Pet insurance in Texas is a legal arrangement where an insurance company promises to protect you from unexpected veterinary bills by compensating you for specified pet loss, accident, or illnesses. Having a pet comes with its financial responsibilities, especially when it comes to medical costs. Pets can get serious illnesses or get injured in an accident that could easily end up costing pet owners hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Pet insurance helps cover the cost of expensive vet bills if your dog, cat, or other pet is injured or gets sick. It may cover routine care like shots or accidental injuries, such as bites and broken bones. Pet insurance can also help pay if your pet gets sick from diseases.
In Texas, most people who have pets have either a cat or a dog, or both. Hence, pet insurance for cats or pet insurance for dogs assures you that your pet will be cared for in case of an accident or emergency.
While dogs and cats are commonly insured, specialized pet insurance in Texas is available for a lot of various animals, including chicken and even reptiles.
Other popular pet-related insurance in Texas includes:
Pet liability insurance for renters - which covers the damage your pet may cause to a third party person or property that does not belong to you. This type of coverage is part of the Renters insurance.
Pet business insurance is any type of insurance used in the operation of a pet business. This may be a veterinarian clinic, grooming salon, or anything along these lines. Most of these coverages, such as Liability, Property, Workers Compensation, etc. fall under Commercial insurance.
The Texas Department of Insurance is the government agency responsible for regulating and administering all insurance in Texas.
Texas pet insurers usually offer three main pet insurance plan types:
Accident and Illness coverage plans, and
Wellness coverage plans.
Pet owners can choose any or all of these options depending on their pet's needs. Accident coverage plans only cover injuries resulting from sudden physical injury. Illnesses like allergies, cancer, and diabetes, are exempted from this plan. Some of the injuries covered by pet insurance' accident coverage include; torn ligaments, broken bones, poisoning, or bite wounds. Illness coverage plans cover skin infections, cancer, Arthritis, UTIs, and ear infections, while wellness coverage covers vaccinations, routine tests, annual exams, flea, tick, and heartworm treatments. The younger and healthier a pet is, the more likely it will qualify for an affordable pet insurance plan. When looking for a pet insurer, check the exclusions, because some plans may not cover senior pets. The way most pet insurance works is that pet owners get reimbursed for the cost of veterinary care. After paying the veterinarian the initial treatment fee, you send an itemized receipt to your pet's insurance company, along with a completed claim form.
Consequently, the insurance company issues a reimbursement check or direct deposit within a week to a month, depending on the insurer. Pet insurance plans typically cover between 70-90% of the bill for covered services, according to the reimbursement level selected during the purchase of the policy. Therefore the amount to be reimbursed will depend on the insurance policy plan the pet owner subscribes to.
No, pet insurance cannot be used immediately. Every pet insurance has a waiting period for the coverage to begin after you enroll. The coverage for accident-only plans begins within one or two days, while illness coverage usually takes 14 days or more.
The commonly asked FAQ about Pet insurance coverage in Texas:
Most pet insurers in Texas cover treatment of injuries caused by accidents. Some of the services covered include surgeries, X-rays, and MRIs. Pet owners are generally advised to purchase accidental coverage as the base-level protection against sudden expenses associated with emergency room services.
Some pet insurance plans also cover pet illnesses. In Texas this may include illnesses like arthritis, cancer, urinary tract infection or ear infections, or hospitalization.
In Texas, most pet insurers provide pet dental coverage. Maintaining good dental hygiene is an important aspect of caring for your dog, cat, or other pet and ensuring good health. Dental care should be part of your pet's daily routine. Pet dental insurance normally includes coverage for damaged teeth if the pet's teeth were injured by an accident. It is worth pointing out that most pet insurance companies will not cover dental injury, which was pre-existing to the policy coverage. Some examples of dental claims that may be eligible for coverage include the extraction or reconstruction of a tooth that was fractured or broken when your pet was chewing on a bone, biting a fence, or in an accident.
Most pet insurance plans that you find in Texas do not cover spaying.
Many Texas pet insurance plans cover veterinary care and consultation for behavioral issues, such as separation anxiety, chewing, aggression, and excessive licking. Some pet insurers offer this coverage as an optional add-on (rider) to the policy.
Alternative treatments such as; chiropractic care or acupuncture are covered by some pet insurers represented in Texas. Due to the extensive variety of possible coverages and costs of these therapies, it is best to seek advice from your pet insurance company on the terms and the options that can fit your pet's needs.
Some pet breeds may have hereditary conditions which may go initially undetected. A common example of a hereditary condition is hip dysplasia, mostly found in dogs. Some dog insurance plans may include this coverage, while others may provide it as an add-on or completely exclude such conditions from coverage. Texas pet owners looking for hereditary and congenital conditions coverage for their pets need to verify the availability of such coverage from their pet insurance company before committing to buying a plan.
Some pet insurance plans may include wellness treatments such as vaccinations, flea prevention, Rx medications, yearly physicals. Note that in Texas, not all pet insurers provide wellness coverage plans.
