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Pet Insurance 101

Pet Insurance 101: Pet Insurance Ohio

March 7, 2023


Pet Insurance 101

The pet industry has been booming over the last few decades with more and more pet owners paying mind to the overall health of their furry companions. As any pet owner would know, while we do our best to ensure the well-being of our companions, accidents do happen – and vet bills are not cheap. Pet insurance in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana serves to protect against unexpected veterinary costs.

We love our pets, and we want to do right by them. The average cost of cancer treatment for a dog or cat ranges from a few hundred dollars for palliative oral treatment to more upscale radiation therapy, which can range between $2,500 and $7,000. That’s no small price – but many of us don’t want to ever be in a position where we have to sacrifice our pet’s health for our financial health. With a quality plan in Ohio, you don’t have to.

Hitchings Insurance has partnered with Top Dog Insurance to distribute pet owners the quality, comprehensive insurance coverage they need to protect their full family in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. Read on for more information about pet insurance 101 or give one of our team members a call during our working hours.

What is pet insurance?

Pet insurance is healthcare insurance for our cats and dogs and helps to reduce the overall financial risk of unexpected vet costs. Having the proper coverage plan can help preserve your peace of mind and allow you to do whatever is necessary to protect your dog or cat’s health.

Pet insurance is charged monthly, like other insurance policies. The premium you will pay will be gauged upon the coverage you have, your deductible, your dog or cat’s breed and pre-existing health conditions, their age, and so on. Your policy will determine what expenses and conditions can be covered, what your reimbursement rate is, and the maximum payout it will provide.

In Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, pet insurance plans will typically cover:

  • Unexpected injuries or accidents (broken bones, ingesting foreign objects)
  • Unexpected illnesses (parvovirus, hip dysplasia, cancer)
  • Diagnostic tests (MRIs, scans, blood tests)
  • Surgery (pinning broken bones, cataracts, tumor removal)
  • Emergency exams

If any of the above is related to a pre-existing condition, your pet insurance may not cover it. Some plans will also cover expenses pertaining to chiropractic care, alternative therapies, behavioral modification medication, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy.

Most pet insurance policies will not cover wellness exams, vaccinations, spay and neuter surgeries, routine care, or specific exclusions that the policy lists.

Generally, every pet insurance company will offer three types of plans (listed in order of how expensive their premiums may be): accident-only, accident-illness, and accident-illness with additional wellness coverage. You may also be able to purchase a solo wellness plan, but these plans aren’t actually “pet insurance” and may only help cover the cost of checkups, yearly vaccines, and routine care.

Very few plans will pay the vet directly, with some minor exceptions. Most plans will reimburse you instead. This means you won’t need to worry too much about finding a vet who is “in-network” and you can utilize your coverage at any licensed vet clinic or animal hospital in Ohio, Michigan, or Indiana.

How does the deductible work?

A deductible in pet insurance functions exactly how it functions with any other insurance policy. With a deductible, you’ll be responsible for a certain amount of the veterinary bill – expressed in a dollar amount. Some insurance companies will do a per-incident deductible, which means that if the exact same circumstances surrounding a claim occur again in the future, that deductible will no longer apply. As per usual, the higher the deductible, the lower your premiums.

Do all vets take pet insurance?

Yes, all licensed veterinarians will technically “take” pet insurance. That being said, your pet insurance in Ohio, Michigan, or Indiana doesn’t necessarily have to “take” pet insurance from you because the majority of companies will reimburse you and not pay the vet directly.

You’ll just need to submit a claim following when your pet received veterinary care. In the claim, you must include where your pet received care, you and your pet’s name, and the veterinary care invoice as well as proof of payment. Once the claim is approved, you’ll then receive the reimbursement that you qualify for. Again, some insurance companies pay the vet directly, but this is far rarer than companies that provide you with reimbursement.

How much does it cost?

Like any other insurance policy, the cost of pet insurance varies. It is generally quite affordable, with the average premium each month for a cat being about $30 and about $45-$50 for a dog. There’s a range in pricing based on a few factors:

  • The size of your pet – its height and weight
  • The breed of your pet (Some breeds, like bulldogs and sphynx cats, are more prone to medical emergencies than other breeds and may pay more.)
  • The age of the animal
  • Where you live (and the indoor/outdoor risks the animal may face)
  • Reimbursement rate
  • Policy limits
  • Deductible
  • Type of plan
  • Insurance company

The best way to save on this type of plan in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana is to purchase when your pet is still young, as your monthly rates will be much lower. This is very similar to life insurance! Some providers may also discount your insurance if you pay annually versus monthly. Other providers may discount you if you have multiple pets insured by them.

Choosing a higher deductible is also a great way of achieving lower premiums, but remember you must pay this amount out-of-pocket before receiving reimbursement or your claim may be denied.

Ask a Hitchings Insurance team member about the cost of pet insurance for your cat or dog, or give us a call today for additional tips on how to save money.

Is pet insurance a scam?

Insurance is the transference of risk. In this case, it’s the transference of the risk that your pet might experience a medical emergency or need veterinary care and therefore need medical expenses to have that care covered. You pay for the “transference” of risk in the form of premiums.

Pet insurance can be hugely helpful if you ever face a medical emergency where the cost of care is too high for you to pay alone, but your pet needs that care – ASAP. Sometimes, pet insurance can be the difference between whether your pet lives or dies and has been the thing that has saved many pet owners from the incredible heartache of having to say goodbye too soon.

Talk to a Hitchings Insurance team member about Top Dog’s pet insurance plans. We’d be happy to discuss this or you can get started on a Top Dog quote by clicking the image below.