Insurance for Dogs: A Complete Guide to Buying Insurance for Your Dog

This article will browse you through all the details about insurance for dogs that you need to know about

Petting a dog is one of the most rewarding things in life. If you are a pet lover, you would know that having a pet is like having a partner for yourself with whom you can spend your quality time and be happy.

Many people pet dogs as a need for someone to accompany them in daily life. Adults, especially those who are single, love playing with dogs and train to live with them. Knowing that a dog or cat is waiting for you once you leave for home from work is another kind of happiness that only pet owners know.

As a dog owner, you would always want to provide the best facility for your dog who has been so close to you. You become attached to them so much and they become dependent on your choices. As a pet owner, it is your duty to take care of their health and well-being at all times. From picking the best food to providing the best bed for them, there is a family-like love between a dog and its owner.

In terms of health, you need to find the best vet who can treat your dog. To facilitate you and your dog, you need to know and buy pet insurance to lead a comfortable life. Pet Insurance is more than just a contract, it is the hope that you can provide the best treatment to your dog.

Insurance for dogs is specifically offered to dog owners in order to make it easier for them to afford the expense of having a pet. If you have newly petted a dog, the first thing you should be doing is buying insurance for dogs.

Here is a detailed description of pet insurance that you need to know about:

What is Insurance?

Before we begin, you need to know the basic definition of insurance. You hear about insurance everywhere as soon as you start working and meeting work-paid employees who stress upon buying insurance.

Insurance is a contract you sign with an insurance company that states certain policies agreed by the government, individual, and the company. Insurance is a contract that prevents any financial loss and helps you in balancing your budget by paying a fixed amount of money every month.

In other words, insurance is a smart way of living a healthy and positive life.

What is Pet Insurance for Dogs?

Insurance for dogs, or pet insurance in general, is a type of insurance that provides benefits to your dog. It is like the health insurance of pets with many other facilities that a dog owner might need while petting a dog.

When you pet a dog you might ask yourself: is it worth getting pet insurance for dogs? Well, the answer is yes, it is important for you to have pet insurance for dogs. It reduces the expense of medical bills and other requirements for dogs whenever you are short of money. In other words, it is like health insurance for pets, like humans.

Pet insurance is the best option for your dog to stay healthy and fit.

What does Pet Insurance Cover?

Pet insurance covers all the requirements that your dog needs. The insurance plan is thoroughly written with many policies that the dog owner must read carefully in order to see what benefits they can avail of from the insurance plan.

Pet insurance for dogs covers costs in case of unexpected accidents, illness, major surgery, etc. Or if they need monthly or yearly vaccination. Different insurance companies offer various policies that might be suitable for your dog. So, you need to be aware of the things that your dog requires in order to understand the coverage of pet insurance.

Types of Pet Insurance for dogs

There are different types of pet insurance for dogs around the world. Each has a different way of covering costs and giving you benefits from the policies.

Here are some of the pet insurance for dogs:

Lifetime Pet Insurance

Lifetime Pet insurance is an extended insurance plan that continues for years as long as you pay the yearly amount on time. Lifetime pet insurance covers the medical bills and other treatments throughout the life of your dog.

There are so many expensive veterinary bills that you might not be able to afford out of pocket. This insurance plan helps in paying the cost for treatments so you do not have to stress over money in the time of an emergency or daily life as well.

Lifetime pet insurance is a very comprehensive insurance plan that many people opt for because of its various benefits. However, you have to sign every year with a renewed policy that contains a lifetime limit policy or yearly limit policy.

A lifetime limit policy puts a limit on the cost paid by the insurance during the span of the dog’s life. So, there is a certain limit at some point of age of the dog where insurance might pay or not pay. It varies from plan to plan.

A yearly limit policy is based on the limited spending that you can do for your dog in a year. For instance, if your dog’s medical bill for a year is $400 and the yearly limit policy is also $400, then they will cover it. But if the bill increases in the following year, you will have to pay the increase by yourself with the insurance plan only covering $400.

Pros:

  • Long run plan: Lifetime pet insurance is a good option for the long run because it covers the cost through the lifespan of your dog.

Cons:

  • Limit: There is a certain limit for the amount an insurance plan can spend on the treatment for your dog. If it crosses that limit, you have to pay it out of your pocket.
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Limited Time Pet Insurance

As the name suggests, limited time insurance for dogs is an insurance plan that has a fixed time until which the insurance plan pays for the cost of medical bills. The time limit is usually fixed to a year. Furthermore, it also has a fixed amount that it covers for illness or accidents.

Limited-time pet insurance is one of the cheapest insurance plans that many people opt for. The policy in this type of pet insurance is very basic. So, for the dogs that do not have any serious illness, the pet owners can decide to buy this plan.

