animal Clinic, the Tucson Veterinary Hospital, will accept all of these insurance plans. Below is a deeper look into the top three choices from the list.
HealthyPaws was chosen by the most Consumers Advocate visitors and the company is #1 in customer satisfaction. The company has over 2,290 reviews on Consumer Advocate.
The provider has no maximum payouts for dogs or cats and covers the following: illness, accidents, hereditary conditions, congenital conditions, chronic conditions, cancer, diagnostic treatment, r-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds, surgery, hospitalization, prescription medications, emergency care, specialty care and alternative treatment.
It does not cover pre-existing conditions, the examination fee or routine preventative care.
An 11-year-old domestic longhaired female cat in Tucson would cost $63.94 per month with a 50% reimbursement fee and a $1000 annual deductible.
A 2-year-old female English Bulldog would cost $88.78 per month with a 70% reimbursement fee. The annual deductible would be $500.
Healthypaws also gives examples of real customer savings. Bella the cat made a full recovery from cancer and her owner was reimbursed $7,515 out of $8,600 thanks to their insurance plan.
Petplan covers accidents, injuries, non-routine exams, diagnostic treatments, cancer treatments, prescription medication, surgery and rehabilitation, non-routine dental, referrals and specialist treatments, x-rays, boarding fees, death from illness of injury, and more. They promises reimbursements to go through 5-14 days after you file a claim.
For an 11-year-old domestic longhaired female cat in Tucson, Petplan offers a rate of $48.02 per month with a maximum annual payout of $15,000, a $750 annual deductible and 70% reimbursement.
For a 2-year-old female English Bulldog, PetPaws offer three plans: one for $43.65 per month (most affordable), one for $72.76 per month (popular choice) and one for $116.25 per month (most reimbursement). The maximum annual payout is $5,000, $15,000 and unlimited, respectfully, with annual deductibles at $500, $300 and $250, respectfully. All of them have an 80% reimbursement rate.
A Petplan customer was reimbursed $4,500 on a $5,000 vet bill through their cat insurance.
- Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace Pet Insurance offers one comprehensive plan for your cat or dog that covers accidents, injuries, illness, preventative vet care, grooming, training, exam fees and pre-existing conditions on a case-by-case basis. Unlike the other two plans, you can choose what max payout, deductible and reimbursement percentage works best for you.
For an 11-year-old longhaired female cat, the plan would cost $37.60 per month with a $10,000 annual max payout, a $300 yearly deductible and 80% reimbursement.
For a 2-year-old female English Bulldog, the plan would cost $41.49 per month with a $5,000 maximum payout, a $750 annual deductible and 70% reimbursement.
Embrace offers a 10% discount for having more than one pet on a plan.
One Embrace customer whose cat was hit by a car was reimbursed $10,000 on a $12,169 on vet bills.
Just like your health insurance plan, pet insurance is designed to save you money if your pet gets sick or injured. There are a variety of options you can choose from to ensure you are getting the best coverage for your cat and dog.
Plan costs vary depending on the provider, species, coverage, age of your pet, their breed and more. Typically, cats costs less than dogs and female are less expensive than males.
Your pet is family. See if your insurance provider, such a Progressive or Nationwide, offers plans that fit your pet’s needs as well.
If you’re concerned about your pet’s health, check out Acoma Animal Clinic’s past blog posts about common cat illnesses and how to tell if your dog is sick.