Over 85 million U.S. households have a pet. That is 68% of every home in America. Over the years pets have become less “pets” and more an extension of the family.
In fact, the average American pet owner spends $1,750 per year for dogs and $1,350 per year for cats. One of the biggest expenses when owning a dog or cat is veterinary care.
Veterinary expenses increased 4.7% from 2014 to 2015. In 2014 expenses on veterinary care totaled $15.0 billion and in 2015 expenses on veterinary care in the U.S. totaled $15.7 billion.
The rising costs of veterinary care has been driven by new diagnostics, treatments and medications. While these advancements are good for pets, it’s created a financial issue for pet owners.
Pet Health Issues
Here is a sample of real, common health conditions in dogs and the average cost of treatment.
Canine Cancer $3,000 to $20,000
Cardiac Issues $1,000 to $20,000
Hip Dysplasia $4,000 to $6,000
Torn Ligament $3,000 to $6,000
Stomach Bloat $1,500 to $7,000
Solutions for Pet Owners
The best way for pet owners to hedge against major medical issues is pet health insurance.
Pet insurance is health insurance for your pet. It pays up to 90% of unexpected accidents and illnesses. You can also add routine care coverage for an extra charge.
The first American pet insurance policy was issued in 1982 by VPI. Today there are 12 American companies offering pet insurance coverage, which is good for dog and cat owners because there are more options than ever for pet owners.
This competition has forced companies to create better products with superior coverage and service. There’s never been a better time to invest in pet insurance.
There are a lot of options but not all companies are created equal. That is why it’s so important for pet owners to compare companies and plans. There are three ways to rank and compare companies.
1. Customer Reviews
2. Expert Reviews
3. Coverage & Price
Before enrolling in a plan it’s important to evaluate what other pet owners think about each company. It’s also a good idea to see what experts have to say about each company. It might even be worth asking a veterinarian if they have any experience with a particular company or plan.
And just like shopping for a hotel, flight or car, the best way to compare pet insurance plans apples to apples is to use an independent third party website. That way you can trust the comparisons and get prices from multiple companies at once.
What Pet Insurance Covers
The most important things to pet owners when shopping for pet insurance are coverage, price and service. When pet owners compare plans here are the most important coverage options to consider.
#1 – Emergency Care
#2 – Accidents
#3 – Illnesses
#4 – Cancer Coverage
#5 – Orthopedic Coverage
#6 – Hereditary Conditions
#7 – Prescription Meds
#8 – Routine Care (optional)
All of the highest rated pet insurance companies cover #1-7 and a select few offer routine care coverage. No companies offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, which is why it’s important to enroll while a pet is healthy.
Shopping for pet insurance can be a pain, but starting in the right places and focusing on the best companies makes it a lot easier.
Pet insurance is not for everyone, but pet owners who would pay any amount to save their dog or cats life should seriously consider getting plans because it can save people from serious financial setback.
PetInsuranceQuotes.com is America's largest quote comparison website for pet insurance. The company has been in business since 2011 and has helped hundreds of thousands of pet owners shop for pet insurance. The service is 100% free and 100% independent.