Take a peek at the average U.S. household and you’re likely to find a beloved pet at its center. According to the most recent American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, the nation was home to 84.6 million pet-owning families in 2016. Pet owners spent more than $66 billion dollars on their pets that year and the APPA forecasts they’ll spend even more ($69 billion to be exact) on furry family members by the end of 2017.
While food, treats, toys, and routine veterinary care can certainly add up, the biggest expenses dog or cat owners encounter are often the result of illnesses, accidents, and other emergencies. Exactly how financially devastating are these unexpected events? Healthy Paws Pet Insurance—the number one customer-rated provider of insurance for dogs and cats—recently took a look at roughly 200,000 claims submitted by Healthy Paws pet parents to find out.
The second annual Cost of Pet Health Care 2017 report analyzed the most common conditions seen at the vet and the costs of treatment. Because emergencies usually require surgeries and hospitalization, the financial costs often amount to thousands—if not tens of thousands–of dollars in veterinary bills for pet parents. Unless, that is, those owners have insured their pets through Healthy Paws.
Treating Pets Like Family
The creators of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance envisioned a business that treated pets like family, protecting the wellbeing of both pet and pet parents.
“I met Healthy Paws co-founder, Steve Siadek, through a local, no-kill animal shelter,” Rob Jackson, co-founder and CEO, told RewardExpert. “We had seen too many pet parents struggle when a major unexpected vet expense came up, and we saw a need to help in dealing with the financial impact of giving pets quality veterinary treatments.”
Siadek and Jackson wanted to help homeless dogs and cats as well, so in 2009, they launched the insurance company and foundation with three of their closest friends. Healthy Paws wrote its first policy in 2010 and now provides coverage to 300,000 pets.
Taking the Financial Bite Out of the Unexpected
Much like a catastrophic health insurance policy for humans, Jackson said that pet insurance is for unexpected accidents and illnesses that pet parents cannot plan for. “Like when the dog eats something he shouldn’t, or the cat is diagnosed with diabetes,” he explained. “With Healthy Paws, you can be covered for these incidents and reimbursed for up to 90 percent of your vet bills.”
“If your dog or cat gets seriously injured or develops a chronic illness, it can really strain your budget,” Jackson continued. “Even the most responsible pet parents may not be prepared for emergency procedures like a foreign object removal—which can cost upwards of $5,000—or a torn ACL that comes with a similar price tag.”
Some examples of the ailments Healthy Paw’s claims team process every day include:
- A one-year-old cat named Butters who recently had a leg fracture and suffers from a chronic condition—irritable bowel disease—which has led to $3,129 in veterinary bills. Healthy Paws reimbursed Butters’ parents $2,566.
- A five-year-old cat named Sammy who had abdominal mass surgery for inflamed lymph nodes at a cost of $4,293. Healthy Paws reimbursed Sammy’s parents $3,799.
- A large, mixed-bred dog named Leo who needed a foreign body extraction surgery that included anesthesia, antibiotics, and 11 days of hospitalization. Leo’s claims totaled $12,513. Healthy Paws reimbursed his parents $10,665.
“Like other pet insurance companies, we don’t cover pre-existing conditions,” Jackson said. “But unlike most pet insurance companies, we have no caps on payouts, no per-incident caps, and no annual caps or lifetime caps.”
Affordable Premiums—and Peace of Mind
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance provides one health plan for dogs and cats, making it simple to choose the right coverage. Jackson said that average premiums are around $25 per month for cats and $40 per month for dogs, though they start at around $15 and $25 respectively.
“Pet insurance premiums vary based on the reimbursement level and deductible amount you choose as well as what type of pet you have, their age, breed, and your location,” Jackson said. “When you sign up, there is a 15-day waiting period between enrollment and the start of coverage. Once the waiting period is over, you can see any licensed veterinarian for treatment. There’s no need to check if the doctor accepts your coverage.”
To request a free quote, read the full Healthy Paws Pet Insurance policy, or ask questions about pet health insurance, visit www.healthypaws.com.