An FAQ of most-commonly asked questions about Pet insurance coverage where the coverage is not available or partially available:
In Texas, pre-existing conditions include any health condition or injury that exists before you enroll your pet in an insurance policy. These types of conditions that are pre-existing to the policy coverage are typically not covered. However, some pet insurers may cover pre-existing conditions which they have determined are curable.
Most pet insurance plans in Texas do not cover cosmetic procedures such as ear cropping, tail docking, breeding, claw removal, or whelp.
Insurance plans for pet pregnancy may vary depending on the insurer. However, most Texas plans do not cover costs due to pregnancy and breeding.
This can also be referred to as preventive care, such as immunizations, check-ups, vaccinations, and flea prevention. Most pet insurance providers in Texas do not include preventive care; others offer it as an add-on to the policy, and others place it in their top-tier plans.
The average cost of pet insurance in Texas drastically varies in price depending on the type of a pet, pet's age, their location, breed, and the type of coverage you choose. Expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $200 per month.
The age of your pet can significantly affect your quoted pet insurance premium. For example, older dogs or cats are more expensive to cover since they suffer from more health problems and are more prone to accidents or illnesses. Small breeds of pets are usually the cheapest to insure.
In addition to your pet's age and location, the cost of pet insurance is primarily determined by 3 factors:
The Annual Limit of coverage - which can be found between $3,000 and $20,000. The higher the limit - the higher the premium.
The percentage of Reimbursement - customarily: 70%, 80, or 90%. The more you want to be reimbursed, the more you pay on the monthly basis.
Annual deductible - Like with most health insurance, pet insurance allows you to select an annual deductible, which is the amount that you must pay out of pocket, before the insurance plan starts paying out. The common deductibles are: $100, $250, or $500. The higher the deductible, the lower the monthly premium.
The premiums for younger pets may be as low as $10 a month, while older pets may be as much as $100 a month or more. For example, in Houston, the average monthly insurance cost for a six-month-old Chihuahua puppy ranges from $16 to $60. In comparison, that of a twelve year old adult Chihuahua dog within the same location ranges between $45 to $180. In Austin, the average cost to cover a golden retriever under six months is between $25 to $100, while the cost for a five-year-old retriever is averaged between $30 to $120. Larger breeds cost more to insure, especially as they get older.
Pet owners may also need to pay more based on where they live in Texas. For example, residents of large metropolitan areas like Dallas - Fort Worth, may pay up to $10 more per month to cover their pet, than in some other Texas cities like San Angelo or El Paso. Note that pet insurance companies may charge more for medical conditions that may be hereditary for the breed of pet.
Pet insurance for reptiles in Texas averages $7-$15 per month, based on the age of the pet and the selected coverage, while pet insurance for Texas birds averages $8-$12 monthly. Make sure to comparison shop all the quotes you get.
If you have multiple pets, you may be able to get a multi pet discount, by insuring them all under the same plan. Multiple pet discounts offered by pet insurers, usually range between 10% and 15%.
Pet insurance in Texas allows pet owners to make medical decisions based on their pet's health needs and not the financial cost. Getting pet insurance for your dog or cat is essential because it helps provide health coverage at any time. Pet insurance removes the financial burden in case of any medical emergencies. Having pet insurance means you can give your pet the best medical care while saving money and avoiding unexpected and expensive veterinary bills. As a last resort, pet insurance helps avoid situations where your pet might have to be put down because you can not afford treatment.
However, pet owners must note that premium payments for pets vary depending on age or any pre-existing medical conditions when considering pet insurance. Just like with people, the older the pet, the more expensive their insurance coverage becomes.
Pet owners can get insurance from any pet insurance company licensed to sell insurance in Texas. Multiple pet insurance companies in the state offer major medical plans and comprehensive plans that include wellness, routine care, and emergency coverage. Many of those pet insurers offer online quotes for a variety of your pet's needs.
While making the selection, you want to compare multiple quotes between different insurance companies. This way, you get to see the difference in coverages and the corresponding costs.
Make sure to choose the best plan according to the needs of your pet and within your budget. Before commiting to a purchase of a Texas pet insurance plan, don't forget to ask your veterinarian for a recommendation. After all, they are the ones who will be accepting (or not accepting) the insurer you choose.
Since most pet insurers exclude pre-existing conditions, it is best to get insurance coverage while the dog is young and healthy. This way you get all future and unavoidable health issues covered and you pay a lower premium rate.
If you have had pets in your life, just like with little kids, you already know that an urgent vet visit is a daily possibility. If you are a new pet owner, chances are that you will visit the pet ER at least once during the first year of ownership. The question is: Can you afford to spend thousands of dollars from your savings on your pet's emergency? Emergency vet bills in Texas, especially during the night time visits, can get expensive fast. So, having at least the emergency pet insurance as a safety blanket is usually a great idea.