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Blog category: Pets

What Does Pet Insurance Actually Cover?

5 min read

Our pets are an integral part of our families and have much love to give. We want to do what’s best for them, and that means making sure they have adequate healthcare. If your pet needs care, medical costs can add up as quickly for them, just as they can for us. That’s why pet insurance is a necessity for any pet owner. If you’re wondering how much pet insurance is and what it covers, or if you’re considering going without this insurance, read on to discover why you may want to consider this coverage,

Why Health Insurance Is Important for Your Pets

It’s easy to fall in love with that adorable puppy full of energy and joy, but many new pet owners are shocked at the cost of a puppy’s first year. The cost of checkups, spaying or neutering, and vaccinations add up quickly.

According to the American Kennel Club, costs for the first year can range between $700 to $1500 annually just in medical expenses. This doesn’t include the cost of adoption or paying a breeder, grooming, food, toys, treats, and other miscellaneous expenses. The lifetime cost of medical expenses for dogs depends on the size. Small dogs usually live about 15 years, with a total lifetime cost of about $15,151. Medium dogs live about 13 years with a cost of $15,782, and large dogs live about 10 years with an average lifetime cost of about $14,480.

The average cost for a routine pet-care visit is around $242 for a dog and $178 for a cat. Surgery can cost as much as $458 for a dog and $201 for a cat. Of course, these are ballpark figures, and depending on the type of surgery or visit, these costs can go up from there. You also need to consider that most illnesses or injuries require multiple visits, sot’s easy to see how the cost of veterinary care can quickly add up.

These costs only include expected regular care, such as checkups, vaccinations, and other routine medical costs. When it comes to emergency care or illness, caring for your pet can be as costly as human medical care. That’s why pet insurance coverage is an essential part of responsible pet ownership.

Are Rescue Dogs Eligible for Insurance?

The majority of animals adopted from shelters are deemed "rescued", either after they were surrendered or after being taken into a shelter as strays. While rescue dogs receive veterinary care when they are taken into a shelter, knowing their history - if available - is helpful. Your dog's age, pre-existing conditions, and breed can affect how much you'll pay for pet insurance.

There is a misconception among many people that rescue animals cannot qualify for pet insurance, which may complicate pet ownership but thankfully that’s not the case. There's no need to worry if you don't know your rescue dog's exact age or history, or if you don't have their medical records. Pet insurance is still available, and it's surprisingly simple to get it.

What Types of Pet Insurance Are Available?

As with any other type of insurance, you have several options depending on your budget and the needs of your furry friend. Generally, insurers offer three types of coverage: accident-only coverage, accident and illness coverage, and wellness coverage. Holidays are one of the most common times of the year for pet accidents to occur. That’s why having pet insurance coverage is a good idea. However, just as with humans, accidents and injuries can happen at any time.

Pet Insurance: What Does It Cover?

The answer to what does pet insurance cover depends on the type of coverage you have. If you have accident coverage, it will cover injuries that are related to accidents that include bite wounds, torn ligaments, broken bones, swallowed objects, and ingesting something they should not. An accident-only plan usually covers X-rays, MRIs, diagnostics, sutures, hospitalization, medications, and surgery that are related to the accident.

Some owners choose to only have accident coverage. You can also add on illness coverage that allows you to be reimbursed for the costs of major and minor illnesses. This type of insurance can include treatment for conditions like infections, hyperthyroidism, cancer, arthritis, and urinary tract infections. It often includes everything from diagnosis to treatment.

Some insurance companies offer wellness preventative care plans which reimburse you for everyday veterinary, training, and grooming costs. They are not part of the insurance policy but work great as a budgeting tool for expenses you plan to incur on proactive care for your pet.

What Does Pet Insurance Not Cover?

Human health insurance coverage has certain limitations, and similar limitations apply to pet insurance. For instance, many policies will not cover pre-existing conditions. Some carriers have a certain waiting period after an injury before future ones will be covered. For instance, if your pet tears a ligament, they might not be covered for 180 days or longer until after they’re symptom-free and no longer need treatment.

Moreover, pet insurance will not cover cosmetic procedures or breeding costs. Some policies offer preventative care as an optional add-on but don’t offer it in the standard policy. You will need to check with your carrier and your individual policy to see if these services are covered.

Considerations When Shopping for Pet Insurance

The cost of pet insurance can seem high, but it can pay for itself after only one accident or injury occurs. And, of course, you can expect a policy that covers more to have higher insurance premiums. Some policies have reimbursement caps for accidents or illnesses. After that, you would have to pay for any services out-of-pocket.

One thing to consider when choosing an insurance policy for your dog is that certain breeds commonly experience different health problems. For instance, German shepherds are often more prone to hip dysplasia and other joint problems than other breeds. Certain border collies are more prone to seizure disorders or neurological issues. Of course, if you have one of these breeds, it doesn’t mean that your pet will have one of these conditions, but it is something to think about just as we consider our own genetic factors when choosing health care for ourselves.

Another thing to consider when choosing pet health insurance is the age of your animal. Just like us, as animals age, they tend to develop more medical conditions. Also, you can expect differences in health in certain individuals. In many ways, our pets are similar to us, so it’s a good idea to consider individual factors when choosing the right healthcare policy.

Now, you have the answer to the question of what pet insurance covers. One thing to consider is that having a health care plan for your pets in an emergency will give you peace of mind anywhere you go. Having the right amount of health care for your pet helps reduce the stress of potential medical expenses and allows you to enjoy life to the fullest with your four-legged friend.

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The above content is for informational purposes only and is not a direct representation of coverages offered by Wawanesa or its policies. The information does not refer to any specific contract of insurance and does not modify any definitions, provisions, exclusions or limitations expressly stated in any contracts of insurance. All references within the above content are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. The terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in a claim are determinative as to whether an accident or other loss is covered. To understand the coverage under your current policy, please log into the account management platform to review your policy or contact an agent directly.

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