This is the second of the two-part pet health insurance series.

Written by Lea Jaratz with Embrace Pet Insurance

Vet bills are much more expensive than many people think, having grown twice as fast as that of our pay checks. The increased costs have come about because vets can now help pets in ways they simply could not before and the cost of veterinary drugs is increasing rapidly, with human drugs now being used for pets. Any unexpected illness or accident could put you under financial strain unless you have pet insurance.

Pet insurance pays a portion of your vet bills when your cat or dog is sick or gets in an accident. Typically, you pay the vet bill and the insurance company reimburses you a portion of your costs. Pet insurance policies have the usual deductibles, maximums, and copays and policies and often do not cover all treatments your pet might get, such as routine care or transplants. Premiums are approximately $30-40 per month for middle-of-the-range coverage and you can buy it on the internet or over the phone.

As you might expect with a product like this, you cannot decide on price alone, so arm yourself with good information to help you choose the insurance policy that is best for you and your pet.

What are the most important things when buying pet insurance?

There are a lot of questions you’ll want to ask when shopping around for pet insurance coverage.

  • What are the deductibles, copays, and maximums and how are they calculated?
  • Will my premiums increase based on the pet’s age or with veterinary care inflation. What can I expect them to look like as my pet ages.
  • Are there exclusions based on breed or hereditary conditions.
  • For illnesses or accidents my pet has had previously, will they be covered going forward or not?
  • If my pet gets any new conditions while I have this insurance, will she be covered by the insurance for the remainder of her life?

A current listing of pet insurance companies can be found at Embrace CEO Laura’s blog.