There were plenty of New Year’s Eve resolutions made before the stroke of midnight in 2022, but there is one more pet owners can add in January. This is the year to invest in pet insurance.
Pet insurance is similar to, if not more straightforward than, health insurance for any other member of the family. Pay a monthly premium based on the pet’s age, breed, and level of service selected.
“Just like personal health, pet health bills can be expensive no matter which breed of dog you own,” says Natalie DeNardo, owner of Natalie N DeNardo Insurance in Las Vegas. “Even checkups can be expensive, which is why pet health insurance can help alleviate the pressure of regular vet visits and unexpected emergencies.”
Natalie N DeNardo Insurance, a boutique agency licensed in 11 states and backed by Farmer’s Insurance, began offering pet insurance about last five years ago. It was made available by Farmer’s Insurance through a relationship with Pets Best insurance.
“Our customers interested in pet insurance sign up with Pets Best, but they’re eligible for discounts as part of a Farmer’s Insurance bundle,” explains DeNardo. “Customers also sign up with Pets Best because all of their invoices will be submitted directly to the insurance provider for reimbursement.”
Unlike personal health insurance, almost all pet insurance programs pay pet owners reimbursements for everything their plan provides. The benefit of doing so negates the need for pre-approvals, healthcare oversight, or participating vet practices.
Reimbursement is only dependent on the level of service, with the most basic offering designed to offset routine care and the very best covering as much as 70-90 percent of all treatments, including accidents and illness — even diabetes, hip dysplasia, and hereditary conditions. Claims are submitted online or via Apple or Android apps.
Pets Best lists several examples on its website, saving a pet owner over $4,200 when their bulldog swallowed a pacifier and another owner almost $1,400 when their cat was afflicted with a urinary tract infection. Along with savings, Pets Best offers a 24/7 pet helpline at no extra cost. The helpline is staffed with veterinary experts.
“Among the best benefits of Pets Best through Farmer’s Insurance is that all breeds are covered, and there are no annual caps, which is common among other pet insurance providers,” said DeNardo. “I also like that Pets Best covers treatments such as chiropractic care and acupuncture.”
Like all insurance plans, DeNardo recommends that pet owners shop around and find the insurance policy that works best for them. For her customers, they appreciate nearly a decade and a half of experience and the ability to relocate to 11 states (Arizona, California, Idaho, Florida, Montana, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah) without changing their representative. Then, all DeNardo has to do is rewrite their policy for their new residence.
“We’re very much the kind of insurance company that wants to earn a client for life,” she says. “They are more than welcome to call me, and we’ll provide them with a quote. Most people are surprised that pet insurance is much less expensive than they ever realized.”
This might explain why only 3.45 million of about 90.5 million pets in the United States were insured by the end of 2020, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA). Most pet owners are just now discovering that pet insurance is a viable option, which is more reliable than attempting to set aside a rainy day fund for their pets.
Pet owners are not alone. Some employers have recently become aware of pet insurance too. While pet insurance as a voluntary employee benefit is still in its infancy, progressive employers like MGM Resorts International offers it via Nationwide. Most companies that do provide it cite employee welfare as a priority. Employees who know their pets will be cared for tend to be happier and better focused, even in a crisis.
If your employer doesn’t offer pet insurance, securing insurance is easy when you begin with a representative like DeNardo. Once you’ve established a baseline, comparing other insurance offerings is easier. According to Forbes Advisors, Pets Best and Embrace are among the best. Other excellent plans include Figo, Lemonade, ManyPets, and Spot. And there are also specialty providers that now cover other animals like rabbits, exotic birds, and even reptiles.
Once coverage is secure, make sure you include all policy information in your Pet Records via AllAboutSpot.com. Once you do, you can print, email, or grant access to your pet’s records anytime and anywhere — making pet insurance one resolution worth keeping.