Whether you’re a new pet parent or a veteran dog or cat caretaker, it's important to consider how prioritizing your furry family member's health can affect your finances.
While the long-term cost of owning a pet can vary, veterinary bills are inevitable. Yearly average healthcare costs in the U.S. can range from $534 – $1,285 for dogs and $374 – $965 for cats.1 Finding the right pet insurance policy can help manage these expenses more effectively. How? Pet insurance can reimburse you for covered medical expenses ranging from emergency surgeries to prescription medications.
Here are seven benefits of having pet insurance and how it can make your life easier.
1. You can focus on your pet's health
Whether you're rushing to the emergency vet in the middle of the night or had weeks to plan for a procedure, your primary concern should be what's best for your pet — not worrying about money.
Unfortunately, vet bills can come with high price tags, and it can be hard not to let that affect your pet healthcare decisions. A major benefit of pet insurance is that it can reimburse you for vet costs, helping you get your pet the care they need without hesitation.
MetLife Pet Insurance’s customizable plans can reimburse up to 90% of covered veterinary costs.2 That means if your puppy comes down with a major illness or eats something that doesn’t agree with them, you could get up to 90% of their vet visit costs covered. Take Sandy, a mixed breed puppy, for example. She came down with parvo — a dangerous and potentially fatal virus that can affect the gastrointestinal tract of puppies — which would've cost her owners over $3,000 to treat without pet insurance. But thanks to their MetLife Pet policy, they were able to focus on her care because MetLife Pet Insurance reimbursed them for almost the entire cost.3
2. You can protect your finances
Another benefit of pet insurance is that it can help prevent you from depleting your savings account or using up your line of credit to pay for vet bills. You may have to tap into your funds to pay vet expenses up front, but MetLife Pet Insurance typically reimburses most claims for covered expenses within 10 days.
This means you can get back on budget faster than if you didn’t have pet insurance
3. You can save money in the long run
No pet parent wants to think about their dog or cat suffering from a chronic condition. But they could require expensive initial diagnostics, as well as ongoing medications and treatment. Pet insurance can help you save on costs over the life of your pet.
MetLife Pet Insurance policies cover some chronic conditions, like diabetes and cancer as well as hereditary and congenital issues, if the condition or symptoms appear after your coverage is in effect. And if your policy doesn't lapse, the insurance will continue to cover related expenses for the pet's entire life. If you have any questions before enrolling in a new policy, you can speak with a MetLife agent to make sure you know exactly what will be covered.
Plus, pet insurance from MetLife Pet can help you save money on emergency costs that could add up over the years. On average, emergency vet exams can cost $100 – $2004 each time your pet needs to be seen outside of normal vet hours. And that’s not including other emergency tests and treatments they might need, such as X-rays ($150 – $250) or emergency surgery ($1,800 – $5,000). Hopefully, your pet will live a long life without emergencies, but having coverage can help you save money in the long run.
4. Getting insurance early can lead to broader coverage
While an incurable pre-existing condition like arthritis won't keep your pet from qualifying for pet insurance, policies typically won't cover expenses related to any pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition may be defined as an event or symptom that occurred or began before you purchased a policy and the initial waiting period ended. Getting pet insurance early on can help ensure your pet will be covered for certain conditions that begin after the waiting period ends.
Dogs like 12-year-old German shepherd, Presley — who was enrolled in a MetLife Pet policy before his arthritis started — can be covered for years to come. His pet parents saved over $420 a year on routine arthritis exams that they’ve been scheduling for five years.3
5. You can pick your vet(s)
With MetLife Pet Insurance, you can choose whichever licensed veterinarian, specialist, or emergency animal hospital you prefer or is most convenient for you. You could even get coverage first and then look around to find the best providers in your area.
This is another great benefit of pet insurance because it means there are no in- or out-of-network clinics or requirements like there can be with human health insurance. You simply take your pet in for care and then submit a claim to get reimbursed for covered services. And because MetLife Pet Insurance policies cover any licensed veterinarian in the U.S., you can bring your pet on your domestic travels and know that they’ll be covered should the unexpected happen.
6. You can customize your coverage
Instead of paying for what you don’t need, with MetLife Pet Insurance, you can pick what's best for your pet’s needs and your budget. You can choose from several options for your annual benefit, deductible, and reimbursement percentage.2,5 The lower your annual benefit or reimbursement amount, the lower your premium. Meanwhile, a lower deductible can increase premiums.
How much is a monthly premium? MetLife Pet offers a variety of plans with monthly premiums starting at $15 a month for one dog and $9 a month for one cat,6 based on the breed, location, sex,7 and age of your pet, as well as the amount of coverage you need annually. You can also add an optional wellness plan that helps cover the costs of routine exams and preventive care, like teeth cleaning and spaying or neutering.
MetLife Pet is also the only provider offering family plans, where you can insure up to three pets with a single policy and a shared deductible.8 If you have multiple pets, you may be able to meet your deductible faster, so your coverage kicks in sooner.
7. It's easy to get a quote, enroll in coverage, and file a claim
Finally, MetLife Pet Insurance makes it easy for you to get a quote, enroll in a pet insurance policy, understand your coverage, and submit a claim. There’s a zero-day waiting period on accidents9 — meaning, your pet can be covered as soon as you sign up. If something does happen, you have up to 90 days from the treatment or invoice date to file a claim, which you can submit online, by email, mail, or fax. And if you have any questions, live representatives are available seven days a week
How to enroll in pet insurance
You can enroll in a MetLife Pet Insurance policy on your own right here. If your employer offers MetLife Pet Insurance as part of your employee benefits package, you may be eligible for a discount. Contact your human resources department for more information on how you can sign up during open enrollment.