If you have ever had a pet, you have no doubt heard of pet insurance. In general, it can help you to care for your dog or cat – possibly another type of pet as well – in the event that veterinary care that’s necessary is too expensive. In other words, pet insurance is similar to health insurance that covers you and your loved ones. However, when is pet insurance necessary? To answer that question, it’s important to know how the insurance works and what it entails.

How do Pet Insurance Plans Work?

Just like with insurance that covers people, there are policies for pet insurance that include co-payments, deductibles and premiums. With pet insurance, you typically have to pay your vet bills in full and then later wait to be reimbursed. However, one particular pet insurance company offers a service that allows you to bypass that because it disburses payments to the vet on the same day of service.

When it comes to cost of pet insurance, that largely depends on the type of breed of your pet. Generally speaking, purebred dogs and cats tend to cost more because they are more prone to hereditary conditions. Another factor that comes into play in determining the cost is your pet’s age; the older your pet, the more you will pay because there’s more likelihood that your pet will require more veterinary care. In addition, most pet insurance policies don’t cover preexisting conditions, which means you have to pay more when seeing a vet for that condition. The same can be said for conditions that are common for a certain breed.

However, one thing worthy of note is that some pet insurance policies are changing for the better and covering preexisting and breed-specific conditions. This is something to consider when you choose a provider.

What is Covered by Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance covers a wide range of issues, such as illness and accidents. Some insurance providers also offer routine wellness care like annual health exams, vaccinations and more. The majority of pet insurance policies are for illnesses and accidents for both dogs and cats. Very few pet owners acquire a policy to cover wellness or only accidents.

Emergency Situations and Pet Insurance

If you are the type of person who says you would pay any amount to save your pet in a life threatening situation, pet insurance is definitely worth it. Unfortunately, too many pet owners don’t truly go out of their way to save their dog or cat in such a situation because they don’t want to spend too much money. In many cases, the pet is sadly euthanized and the owner gets a replacement pet. For that type of pet owner, the insurance would definitely be a waste of money.

However, if you acknowledge that your pet is a beloved member of your family, pet insurance can literally help to save your four-legged family member’s life. For example, if your dog or cat has suffered a serious injury that requires extensive surgery with a lengthy hospital stay, it will probably carry hefty bills. In many instances, such a situation would require your regular vet to refer your pet to a veterinary hospital for treatment. Pet insurance would cover a good portion of the costs.

Overall, it is important to consider all the details when it comes to pet insurance. You should also explore a few options so that you know which one is best for you and your pet.