PETA founder and President Peter Doocy says there are no perfect pet insurance policies.
“We’re not trying to do the best insurance for all of our clients,” he told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on “This Week.”
“But the ones that are the most effective, the ones we see the highest rates for, are those that include a pet’s income.”
Pet insurance companies don’t just cover the pet’s expenses, but also its health and well-being.
And they offer discounts on the premiums of pet owners who take out insurance.
According to PetCo, a pet insurance company, its pet policy covers “all medical costs including: veterinary care, spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchip and lab tests.”
PetCo says pet insurance can save the pet owner thousands of dollars a year.
“If you’re a vet, you may have to pay a premium for your veterinarian services, but your premiums for your pet will be significantly lower,” PetCo’s Pet Insurance Director of Business Development, Emily Sainz, told ABC’s Martha Rall.
“They’re not going to go to the vet and get a lab result, and they’re not paying $5,000 for a dog and $5.99 for a cat.
They’re not even paying $25,000 a year for a kitty.”
Sainzz says that with pet insurance companies, the only deductible is for the cost of medical care.
“And if you’ve got a dog or a cat, it’s not deductible, because they’re going to be vaccinated, they’re getting their vaccinations, they’ve got their shots, and then they’re also paying for the insurance,” Sainzza said.
So if you have a dog, you could be covered for $25 for a single visit, while if you’re paying $20, you’re covered for the same amount, but with a deductible.
And Sainzi says if you think about it, if your dog has an infection and needs treatment, then you could probably get a deductible, but the cost for that treatment is covered by the insurance.
“It’s the same with cats,” Sainsz said.
“You can get a $2,500 deductible, and if your cat’s had an infection, you can get $5 million deductible, so you’re actually paying $10,000 more for your cat and your cat will probably live longer.”
Petco says pet owners can also choose from several different plans that include dental, vision, and behavioral coverage, all of which are more affordable.
In addition to the pet insurance coverage, pet owners may be eligible for pet wellness care.
And pet owners also can get discounts on pet insurance.
PetCo is offering a free three-day membership to help pet owners make their choice.
“With a pet wellness plan, you get to choose how much you want to pay for your pets care and you can pick the plan that’s right for you,” Satch said.
In other words, if you want your cat to get vaccinations, your pet may be covered by a $3,000 wellness plan.
Pet insurance is so popular, the pet industry is going back to the drawing board to make the policies more affordable for pet owners.
“In the past, we had to pay more than $1,000 per visit to treat dogs, and we would see an average premium of $25 per visit, and now, with PetCo and other pet insurers, we’re able to do that,” Sankiewicz said.
The pet industry, along with animal rights groups, are also calling on pet owners to adopt new policies, but they’re calling for a lower premium.
“The real cost of pet insurance is really not a deductible at all,” Sulkowicz said.
Sulkowski says if a pet owner decides to opt out of pet wellness, then they’ll still be able to pay the full cost of the insurance on the policies they already have.
“What you’re doing is you’re getting a free policy that you can use,” she said.
Pet owners can sign up for pet insurance through the PetCo website, or they can call their local pet insurance office and request that the premium be refunded to them.
The insurance companies are also urging pet owners not to put their pets’ health and wellbeing at risk.
“Even if you can’t afford the premiums, you need to protect your pet, so it’s important to have a plan in place to do so,” Srikowski said.
Satch says the pet owners need to take the initiative to find the right policy, because otherwise, pet insurance will continue to increase costs for pet customers.
“Because the pet insurers are still trying to get the pet market to go through a period of consolidation, and I think they’re failing,” Sitchowksi said.