Pros:

  • Cheap premium: The monthly payment for this insurance for dogs is cheaper as compared to others. A person with a medium wage can easily afford this insurance plan.

Cons:

  • Limited Time: The fixed time can be disadvantageous if you do not have any treatment within the span. Furthermore, you have to meet certain conditions to get coverage.

Accident-only Pet Insurance

Accident-only pet insurance is a type of insurance for dogs that covers the cost in case of an accident. It is one of the most economical insurance plans that many dog owners like to buy because of its low premium and standard benefit during an accident.

Accident-only pet insurance has a policy of giving coverage if your dog meets an accident and you have to pay the medical bills. Some insurance plans also include third-party liability. If your dog causes harm to someone else, then the medical bills of that person can be covered by the insurance plan.

Pros:

  • Low Cost: The best thing about accident-only insurance is that you do not have to separate a huge amount of money for the insurance premium. Instead, it is really low costing and works for an emergency or an accident.

Cons:

  • No extra coverage: If your dog has to go through major surgery or has developed an illness, the insurance plan will not cover the cost. You have to pay those expenses by yourself. This also includes all the veterinary bills.

Maximum benefit Pet Insurance

Maximum-benefit pet insurance is a type of insurance for dogs that covers the lifetime with no time limit. This pet insurance provides a pre-amount that you can spend in the lifetime of the dog for injury or illness.

This is one of the most fitting pet insurance that many dog owners might like. There are some conditions that you might have to follow but there is no time limit so you can rest assured that you are paying for something that would pay you back.

Furthermore, maximum benefit insurance also has a no-limit policy which means that if you reach a limit for one condition, you still have a limit from other conditions that you can use if you have not reached yet in the lifetime of your dog. Furthermore, if your dog is on any drugs for a long term, this insurance plan can cover the cost.

Pros:

  • No limit to lifetime: This pet insurance for dogs can be beneficial as it has no limit. You can pay the premium with comfort and have insurance coverage as long as you meet the conditions and have not reached the limit.

Cons:

  • Long-term illness: If your dog has any long-term illness, this pet insurance might not be suitable for it. As there are certain conditions that need to be met and limits as well.

Focused policy Insurance

Focused policy insurance is an insurance plan that focuses only on one aspect of medical benefit that it will cover. This type of insurance plan is separate so the dog owner can choose.

It can be accident-only based insurance, wellness-only based insurance, or illness-focused insurance. All have completely different policies and limits.

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Pros:

Low Cost: If your dog is young and healthy then you do not need to buy expensive insurance, the focused insurance is enough for you. These focused policy insurance plans are of low-cost premium that a person with medium wage can afford.

Cons:

Your own pocket expense: If you buy focused policy insurance then you have to pay most treatments out of your own pocket. For example, if you buy illness policy insurance then if your dog meets an accident, you have to pay for the expenses yourself since the insurance plan does not include it in the illness.

What pet insurance is best for your dog?

Buying insurance for dogs is like buying health insurance for yourself. So, you have to be extra careful in picking which one fulfills the requirement of your dog and is affordable for you. Pet insurance is not a one-time thing, instead, it should be long-term so that you are able to pay the expenses of veterinary bills.

Pet insurance that is best for you is the one that meets all circumstances. If you have new insurance plans you can always begin by buying an insurance plan that is for less time so you can decide whether you want to continue the same plan or not.

There are other factors that you should keep in mind when buying insurance for dogs.

Wellness coverage policy

Wellness is one of the most basic requirements for your dog. Your dog might need certain vaccinations or regular check-ups every month. When picking an insurance plan, you have to see if it offers the required conditions for the wellness of your pet. Wellness also includes routine care of the dogs like dental check-ups, vaccinations, etc.

Wellness coverage is one of the most important to make sure your dog is healthy and smiling every day.

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Emergency coverage policy

When signing with the insurance company, you need to see what percentage of the amount will they cover if there is an accident or an emergency. Although it depends on how expensive your insurance plan is, you need to be aware of this factor in order to decide which one is perfect for you.

The more premium you pay, the more facilities and percentage of emergency coverage there will be.

Medical coverage policy

Some insurance plans include medical coverage policy, and some do not. If your dog’s medical history is healthy with no complications, then going for basic plans like accident-only and wellness insurance is best for you.

If your dog has a long-term illness, then buying long-term insurance is a must for you. You have to think smarter in terms of how you can save money and take care of your pet’s medical bills at the same time.

Your Dog’s Condition

There are so many factors related to the dog you own as well. Whether your dog is of old age or just a puppy, it affects the choice for insurance plans.

An old dog is prone to catching serious illnesses easily, therefore buying a basic insurance plan is not advised for it. On the other hand, if your puppy is young with a good medical record, then a basic plan would work.

