What You Need To Know About Pet Insurance (With Wellness Plan)

Posted: May 7, 2021 by Anita

Did you know that only 0.7% of pets in the United States are covered by pet insurance? I had to sit with that bit of information for a minute.

I don’t think Americans don’t purchase pet insurance because we value our pets less. By the way, the UK at 23% – has the 2nd highest level of pet insurance in the world behind Sweden. I believe a lot of Americans don’t know about pet insurance.

I tested my theory in the most unscientific way. I asked a fellow cat lover – who had been taking her cat Max to the vet a lot over the last few months – if she had ever thought about getting pet insurance for Max? She told me she had no idea you could get pet insurance.

In this article, I will be discussing pet insurance for cats (or dogs):

  • Pet insurance – what is it?
  • What does pet insurance cover?
  • Pet insurance with wellness plan
pet insurance with wellness plan

What is pet insurance?

Getting your cat treated for an illness or injury by an Vet can be very expensive. Pet insurance reimburses you for certain vet cost associated with the treatment of your cat’s illness or injury.

Notice I said, “reimburses you.” Pet insurance works more like property insurance than medical insurance. You have to pay Vet cost upfront then pet insurance reimburses you.

With the health of our pets mirroring our own struggles with lifestyle choice (present company included), having pet insurance to cover the advances in veterinarian in medicine could be beneficial for your pocket. I mean, Vets are doing things like ultrasound and CT scans on sick animals. And just like for humans, those costs can be expensive.

Last year I got Theo neutered – his vet surgery bill looked just like a medical outpatient surgery for a human. Thank God I had pet insurance on Theo – I was reimbursed 100%.

And it took less than a week for me to get my money.

The right pet insurance plan can ease the burden a little bit.

To get a free quote from the pet insurance company that I have a policy with, Pets Best, click here.

What does pet insurance cover?

Coverage differs from insurance plan to insurance plan. And you must read the fine print as to what is covered and what isn’t.

Most pet insurance plans cover accidents and/or illnesses. For example, these are the things that Pets Best (Theo’s pet insurance) covers:

  • Accidents – broken bones, poisoning, car accidents, lacerations, swallowing foreign object that might require surgery
  • Illnesses – cancer, diabetes, arthritis, cruciate ligament injuries, skin and ear infections, urinary tract infections, epilepsy
  • Cancer treatments – includes coverage for bloodwork, MRIs, surgery, medication, chemotherapy.
  • Hereditary and congenital conditions
  • Emergency care, hospitalization, and surgery (including pre-anesthesia tests
  • Some prescription medications
  • On-going and chronic conditions
  • Diagnostics – labs, x-rays, MRIs, CT scans
  • Behavioral conditions
  • Much more – but don’t take my word for it; click here to check out what else is covered with Pets Best Pet Insurance.

How does pet insurance work?

Just like car insurance, you pay a monthly or annual fee (premium). You must pay a deductible before the pet insurance starts reimbursing you. A deductible is a certain amount that you pay out of pocket before the insurance starts paying.

You only have to worry about meeting the deductible once in a 12 month period. The lower the deductible, the higher your monthly premium will be. Also, paying a higher premium means better coverage.

Once you reach the deductible, the pet insurance reimburses you for a percentage of the Vet’s bill.

So, it goes like this –

  1. Take your cat to the vet
  2. You pay the vet
  3. File a claim with your pet insurance company
  4. Your pet insurance company reimburses either by check or direct deposit.

Pet insurance with wellness plan

Wellness plans or preventative plans reimburses you for common procedures such as:

  • wellness exams
  • flea medicine
  • spay/neutering
  • vaccinations
  • microchip
  • some basic labs such as urinalysis, blood, fecal, and parasite exams

Wellness plans are offered by some veterinary hospitals/clinics (Banfield Pet Hospitals, come to mind) and some pet insurance companies – which are added like a rider to pet insurance policies.

With wellness plans, you are reimbursed based on a set benefit schedule, and there is a maximum payout.

The cost of wellness plans is usually inexpensive and allows you to spread out the cost of routine care throughout the year.

What is the best pet insurance?

I recommend comparing pet insurance companies before purchasing a policy. A good way to compare pet insurance companies is through the website Pet Insurance Review; click here to check their website.

Quotes through Pet Insurance Review are free, and if you decide to purchase a policy through them, 5% of their revenue goes towards an animal charity.

If you click on a Pets Best Pet Insurance link from this article and purchase a policy, I receive a small referral fee that keeps this website, Theo, my cat, and me going.

Is pet insurance worth it?

I’m going to admit to being a bit bias. I’m delighted with Pets Best Pet Insurance; click here for more information. In my opinion, they have excellent customer service, a great wellness plan (which was very important – Theo is a feral kitten, so I wanted to make sure he was going to be okay). Reimbursement for Theo’s Vet bills took anywhere from 5-7 days via direct deposit. Pets Best Pet Insurance is very transparent with how much and what they will reimburse for.

Pets Best works great for me because I signed up with Theo as a healthy young kitten with no pre-existing conditions. The wellness plan (which I think is awesome) from Pets Best pet insurance was the primary reason I went with this company.

What to watch for when choosing pet insurance

When researching pet insurance policies, be sure to read up on what’s covered and not. Most pet insurance policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions, and the company has a say as to what is and isn’t a pre-existing condition.

Also, some pet insurance plans have exclusion clauses for certain illnesses and conditions – this is especially important if your breed of cat is predisposed to certain genetic diseases.

Some plans won’t enroll senior cats, and kittens must be at least 6-8 weeks before they can be covered.

Check to see if there are maximum payouts (especially if you’re purchasing a wellness plan) and know if the deductible is applied yearly or per claim (incident).

How much is pet insurance?

For pet insurance coverage with a wellness plan on Theo, I pay $49. (Click here for a free quote from Pets Best Pet Insurance). But depending on the age, breed, and where you live, the same pet insurance with preventative care could be more or less.

Pet insurance plans can cost anywhere from $15 – $65, depending on the type of insurance (illness, accident, or both), breed, age, and location. Tack on a wellness plan, and you’re looking at an additional $10-$25.

Conclusion

Did you know that only 0.7% of pets in the United States are covered by pet insurance? I don’t think Americans don’t purchase pet insurance because we value our pets less. By the way, the UK at 23% – has the 2nd highest level of pet insurance in the world behind Sweden.

In this article, I discussed pet insurance for cats (or dogs):

  • Pet insurance – what is it?
  • What does pet insurance cover?
  • pet insurance with wellness plan

Coverage differs from insurance plan to insurance plan. And you must read the fine print as to what is covered and what isn’t. Most pet insurance plans cover accidents and/or illnesses.

Just like car insurance, you pay a monthly or annual fee (premium). You must pay a deductible before the pet insurance starts reimbursing you. A deductible is a certain amount that you pay out of pocket before the insurance starts paying.

Wellness plans or preventative plans reimburses you for common procedures such as:

  • wellness exams
  • flea medicine
  • spay/neutering
  • vaccinations
  • microchip
  • some basic labs such as urinalysis, blood, fecal, and parasite exams

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