How to Finance Pet Insurance Premiums

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Contributor, Benzinga
March 17, 2022

Pets are our companions, our friends and a part of the family, which is why it’s hard when your pet becomes ill or injured. Just like with any other family member, you want to be able to do anything you can to help them get better. One thing you can do is purchase pet insurance. If you think that you can’t afford pet insurance premiums, know that you do have options to finance your coverage. 

How to Finance Pet Insurance Premiums

While veterinarian bills can be pricey, so can pet insurance premiums. Pet insurance can come in handy in many different scenarios, ranging from preventive care to major emergencies.  Having insurance allows you to act fast and seek care immediately when your pet is sick or injured instead of standing by because of financial insecurity. 

If you’re unsure of whether you can handle pet insurance payments or not, know that there are a few ways to access pet insurance premium financing, including the following.

  1. Pet Care Credit Card: Credit cards that were created specifically to help pay for pet care costs do exist. You’ll be able to put your insurance premium payments on the card so you can pay for them in smaller payments over time if needed. 
  2. Discounted veterinary care organizations: Many organizations help pay for veterinary expenses, which can include your pet’s insurance premiums. These organizations may also include insurers that will offer some sort of discounts for your insurance policy. 
  3. Choose a plan with a higher deductible: While this may not be considered financing your premiums, it can still help you to pay for what you need and not overextend yourself. When you choose a plan with a higher deductible, you end up paying more when you need to file a claim with your insurance provider. The trade-off with choosing a higher deductible means that you’ll be paying a lower premium each month. While you should be sure to only choose an insurance policy with a premium that you can afford, selecting a policy with a deductible on the higher end of what you can afford to pay can make affording your premiums much easier. 

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Money?

Although pet insurance may be worth the money, in some situations it isn’t worth it at all. If your pet is older and has a lot of problems, then you’ll be paying a lot for insurance, so it may not be beneficial. Many insurance providers explicitly state that they will not cover care costs for any type of illness or condition that your pet has when you sign onto your policy. This feature prevents you from waiting until your pet needs to visit the veterinarian to purchase a policy. 

When you compare the cost of pet insurance to the cost of veterinarian visits and treatments that you need to pay for for your pet, it may look quite appealing. However, pet insurance doesn’t cover all the treatments and services you need for your pet, such as spaying or neutering. Most pet insurance policies also don’t offer coverage for preventive care unless you purchase an insurance add-on, which makes coverage even more expensive. 

How to Handle Pet Insurance Claims

Handling a pet insurance claim isn’t very different than handling other types of insurance claims. If you have ever submitted a homeowner’s insurance or auto insurance claim, you’re likely already familiar with the process of handling pet insurance claims. Pet insurance claims offer two options: reimbursement or requesting that the insurer pay the vet directly. 

When requesting reimbursement, one of the more common methods for pet insurers to offer, you pay the veterinary bill and then the insurance company reimburses you. For this method, you pay the vet at the time that you receive services then you complete and submit a pet insurance claim form to your insurance company. You’ll also submit supporting documents, which will likely include some sort of receipt or proof that you paid the amount. The claim will then be approved, and you will receive the reimbursement. 

The process for paying the vet directly is a bit different in that you don’t pay anything out of pocket. Depending on the pet insurer, the vet will either submit the claim or you will after the vet visit. The insurance company will then pay the bill once the claim has been approved. It’s important to know exactly what your pet insurance covers in order to avoid the possibility of your claim being denied. Keep in mind that not every insurance company offers this choice and that reimbursement policies are much more common. 

Advantages of Pet Insurance

You can gain a number of advantages that come with purchasing pet insurance. While it may not be worth it for some pet owners, the advantages may be exactly what another person needs to fully protect their pet. Some of the biggest advantages you’ll be able to claim when you purchase pet insurance include the following. 

  1. Offers peace of mind: When you have pet insurance, you don’t need to pick and choose which treatments you can afford for your pet. Instead, you are able to offer your pet the best treatment for whatever ailment they have at a lower price than what you would have paid if you did not have insurance coverage. Treating injuries and illnesses quickly because you don’t need to worry as much about what you’ll pay can also prevent damage from getting worse over time. 
  2. Ability to budget pet costs: When you know exactly what you need to pay for pet insurance, you don’t need to worry about the possibility of an outrageous vet bill. You can decide how often you pay for the insurance policy, so you are able to budget pet care costs in addition to your overall costs to ensure you aren’t overspending.
  3. Prevents needing to dip into emergency funds: While emergency funds are there for you to dip into during an emergency, you never know when you’ll need to use that money. Even if you set up an account specifically for pet savings, it can still be hard not to dip into it when you need money for something else. Having a pet insurance policy helps you keep your emergency fund stocked in case another disaster is waiting around the corner. 
  4. You can pick the veterinarian: Unlike human healthcare, which may only allow you to go to a vet within the insurance company’s network, pet insurance companies allow you to go to whichever veterinarian you choose. This is a good advantage if you have a pet that’s more nervous when it comes to the vet or you have a particular vet that you’ve built a relationship with.

Drawbacks of Pet Insurance

With all things that have advantages, there will always be drawbacks. It’s up to you to determine whether the drawbacks outweigh the advantages or vice versa. The following are some of the more significant drawbacks you’ll need to deal with after you purchase a pet insurance policy.

  1. You’ll still have out-of-pocket costs: While policies offer coverage for a lot of things, that coverage is sometimes only 80% of the vet bill, which leaves you having to pay the other 20%. In addition, most plans have an annual limit, so if you find yourself exceeding that limit, you’ll be stuck paying for all future vet bills without any reprieve. 
  2. Animals with pre-existing conditions won’t get much coverage: Just as with humans, your pet needs to be approved before being able to be insured. This means that dogs and cats that are older or have a pre-existing condition may not be able to get insurance coverage at all. 
  3. You may not use up all the benefits: Most pet insurance plans offer coverage for a number of treatments and conditions that you may never need coverage for. You end up paying for a number of benefits that you are never even able to take advantage of. When purchasing pet insurance, you’re essentially paying for all the possibilities of illness or injury but not necessarily the realities of what your unique pet will need.  

Compare Pet Insurance

Benzinga offers insights and reviews on the following pet insurance providers. If you’re considering purchasing pet insurance, you may want to start your search with the links below. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

What is the purpose of pet insurance?

A

Like any other type of insurance, the purpose of pet insurance is to help you pay for bills in the event of an emergency or accident. Pet insurance policies can help make veterinary visits more affordable in the same way that having a comprehensive car insurance policy makes repairing your vehicle easier after an accident. 

Q

Does pet insurance go up every year?

A

As your pet ages, they become more likely to be injured or fall ill. To accommodate for this increased risk, most pet insurance providers will increase your premiums each year. However, this policy varies by insurance provider. 

About Sarah Horvath

Sarah Horvath is a highly respected freelance senior copywriter specializing in insurance content. With a wealth of experience, she is recognized as one of the top insurance copywriters in the industry. Sarah’s expertise encompasses various aspects of insurance, including home warranties, life insurance, health insurance, and more. Her insightful articles and guides are regularly featured on major finance sites, providing invaluable information to readers seeking to navigate the complexities of insurance policies. Known for her clear, concise writing style and comprehensive understanding of insurance products, Sarah is dedicated to empowering individuals with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their insurance coverage.