Most pet owners will do anything for their furry friends, but when animals get injured or sick the price tag can be overwhelming. That's why Angie's List said more Americans are now turning to wellness plans or health insurance for their pets.
With a wellness plan, you typically pay a monthly fee for coverage of routine physical exams and vaccinations. Also, you may receive a discount on other services. Wellness plans are different from pet insurance plans, which are provided by a third party and kick in when your animal is injured or ill.
“People love their pets just like family and it's important to understand what might happen in the unfortunate incident if your pet is injured or if they become ill," Angie Hicks, Angie's List. "Preparing for those costs is an important part of pet ownership. Understanding pet insurance might be able to help in those situations is an important step," added Hicks.
Just like human health insurance plans, there may be deductibles, co-payments and exclusions. Deductibles can vary greatly depending on your pet's species, breed and age.
Many veterinarians recommend insuring pets as early as possible because pre-existing conditions are typically not covered.
“I think that when people get used to the monthly premiums in a younger pet, that's always the best," said Veterinarian, Dr. Kurt Phillips. "Then they just know that this is a $40 a month payment that I'm going to make for the life of my pet.”
Angie's List said many pet health insurance policies do not cover congenital or hereditary conditions. If you have a more than one pet, be sure to ask about discounts on monthly premiums or fees.