Owning a pet can be a great experience, but it can also get expensive quickly. To cut down on costs, you can explore money-saving measures such as pet wellness plans and pet insurance. Let’s take a look at both these options to see which might be best for you.
You probably love your pet with all your heart, but you might at some point be faced with high costs to provide for their health needs. Part of being a responsible pet owner, however, is finding ways to reduce costs so you can give your pet all the top-notch healthcare and services it needs. Two of the most popular ways to do that is with pet wellness plans and pet insurance plans.
Here, we will take a closer look at these options and explore the differences between the two plans. Once you have this information about these two choices, you can decide which one will be best for you and your pet’s health, or perhaps you’ll opt for both.
How Pet Insurance Works
Pet insurance is one way to help cut down on major unexpected expenses that can derail your finances. Although some pet owners may consider this an unnecessary expense, just one unfortunate instance can make pet insurance worth it. By paying a little money each month, you can potentially save yourself a major cost in the future.
Animal insurance typically covers emergency care, injuries, accidents, and illnesses. So, if your dog or cat is hit by a car or contracts an illness, you’ll likely be covered. Insurance plans can cover the costs of both minor and significant illnesses, according to the ASPCA. Digestive health problems, allergies, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer can cost thousands of dollars to treat, so insurance can be especially helpful there – with the caveat that pet insurance companies tend not to cover pre-existing conditions and some congenital conditions.
If you don’t feel you need coverage for illnesses, some plans offer accident-only plans. These pay for the costs of treating injuries, which can include injuries due to your pet being hit by a vehicle or being attacked by another animal.
Insurance plans cover more than just catastrophic events. Some plans cover routine pet health visits like annual check-ups. But most insurance companies won’t cover other routine expenses such as vaccinations or dental cleaning.
Even though insurance can offer financial protection for unexpected events, you should still have an emergency fund set aside for vet bills. Often, you’ll have to pay the vet when the service is being provided, and you’ll have to contact the insurance company for reimbursement.
How Pet Wellness Plans Work
Pet wellness plans were developed as a way to cover the ordinary care costs associated with owning a pet. These are for more routine care and services than for emergency costs like health insurance covers. So these kinds of plans won’t cover incidents like accidents, illnesses, and emergencies.
For example, if your pet is a patient of Banfield Pet Hospital, you might consider its Optimum Wellness Plans. It includes exams twice a year, dental care, behavior consultations, parasite vaccinations, and routine screening. Pet insurance companies might also offer wellness coverage as an add-on to your pet health insurance plan. AKC pet insurance reimburses for things like wellness exams, blood work, teeth cleaning, heart-worm tests and prevention, flea and tick treatments, spay/neuter procedures, and more.
There are many options out there, and if you search hard enough, you might be able to find wellness care that includes microchipping and grooming costs.
Furthermore, a wellness care plan might not have a waiting period, whereas pet health insurance typically does.
Pet Wellness Plans vs. Pet Insurance: Which is Best for You?
Because these plans offer various coverage, you don’t have to decide between the two plans at all if you feel you would benefit from both. You could sign up for both a pet insurance plan and a pet wellness plan. One will cover unexpected expenses, and the other will cover expected expenses.
The decision to purchase either plan or both plans should be made independently. By looking at what some of the definite expenses are that you’ll have for your pet on an annual basis and the cost of a pet wellness plan, you’ll be able to gauge whether that plan is worth it to you.
While considering a pet insurance plan, research potential costs if your pet gets a disease that has to be treated. Is the cost of that something you could pay out of pocket, or would that impact your ability to seek treatment for your pet?
If the strain would cause severe financial hardship or cause you to skip medical treatment altogether for your pet, you should seriously consider purchasing animal insurance. You don’t want to wish there was something more you could do for your pet if only you could afford it. And you don’t want these expense to hinder your other financial obligations.
If you’re feeling the strain of owning a pet or are on the fence about getting one because of the costs of veterinary care, consider pet insurance and pet wellness plans. You don’t have to choose one or the other – you can get both. Some of these plans can be budget-friendly, so you don’t necessarily have to choose between them.
To make sure you find the best deal and a plan that covers all your needs, you should get multiple quotes from different companies before making any final decisions. Buying pet insurance and wellness coverage is just like purchasing any other kind of insurance – it’s in your best interest to shop around to get the best for what your pet needs.
Both plans can help reduce the cost of pet ownership. They can give you the tools to ensure you’re giving your pet all the medical care they’ll need.