Source: Nobody knows pet insurance quite like the professionals at PetInsurance.com (owned by VPI Pet Insurance). If you own a dog, cat, or other type of pet, buying insurance is something you need to consider.
Owning a pet can be one of the greatest joys of your life. However, it can also be expensive from time to time. In addition to routine care, you never know when your pet will require a specialized treatment, surgery, or other costly procedure.
Believe it or not, people have been purchasing pet insurance for more than 30 years. That being said, the popularity is at an all-time high. A growing number of pet owners realize that spending money every month on insurance can help them save in the long run, just the same as health insurance for humans.
How to Buy Pet Insurance from the Right Provider
For more information on what goes into buying a pet insurance policy, among other details, we connected with Adam of PetInsurance.com. He shared some great advice and information:
What are the three most important factors to consider when choosing a pet insurance provider?
1. How long the company has been in business. During the 31 years Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) has been in existence, more than 50 pet health insurance companies have come and gone. When you invest in an insurance policy for your furry family member, you want to be certain the pet insurance company will be there for you when you need them. VPI is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family, a Fortune 100 company that has been helping people protect what’s important for more than 85 years.
2. Annual Deductible vs. Per Incident Deductible. Based on VPI’s 2012 Claims Analysis, 86 percent of pet insurance claims are less than $500. That means that the majority of policyholders with a $250 per incident deductible could be responsible for more than half the treatment fees. Furthermore, only 35 percent of veterinary visits even exceed $250, meaning the policyholder may be on the hook for the whole claim. An annual deductible avoids this kind of confusion because the policyholder is required to meet the deductible only once a year.
3. Does the pet insurance company have employees with veterinary experience? It is important to know that when you submit a claim to a pet insurance company, it is being reviewed by staff that have had prior experience in the veterinary profession. At VPI, more than 100 employees have previous veterinary experience. In fact, VPI was founded by veterinarians in 1982, issuing the first-ever pet insurance policy to TV’s “Lassie.”
How has VPI been able to adapt with the industry, being that so many changes have taken place over the past 30 years?
Because the human-animal bond has continued to grow in the U.S. over the past 30 years, the way we treat and care for our pets has changed as well. Dogs, for example, have gone from the back yard, to the porch, to the living room, to today often sleeping in the bedroom with their pet parents. Pets are an important part of the family, and as such, pet owners are seeking out pet insurance just as they would medical insurance for their children. Technology in the veterinary field has changed as well – tests and procedures that are used to treat humans can now be integrated into pet healthcare as well. This has led to an overall increase in veterinary care, and VPI has adapted its product offering to account for these changes.
What would you tell somebody who feels that buying pet insurance is a waste of money?
Caring for a pet means living with the likelihood of costly, unanticipated veterinary bills. A pet insurance policy allows pet owners to make optimal healthcare decisions for their pets based on their veterinarian’s recommendation rather than on the cost of the treatment. While some may argue that putting aside money into a pet savings account may be beneficial (such as $20 per month), with the costs of pet healthcare rising, $240 is not going to go very far should your dog become injured or ill each year.
As you can see, there is a lot that goes into buying a pet insurance policy. VPI was the first company to offer pet insurance when it issued a policy to “Lassie” more than 30 years ago. If you can’t trust the company that insured one of the most famous dogs of all time, who can you trust?