The considerations for buying a pet insurance for your pit bull are somewhat similar to the considerations for buying insurance for yourself.
You want to be protected against sudden huge unexpected health care expenses, so you pay smaller premiums on a regular basis, whether your dog is sick or not.
And the insurance company wants to make a profit, which works both for and against you, the consumer.
They have to pay out as expected often enough to keep customers from shunning them, but they also like to maximize profits by finding reasons not to pay whenever they can get away with it.
Top 5 Pet Insurance For Pit Bulls
ManyPets is one of the “newest” pet insurance companies in the US after having a great service record in the UK and Sweden. Because of their good reputation once they came into the US market their customer base grew rapidly.
One of the main benefits of getting your Pit Bull covered by them is that their policies are highly customizable by deductible and reimbursement. You can choose whatever is better for your Pittie.
Their reimbursement rates are 0%, 80%, 90%, or 100% and with a deductible of $0, $100, $250, $500, or $750 (at the time of writing).
There are no hidden fees and their claim process is rather fast, which is one of the main things to check before getting a good pet insurance.
Definitely one – if not the best – pet insurance for Pit Bulls you can get right now.
2. Pets Best
If it’s the first time you are getting insurance for your pet then it might be worth starting with a company with a lower pricing range than the rest to know if it’s something you really need.
This is where we think Pets Best is a great option. They are not the cheapest but definitely in the lower end compared to other companies but still offering a great service.
One of the reasons why we like them is their “Accident-only” plan. If you got a somehow healthy Pit Bull it may be overkill to get a full coverage policy but accidents can happen anytime.
Some of their policies also include behavioral therapies and wellness care which come in handy if you just want to make your pittie happier and better behaved.
Overall Pets Best is a great option for anyone, a good starting point if you never tried pet insurance before but also worth for a long-term commitment.
Spot’s parent company is United States Fire Insurance Company which has been in the market since the 1800’s. So if you are looking for a legit, reliable and known pet insure, Spot is a good option for you.
They have been providing pet insurance specifically since 2006 which has helped them achieve a straightforward and fast claim process, it can be done through their app, email and even fax.
Spot policies have multiple benefit limits, reimbursement rates and deductibles. There will be something for you and your budget.
A good option for their ease of claiming process, prices and especially experience in the market.
Another good option for an experienced and known company in the market is ASPCA. They are also part of the United States Fire Insurance Company, yes, same as Spot. But their difference comes with their customer and claims which are managed by Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group.
They are a bit more on the higher end pricing range, but they also offer a wider range of coverage. Their policies are worth a look especially when dealing with illness and accidents. Not many other companies offer as many health problems coverage like ASPCA.
With them you are sure they will be there for you, their cats and dogs insurance has helped millions of pet owners and it is easy to see why they are one of the most recommended options.
When it comes to older pit bulls that need extra care it is possible to find difficulties for insurance companies to take your loved pittie in. This is where Figo is a great option.
Overall Figo is a good pet insurance company for any pit bull, regardless of their age. But not many other policies in the market will take into consideration age and weight related concerns your pit bull might have.
Also, chronic and hereditary conditions factored into their policies.
For these reasons Figo comes to mind to everyone when recommending a pet Insurance for Pit Bulls when age is starting to become a problem with other companies.
Differences Between Animal And Human Health Care
The two primary differences between human and animal health care are both important factors to weigh in your decision.
The first is that veterinary care is much less expensive than human health care. Routine tests at the doctor’s office or a single night of observation in a hospital for a human can cost more than extremely complicated surgery for a dog.
You are far more likely to be able to pay vet bills on your own than the equivalent doctor bills.
On the other hand, unlike human emergency rooms, veterinary hospitals aren’t required to provide life-saving treatment if you can’t pay. And as anyone whose dog has had a night or weekend emergency can tell you, the cost of everything suddenly multiplies at the emergency vet clinics.
