Over the years pet insurance has grown popular, some pet owners treat their pets as children and as parents, they do not want their pets to suffer or get ill when they can’t afford veterinary bills. They buy insurance to assure the safety of their pets in case of an emergency.

Pet insurance was first introduced in Sweden in 1980 but remained unpopular until later in 1982 when it was introduced in the US. Since then, its popularity has grown and a lot of pets have been insured.

Definition of pet insurance

Pet insurance is a type of insurance policy that helps in covering the veterinary bills of a pet. Pet insurance is usually bought by pet owners for their pets. It covers part of the veterinary bills most times and occasionally the full bill.

Just like health insurance, before the coverage begins to count there are some deductibles taken and the price of the premium differs from pet to pet.

Most insurance companies would likely pay you instead of paying the vet directly. This means that you do not need to find a network vet clinic to offer healthcare services to your pet. You can use any vet clinic and submit your claims to your insurance provider but if you want the insurance company to deal with the bills directly, then you have to use a network vet clinic.

Factors that determine the value of the premium for pet insurance

Pet owners buy pet insurance to help with pet care just like humans buy health insurance to cover their medical bills. Also just like health insurance pet owners pay monthly or yearly premiums for the insurance. There are some factors that determine the cost of pet insurance, they include:

  • Age: The older a pet is the more likely it is to die as death is inevitable. In other words, the older the pet the higher the cost of insurance
  • Specie: The specie of the pet also plays a huge role in the pricing, for example, dogs are generally bigger than cats and also cost more to insure. 
  • Location: Animal veterinary care differs according to location. In locations where the veterinary care is high, the insurance is usually high and vice versa.
  • Gender: Mostly the male gender of an animal has more claims than the female gender. In other words, males cost more.
  • Breed: Certain animal breeds are more prone to certain diseases than others.
  • The length of the coverage term: The longer the length, the higher the price of the coverage.
  • Insurance provider: price for coverage differs from one company to another, so it is advised to compare different companies’ prices and the coverage they offer.

To reduce the cost of coverage premiums, buying a policy at a young age of the pet might help. Some insurance providers also offer discounts if you are insuring multiple pets under them.

How to get claims on your pet insurance

  1. Take your pet to the vet clinic for a check-up and treatment
  2. Make a claim with your insurance provider
  3. Get paid for 70% to 100% of your eligible expenses,(minus deductibles)

Insurance providers may need medical reports or reviews before processing your claims. This process may take up to 5-9 working days before claims are reimbursed.

When should I get pet insurance?

Most pets get to need emergency healthcare in their lifetime that’s the reason most pet owners are advised by veterinarians to purchase cover for their pets as soon as they get them because the older they get, the more likely they are to be prone to illnesses and diseases and most Insurance providers do not offer coverage for pre-existing conditions. So it is advised to get insurance cover for your pet within the first 6 months after adoption.