Alternatives to Pet Insurance
There are multiple options for pet parents who aren’t quite ready to buy a pet insurance policy. Whether you want a lower monthly cost or don’t feel the need to pay for unexpected or emergency coverage, there are various alternatives to pet insurance with lower rates.
Banfield Wellness Plans
For pet parents who are just looking for financial assistance with routine and preventative care, companies like Banfield offer wellness plans through Banfield Pet Hospitals. This means that by purchasing a wellness plan and paying a monthly premium, Banfield will cover the entirety of the cost of certain routine veterinary procedures like routine checkups, vaccines, spay or neutering, deworming, and dental cleanings. Banfield has over 1,000 locations across the United States, primarily located inside PetSmart stores and offers three separate plans with different routine care coverages.
Banfield is a good option for puppy or kitten parents with access to a Banfield’s animal hospitals. Purchasing a wellness plan can help alleviate some of the high-cost, early expenses. However, it might not be the best option for older, chronically-ill pets or pet parents that want to use a veterinarian out of Banfield’s network.
Banfield is also more expensive than certain pet insurance providers which offer wellness plans in addition to accident and illness coverage. Although it doesn’t provide quotes without a preliminary veterinary appointment, Banfield’s comprehensive plan averages over $45 for cats per month and $55 for dogs per month. Pet insurance providers like Embrace offer a wellness plan add-on in addition to its comprehensive insurance for as low as $29.10 per month for cats and $34.95 per month for dogs. This means that policyholders are given full accident and illness coverage and wellness coverage for less than Banfield’s wellness plan.
Wagmo’s Wellness Plans
Wagmo is another wellness plan pet parents can consider for routine and preventative care coverage. The company offers three different plans – the basic plan for $18 per month, the legit plan for $30 per month, and the extra plan for $50 per month. The plans all provide $100 towards annual office visits, $100 towards vaccines, and $100 towards routine testing. By choosing a more expensive plan, policyholders can add on flea and tick prevention, grooming, and dental care.
Wagmo uses the same system as most insurance companies and reimburses policyholders after they file claims. The company is also working on creating accident and illness insurance plans alongside the wellness option.
Pet Assure Discount Plans
Another option pet parents can explore, are discount services like Pet Assure. Pet Assure offers a 25 percent discount on all veterinary medical bills, including those associated with pre-existing conditions. Unlike insurance policies that require policyholders to make claims and receive reimbursements, Pet Assure can get you an immediate discount. Similar to Banfield, Pet Assure can only be used within its network of participating veterinarians. However, patients can request their favorite local veterinarian to join the network and become eligible.
Pet Assure offers flat-rate pricing dependent on the size and number of pets you’re looking to insure. Cats and animals smaller than cats cost $9.95 per month, while dogs and other larger pets cost $11.95 per month. Pet parents looking to insure two to four pets can pay $16.95 per month, regardless of the size. Meanwhile, pet parents with their own zoo can pay $21.95 per month for the unlimited plan, which covers all animals regardless of size.
Pet Assure is a good, cheaper option for pet parents who aren’t ready to sign up for an insurance policy. While it might not save pet parents as much money on veterinary services compared to insurance policies, it doesn’t have any restrictions on the services it covers. It also offers substantially cheaper monthly premiums and doesn’t require an annual deductible.