With a sufficiently good health plan that covers the procedure in question, you won’t be looking at the $60 left in your bank account and the $500 left on your credit card wondering, “what the heck am I going to do?” if your furry companion suddenly needs a $2,000 emergency surgical procedure.*
What To Watch Out For When Getting Pet Insurance
Unfortunately “a sufficiently good health plan that covers the procedure in question” doesn’t refer to all insurance plans, and depending on your situation, it may not refer to any.
Most surprising to anyone used to human health insurance is that the vast majority of pet health plans require you to pay the veterinarian out of your own pocket, and then submit the vet bill to the insurance company for reimbursement.
This doesn’t mean the insurance is entirely worthless, but it would be worthless in the scenario described above.
There are a few companies that pay for covered services directly, but you will be limited to veterinarians in their network. This means you may not be able to use your current vet, and if you live in a rural area, there may not be any “in network” vets in your vicinity.
You also won’t have much luck finding a policy that covers pre-existing conditions.
Moreover, an illness may be considered a pre-existing condition if it is determined to have existed at the time you purchased the policy–even if the illness was unknown to everyone and the first symptoms didn’t appear until several months or years after buying insurance.
Many policies also exclude hereditary diseases from coverage.
Types Of Pet Health Insurance Policies
Most insurance companies offer several “levels” of coverage.
- Level One is Accident Only coverage. If your pit bull gets hit by a car or tries to practice hang-gliding without the glider, the policy covers him. It even covers ingesting of foreign objects, like, for instance, a ball of dryer sheets that won’t pass through naturally. If he develop diabetes, cancer, or heart problems, you’re on your own.
- Level Two is Illness Coverage, which covers accidents plus illnesses and their attendant costs, so long as the illness wasn’t pre-existing.
- Level Three is Wellness coverage. This policy covers everything included in the first two levels plus some vaccinations, spaying and neutering, heartworm testing, and one checkup per year.
- Level Four is Wellness Plus coverage. It includes everything in Level 3 plus dental cleaning and a few more tests and vaccinations.
These options are fairly standard in the pet health insurance industry. Additionally, certain supplemental policies may be available.
Questions To Ask
Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you have a clear understanding of the answers to the following questions:
- Will I need to pay for all services up front and then submit the bill for reimbursement?
- Can I use any vet I choose? If not, what are my options?
- Exactly what is and what isn’t covered?
- How high will the deductible be?
- Once the deductible is reached, is the policy full coverage or copay?
- What will my copay be?
- What is the upper limit of coverage?
- Are deductibles and limits determined on a yearly, per condition, or per visit basis?
That last question can be particularly important. If you have a $3,000 limit per condition, and your pit bull has a chronic disease that requires years of expensive treatment, you could get a very unpleasant shock after a few months.
Many insurance companies offer “continuing care coverage” that you must purchase separately from their basic policies if you want your dog to be covered in the event that she requires long-term treatment for a chronic illness.
Older dogs are more likely to require medical care, but the premiums for dogs aren’t as affected by age as they are for humans, making health insurance a more attractive option for an older pet. However, beware of the pre-existing conditions clause.
Another factor to consider is that most companies have slightly higher rates for certain breeds, and pit bulls are often among the more costly to insure.
Pet Insurance For Pit Bull – Final Thoughts
After all this, the question remains: “Is purchasing pet health insurance for your pit bull a good idea?”
And the answer is: “It depends.”
The Consumer Federation of America and Consumer Reports both say “No,” as do many people who have paid their premiums for years only to be denied coverage when their dogs needed veterinary care. But others credit their pet health insurance policy with saving their dog and/or their financial well-being.
There are too many different situations and too many ways in which circumstances can play out to give a definitive answer.
Should you choose to buy health insurance for your pit bull, be sure to shop around. Most places will give you a free quote.
Ask friends about their experiences. Search the web to see what others have to say about the company you are considering. Read the policies, including the fine print. Ask questions.
Whatever company you decide on, don’t sign anything until you are certain that your pit bull is really getting the coverage you think you are paying for.
* There is a service called Care Credit™ that most veterinary offices subscribe to. If you have sufficiently good credit, the service will grant you an immediate line of credit–how much depends on your credit rating–but not everyone qualifies and the interest rates are very high if you are unable to pay the balance in full within a few months.