One potentially unexpected (and positive) result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been an increase in pet adoptions. Shelter Animals Count, a nonprofit that collects statistics from animal shelters across the country, found that shelter euthanasia rates dropped by 43 percent January-June 2020, as shelters took in fewer animals and more people either adopted or fostered pets.
Whether you are a new pet parent or a veteran, it's important to consider how to care for your furry family member's health.
Finding the right pet insurance policy may be a smart first step. While the long-term cost of raising a pet can vary, medical bills are inevitable, and pet insurance can be an important investment that makes your life easier. Here's why you should think about signing up:
1. You can focus on your pet's health
Whether you're rushing to the emergency vet in the middle of the night or have had weeks to plan for a procedure, you want your primary concern to be what's best for your pet—not worrying about money.
For example, with MetLife Pet Insurance, you can choose from a variety of plans with monthly premiums as low as $15 a month for dogs and $9 monthly for cats, based on the breed, location, and age of your pet and the amount of coverage you need annually. You can also opt for a routine care rider, which would help cover costs of routine exams and preventive care like teeth cleaning and spaying or neutering.
2. It can make budgeting simpler
Pet insurance can also make managing the rest of your personal finances easier. You'll still want to budget for non-reimbursable pet medical expenses, such as your deductible amount.
For example, you could customize a plan that will reimburse up to 90 percent of the covered veterinary costs with a $250 deductible. Plus, there may be no per-incident caps. That means that if your puppy comes down with Parvo, which could cost $1,108.26 per visit to treat, 90 percent of those vet visit costs could be covered after paying your deductible.
3. You could save money in the long run
No one wants to think about their dog getting hit by a car or having heart disease. According to the American Pet Products Association, annual expenses for surgical vet visits for dogs was $426 and $214 for cats. But emergency procedures could cost more. Plus, chronic conditions may require expensive initial diagnostics, as well as ongoing medications and treatment.
MetLife Pet Insurance policies cover some chronic conditions, like diabetes and cancer, and hereditary, 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. You can speak with a friendly MetLife agent, if you have any questions before starting a new policy to make sure you'll know exactly what will be covered.
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 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 a policy early on can be important because your pet will be covered for incurable pre-existing conditions that begin after the waiting period ends.
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 right away and then look around to find the best providers in your area.
There's also no in- or out-of-network clinics or requirement to get approval ahead of time. 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 United States, you can bring your pet on your domestic travels without any added worries.
6. ...And customize your coverage
It's also easy to find the right balance between how much you want to spend on pet insurance and how much coverage you'll receive. You can choose from several options for your annual benefit, deductible, and reimbursement percentage.
The lower your annual benefit or reimbursement amount, the lower your premium, while a lower deductible can increase premiums. Being able to customize your policy lets you pick what's best based on your pet’s needs.
7. It's easy to get a quote and file a claim
Finally, MetLife Pet Insurance makes it easy for you to get a quote, understand your coverage options, and enroll in a pet insurance policy. MetLife Pet Insurance starts your accident coverage at midnight of the effective date of your policy and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee. 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, email, by mail, or fax. And if you have any questions, live representatives are available seven days a week.