Pet Insurance Comparison

Pet Medical Insurance

Only around 5% of pet owners in the United States have pet insurance. But in many other countries, pet medical insurance has really become popular among a much higher percentage of the population.

One reason for such a large difference is that the trend is newer in the U.S. Pet medical insurance only appeared about 15 years ago in America, but it is slowly growing. Nowadays, there are a handful of organizations and companies that offer pet health insurance plans, including the ASPCA.

If you own a new puppy or kitten -- or even an older pet whose health might give you some cause for concern -- there are a few questions that you should consider before you buy a pet health insurance policy. And when you do decide to go ahead and buy pet insurance, here are a few tips that you can use to help you choose the best plan.

Basic plans will offer reimbursement for illness or accident expenses only. However, there are some plans that will cover such routine needs as vaccinations. Coverage on some pet medical insurance plans may include dental care, prescription medicines, flea prevention, and some common medical screening tests, such as blood work, urinalysis, and fecal examination.

With all available insurance plans, there can be limits or caps on coverage. For example, a company might only pay up to a specific amount per incident of illness or accident.

Occasionally, pre-existing conditions will be excluded as well. A number of of the higher quality VIP insurance programs will waive pre-existing conditions. Or a pet medical insurance plan might not exclude a widespread pre-existing condition that requires relatively inexpensive treatments. Before you decide on a plan, you should ask about any pre-existing condition coverage options while you do your own pet insurance reviews and comparisons.

Pet medical insurance costs will vary. Normally the fees tend to be paid on a monthly basis and there might also be an annual fee.

Online insurance quotes are easily accessible. For example, an ASPCA Pet Insurance basic plan for a one year old mixed breed Beagle puppy that lives in Los Angeles would cost US$8.99 per month with an annual issuance fee of US$10.50.

That is a level 1 plan, which provides basic accident coverage. Boosting the coverage up to accidents and illnesses would increase the premium to US$26.64 a month. An insurance plan that adds wellness care will be US$43.23 a month. The premier VIP (Very Important Pet) plan, which provides the most extensive coverage, is US$72.01 per month.

It is also important to find out if the pet medical insurance premium changes as your pet grows older. Most policies are flat premiums that won’t change as your pet ages.