Pet wellness plans and pet insurance plans may seem identical, but, in fact, they cover extremely different things. Pet wellness plans, or preventive plans, provides reimbursement to pet owners for procedures they know their pet will require, while pet insurance exists to protect you from dramatic costs due to unexpected illnesses and injuries to your pet(s). For instance, a pet wellness plan will reimburse you if you take your pet(s) to get spayed, neutered, or micro-chipped, while insurance will help protect you financially in case your pet develops cancer or kidney disease, or ingests a foreign body.
Just like car insurance and homeowners’ insurance, pet insurance plans offer a variety of options. NBC News’s ConsumerMan encourages pet owners to shop around to find the best option for them before they choose a plan, and to buy insurance while their pet is still young for the best possible value.
Consumer Advocate performed an extensive review of several pet insurance plans and presented their results of what they believe to be the best pet insurance plans: among their winners were Healthy Pawns, Trupanion, and Embrace.
Healthy Paws won 5 stars because there are no per incident, annual, or lifetime caps in any of its plans and pet owners can choose their single annual deductible and reimbursement percentage. However, they did caution large breed owners that this brand may not be for them, as its plans are very restrictive for breeds at risk of hip dysplasia.
Embrace earned 4.5 stars because of its amazing perks. Pet owners earn a lower deductible the longer they go without filing a claim, and they can also choose their own deductible. Furthermore, its plans offer dental care with insurance covering up to $1,000.
Trupanion scored 5 stars because pet owners only have to pay one lifetime deduction per condition, with no annual renewals, which means that health conditions don’t become preexisting conditions.
If a pet owner is thinking about purchasing a preventive plan as well as pet insurance, there is a fair amount of controversy over whether preventive plans are worth it. As opposed to pet insurance, where catastrophic illnesses and injuries could bankrupt a household, pet owners can price routine procedures and budget for them. However, if they are interested in preventive plans, they should shop around and find the one best for them.
Some veterinary hospitals do offer these plans, according to Trupanion, and they can tailor them to your pet’s/pets’ needs, which means that your premiums won’t be going towards procedures that won’t be happening.
No matter which plan you choose, speak to your vet about which procedures your pet/pets will be getting during the year to come, so that you can incorporate them into your yearly budget. You can’t predict illnesses and injuries, but you can anticipate procedures like nail clipping and vaccinations. What matters most is that you’re satisfied with any plan you choose, so that your furry friends are happy, healthy, and well-taken care of.
Also Read: Can Pet Insurance Drop You?