Explore the benefits of pet insurance | Lifestyles

Ensuring the safety and well-being of a companion animal is a big responsibility. Pets need shelter, food, water, and routine medical care at the very least, and some extra TLC can always do a pet good as well.

New pet owners may experience some sticker shock after bringing a furry friend home. According to a Harris Poll conducted in the spring of 2020 on behalf of TD Ameritrade, dog owners spent nearly twice as much on their pets as cat owners – $1,201 verus $687 in a single year. One area that can be particularly costly is health care, especially if the pet has a chronic illness or suffers an injury. Pet insurance is an increasingly viable option for those looking to defray medical costs for their pets and safeguard them in the process.

Like other types of insurance, pet insurance is something pet owners purchase hoping they will never have to use it. The TD Ameritrade survey found Millennials or GenXers report spending anywhere from three to 20 times more on pet insurance than Baby Boomers.

Pet owners have various options in regard to insuring their animals. Certain plans only cover veterinary bills that pertain to accidents and illnesses. Plans that also include wellness options, like My Pet Protection with Wellness from Nationwide®, tend to be broader and may cover preventative visits, flea and tick products, spaying and neutering, and even dental cleanings.

There are several benefits to getting pet insurance. Many people are not financially prepared for an emergency pet bill that could cost several thousand dollars. Pet insurance premiums, which are paid over time, can refund a good percentage of out-of-pocket costs to the pet owner. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of pet insurance.

• Pick whichever veterinarian you prefer: Unlike human health insurance plans that may require you to stay in a specific network of providers, pet insurance policies enable you to pick any vet you prefer.

• Insure any age or breed of pet: Pet health insurance providers will cover older animals. However, premiums will be lower the earlier you insure your companion animal.

• Arrange a payment plan you can afford: Payment plans for pet insurance can be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually depending on the plan and policy holders’ preferences. That makes it easier to fit pet health care into your budget.

• Ensures all health needs will be met: Some pet owners may push off or pick and choose treatments for their pets depending on the cost of these procedures. Pet insurance may be the difference between getting your pet the care he or she needs or delaying getting pets the help they need.

Pet insurance often is a smart investment for those looking for peace of mind and an affordable way to care for their companion animals.