When considering pet insurance, it’s important to choose a deductible that works for you and your pet. Higher deductibles mean paying more out of pocket when your pet has a problem, but they can mean lower premiums each month. Learn more about what a good deductible is for pet insurance.
What’s a Good Deductible for Pet Insurance?
A deductible is the amount you pay before the insurance company covers their portion of the claim. Determining an ideal deductible for pet insurance can be a tricky proposition. Many policies offer deductibles between $100 and $1,000, but there are advantages and disadvantages to both lower and higher deductibles.
For example, with lower deductibles often come higher premiums, meaning you’ll pay more each month. However, if an incident or illness requiring medical care should occur, lower deductibles mean you’ll pay less, and the insurer will cover more of the cost.
That can be a great help if you have a pet that incurs significant medical expenses or even one with ongoing health care needs for chronic conditions.
That said, higher deductibles tend to result in lower premiums. This means you’ll pay less each month, but if an incident or illness should occur, you’ll have to pay a larger portion of the cost up-front.
This could be problematic if your pet requires extensive treatment and you don’t have the funds available to cover the deductible.
Ultimately, the best deductible for you and your pet depends on several factors, including:
- The age of your pet
- Its breed
- Any existing medical conditions
- How much you can afford to pay out-of-pocket
When selecting a deductible, you should also consider the overall cost of the policy. Many pet insurance companies offer discounts for higher deductibles and may even offer additional coverage, such as preventive care or coverage for alternative treatments like acupuncture or chiropractic visits.
It’s best to aim for a deductible that is the most cost-effective for your situation and one that will provide necessary coverage when it’s needed. It’s also important to read all the fine print in a policy so you know what is and isn’t covered, as well as any limitations or exclusions in the policy.
By carefully weighing all of your options, you can make an informed decision and choose a deductible that works best for your pet’s needs and your budget.
How Exactly Do Deductibles Work in Pet Insurance?
Deductibles work in pet insurance much the same way as they do with other types of insurance. Basically, you pay a certain amount of the bill first, (either once yearly or per incident, depending on policy type) before the insurance starts to cover the expenses. This amount is your deductible.
As mentioned, you can usually choose a deductible anywhere between $100 and $1,000 when purchasing pet insurance. It’s important to note that, generally, the lower your deductible, the higher your premium will be. On the other hand, if you choose a higher deductible, you’ll get a lower overall premium.
It’s also important to consider whether an annual or per-incident deductible is right for you and your pet. With an annual deductible, you’ll pay your deductible only once per policy year, regardless of how many times you need to file a claim. With a per-incident deductible, however, you’ll have to pay the full amount each time you submit a claim, if the claim is different.
For example, imagine your dog goes to the vet once with a gastric upset, and once with an injury, in the same policy year. If you have an annual deductible, you’ll only pay it for the first claim of the policy year. If you have a per-incident deductible, you’ll pay it both times. With an annual deductible, when the policy renews at the end of the year, your annual deductible will also renew, and you’ll pay it again the next time you claim.
It ultimately comes down to your individual situation and risk tolerance when deciding what type of deductible is best for your pet. After all, if you might need to take your pet to the vet several times a year, it could make sense for you to pay for an annual deductible instead of a per-incident deductible.
On the other hand, if you don’t anticipate any significant veterinary bills and want to lower your premiums, then a higher deductible might be more appropriate for you and your pet.
That said, the deductible is only applicable to the portion of the claim that you are responsible for; typically, this is the remaining balance after your co-pay has been applied.
Depending on the policy, your deductible may apply to every incident or each type of incident (i.e., hereditary/congenital conditions, accidents, and illnesses). The annual deductible will reset each year—so if you have a $500 deductible in 2022 and incur $400 worth of treatments for your pet, your deductible will still be $500 the following year.
What Has an Impact on the Deductible?
The deductible you choose for pet insurance can depend on various factors. The size of your pet, its breed, and the type of coverage you buy are the main determining factors.
For example, if you’re buying a policy that covers routine care and preventive services, such as yearly check-ups and vaccinations, you may want to select a lower deductible. That’s because you can benefit from smaller out-of-pocket expenses on these types of services.
On the other hand, if you select an insurance plan that covers emergency care and illnesses, you might want to choose a higher deductible in order to keep your premiums low, and make sure you always have the money to cover the deductible.
Pre-existing conditions are another factor that could influence your deductible. If you’re adding a pet to an existing policy, any pre-existing conditions may be excluded from coverage or require higher deductibles.
Is There Pet Insurance with No Deductible?
Yes, there is pet insurance with no deductible. This kind of policy will provide coverage for most covered incidents after the initial enrolment period has passed.
The premiums for this type of plan may be higher than those plans with deductibles, but it can be worth it if you want to avoid out-of-pocket costs each time your pet needs medical attention.