To add more, you have to change insurance plans based on the condition of your dog so that the deductibles and limits are not too much for you.

If you buy insurance that does not fit the needs of your dog, then it is a waste of money. So, you need to be careful about it.

How much does insurance for dogs cost?

Pet insurance is like buying insurance for yourself. You need to know about the cost in order to make sure you can pay the premium on time, without any stress over the amount.

Every insurance company has varying rates based on the policies they are offering. Some might offer a cheaper premium for fewer services or limited services that might suit you well. It depends on the condition of your dog.

There are three tiers from which you can choose from insurance organizations.

Basic coverage plan: A basic coverage plan has medical facilities but is limited. For dogs, it costs an average amount of $16 premium to avail of this insurance plan.

Accident-only or illness coverage plan: Accident-only or illness coverage is also a moderate-cost insurance plan. For dogs, it costs around $49 that the dog owner has to pay per month.

Health wellness coverage: Pet insurance plans that have health wellness coverage cost an estimate of $25 premium. It can vary depending on the insurance company’s policies and services.

Lifetime insurance: Lifetime insurance has two kinds of policies so the rates vary. There is no fixed estimated insurance amount because it depends on the age and lifetime of the dog entirely.

This is just an estimated amount, the exact amount can only be determined by visiting the insurance company.

To add more, the cost of an insurance plan can be different based on:

  • Breed
  • Age
  • Gender
  • The geographical location where you pet them

All of these factors play an important role.

Furthermore, it should be clear to you that no insurance plan fully pays any treatment or veterinary bill. They pay a certain percentage of the cost and the remaining cost is paid by you from your own pocket.

Based on the data collected from different websites and reports, the average percentage that insurance companies generally offer is 80%. Some insurance companies can offer 90% but that depends on the premium you are paying. For 100% coverage, there are some conditions mentioned by insurance companies if they claim to do so.

How to apply for pet insurance for dogs

Applying for insurance can be challenging if you have never bought one for yourself. There are many complications that can confuse you or make you feel hesitant. Sometimes the technical terms and vocabulary can also make you feel flustered whether you are choosing the right insurance plan for your dog or not.

Hire an agent person

You can apply for pet insurance for dogs by referring to an agent or a broker. Although they will ask for a percentage of commission, they can pick the best plan for you that suits your budget and your dog as well.

Agents are mostly in contact with insurance companies so it becomes easier for them to bring out insurance plans that fit your criteria.

Online Application

In a modern internet world, everything is accessible online, including pet insurance. There are many famous insurance companies that give the facility to their customers to apply online to their insurance plans.

Just a heads up that you might need to provide soft copy documents of your dog and yourself in order to buy the insurance plans.

You simply submit the application after filling it with all the required blanks. Once it is approved by the company, you can buy insurance plans listed on the website.

One thing to keep in mind is that for applying online is that you need to know the right insurance companies. The offerings by insurance companies vary a lot, so you should be well-informed about their reputation and rates.

Is pet insurance worth it?

Pet insurance can be costly, but it is worth every penny. It is the best way of investing in the health of your pet in a safer way.

People might convince you that the cost is approximately the same as your own pocket cost but they are wrong. Insurance plans are always made to benefit the clients and make life easier. When you have insurance, you rest assured that there would be no financial loss for you.

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Furthermore, insurance is best for long-term plans. Pet insurance for the long term is always helpful because at any point your dog gets sick or is on medication, the insurance covers the cost for you.

Conclusion

Now that you have read the article thoroughly, you can easily understand the importance of pet insurance and why you should opt for it. This article gives you the confidence that you are aware of all the policies that might be mentioned in the contract.

Every pet deserves to stay healthy so that it can uplift the mood of the owner as well. Just like you need medical check-ups, your dog also needs medical check-ups. Insurance ensures that your veterinary bill is not that costly and you are able to afford the premium throughout the plan subscription.

It is always advised to get insurance as early as possible. A young pet needs insurance, but that does not mean you shouldn’t buy one for an older dog. Before applying for a pet insurance plan, do extensive research on different policies and compare them with your dog’s requirements.

John Otero

John Otero

John Otero is an industry practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. He has held various senior management roles both in the insurance companies and insurance brokers during this span of time. He began his insurance career in 2004 as an office assistant at an agency in her hometown of Duluth, MN. He got licensed as a producer while working at that agency and progressed to serve as an office manager. Working in the agency is how he fell in love with the industry. He saw firsthand the good that insurance consumers experienced by having the proper protection. John has diverse experience in corporate & consumer insurance services, across a range of vocations. His specialties include Major Corporate risk management and insurance programs, and Financial Lines He has been instrumental in making his firm as one of the leading organizations in the country in generating sustainable rapid growth of the company while maintaining service excellence to clients.

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