When it comes to our pets, Americans will spend whatever it takes to make sure they have the best quality of life. It's estimated that in 2019, U.S. families spent 95.7 billion dollars on pets. Out of that 95.7 billion, 29.3 billion was for veterinary care. That number is estimated to increase by 3% in 2020.
Why? Glad you asked. Veterinary medicine is getting more technologically advanced every year. With those advances come equipment, training, and other costs associated with maintaining these higher-quality care methods. That being said, our pets are living longer, healthier lives because of those advances.
So what can you do to offset some of those costs? Pet insurance.
What is Pet Insurance
Pet insurance is simply insurance for pets. There is a wide variety of plans offered by many companies that can be tailored to you and your pet's needs and budget. Most pet insurance plans provide coverage for accidents and illnesses. The details of those policies may differ for breed-specific issues so it's important to know what is covered under a policy you are considering.
When Should I Get Insurance For My Pet?
In a perfect world, the first day you bring your pet home is when you should get pet insurance. However, most people look into those big puppy or kitten eyes, and the last thing they think is how anyone or anything could hurt their darling new family addition.
If your pet is a few years old now, really, the best time to get pet insurance is in the spring or fall because summer and winter months are when pets statistically get hurt the most. The last thing you want to do is wait until your pet is in their twilight years before getting insurance, because the premiums will potentially be cost prohibitive.
Is Pet Insurance Really Necessary?
Many pet owners don't think of pet insurance as a necessity. Many people worry that they aren't going to use the insurance, so it is a waste of money. However, as a responsible pet owner, you need to think of pet insurance the same way you think of auto insurance. I can't imagine a lot of people in the U.S. hoping they will get in enough accidents every year to use up their insurance premiums. In fact, the opposite is true; you hope you don't get into an accident, but are glad you have it for those "just in case" incidents. The same is true with pet insurance; you should want it for your pet so you won't go broke if an accident or illness happens.
What Do We Recommend?
There are so many reputable pet insurance companies that offer policies for pets. One company that we really like is Trupanion. They have been in business since 1999 and offer a wide variety of plans for dogs and cats. Trupanion only offers cats and dogs plans, so if you're looking for coverage for an exotic pet ask your veterinarian if they recommend an insurance company. If you're looking at another company, talk to your veterinarian about what they recommend and who they have worked with in the past.
The important thing to remember with any policy you are looking at for your pet is to make sure you thoroughly read through the details of the policy on what is, and is not, covered. You want the best for your pet, and an insurance policy is a great place to start.