At this stage, we intend to make this best Pet Insurance guide for a German Shepherd purely informational.
We want this guide to give you all the most important information you might need in order to make understanding the basics of pet Insurance more simple.
We will take into account common inclusions, exclusions, the types of plans, what you need to be aware with German Shepherds in particular as a breed + other relevant considerations.
We may add in some top pet insurance company plans at a later date, but only if they seem suitable and worth the money.
Let’s dive into it!
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your health of your pet/s. Likewise, a financial expert is the only one qualified to gives you professional advice in regards to pet insurance. You have the final responsibility to read a pet insurance policy in full, and consult with the relevant experts before you take action in deciding if a pet insurance plan is suitable for your situation and your pets)
Best Pet Insurance For A German Shepherd
What Is Pet Insurance?
A health plan that has a monthly or yearly cost you pay to cover veterinary bills when your dog gets sick or injured.
What Types Of Pet Insurance Plans Are There?
There’s usually 3 main types of pet insurance plans out there:
- Accident Only Cover – covers unexpected incidents that leaves your dog injured. Is the cheapest cover and can be as little as around $20 a month
- Accident + Illness Cover – has accident cover, but also covers some illnesses your dog may develop. Can be as little as around $35 a month
- Comprehensive Cover – has accident and illness cover, and other benefits depending on the insurance company offering it. The most expensive cover that can be as little as around $60 a month
What Are Some General Things To Be Aware Of With Pet Insurance Plans & Policies?
Some general features or things you might want to know or be aware of are:
- What age of pet the plan is for
- What the plan covers
- What the plan excludes
- How much the plan costs monthly and yearly
- How the plan changes as your pet gets older
- How the plan changes if you take a break in paying the plan
- How the plan changes if you upgrade or downgrade or change plans during your current plan for one or multiple pets
- What the maximum yearly benefit is
- Whether you can get multi pet discounts
- the % of eligible vet bill reimbursed
- whether the plan includes routine care benefit
- whether the plan includes paralysis tick benefit
- whether the plan includes emergency boarding benefit
- whether the plan includes overseas travel benefit
- whether the plan includes cruciate ligament conditions benefit
- what amount of consultations and vet visits the plan covers
- What the overall annual maximum claim allowed is
- what the waiting period is for the plan
What Do Pet Insurance Plans Usually Include & Cover?
You need to read the specific plan from the company that offers it under the inclusions section, ‘what we will pay’ section or whatever the inclusions related section is in the policy.
A general example of part of what a company might pay is (this is not everything and neither is it what they definitely cover):
- Accident Only Cover – accidents like car accidents, burns or electrocutions, allergic reactions to insects other than ticks and fleas. Only specific types of injuries are covered under these accidents
- Accident + Illness Cover – accidents, plus illnesses like cancer,
- Comprehensive Cover – overseas travel with your pet, euthanasia, emergency boarding, tick paralysis
What Do Pet Insurance Plans Usually Exclude & Not Cover?
You need to read the specific plan from the company that offers it under the exclusions section, ‘what we will not pay’ section, general exclusions or whatever the exlclusions related section is in the policy.
A general example of part of what a company might not pay is for (this is not everything they exclude and neither is it what they definitely exclude):
- a pet that is under a certain age such as 8 weeks old
- a pre-existing condition, injury or illness
- dental work
- elective surgery
- day to day care
- certain treatments and conditions
- certain services and procedures
- your pet purposely not being protected or purposely being injured or abused
- Ambulance costs
- Artificial limbs
- Bilateral conditions (e.g. conditions affecting both eyes)
- Diseases with known vaccines
- Organ transplants
- Cruciate ligament conditions
What Factors Might Effect How Much You Pay For Insurance For A Particular Dog Or Pet?
It depends on the company offering the pet insurance policy/plan, but usually:
- You location/where you live in the world and within your country or state
- The age of your dog – dogs become more likely to develop illnesses and incur injuries as they age so insurance can become more expensive.
- The breed of your dog
- Whether your dog is desexed or not
- Your dog’s gender
- Your dog’s size
Which Dogs Or Pets Usually Have The Highest Pet Insurance Costs?
In short – the ones that on average owners have most often lodged claims for. More claims means the insurer has to pay out more in claims, which is why they’ll charge you more to insure that pet.
These types of dog breeds are usually:
- Mixed or cross dog breeds where the main breed is unknown and it’s hard to know which health conditions the dog might develop based on breed
- Breeds that are more prone to diseases that are more expensive to perform surgery on or treat
- Larger breeds
- Premium pedigrees
What Do I Need To Know About German Shepherds When It Comes To Pet Insurance?
Different countries/locations will have different ways of assessing how much they charge for each breed depending on how much they have to pay out on average for that breed.
So check with the insurance plans and policies from the companies you look in your country for what they charge for a German Shepherd for specific plans.
As an example, in Australia, German Shepherds have a below average insurance plan cost compared to other breeds based on how much and how often German Shepherd owners claim.
In general, German Shepherd might have a higher incidence rate of hip and elbow dysplasia (just as one of example) than other breeds. So, it also depends how insurers not only assess a breed, but the common health concerns that come with that breed.
Do You Need Pet Insurance?
You might consider the following:
- Some health accidents are random so you can’t really plan for that
- The breed of the dog and the genetics or health makeup of a particular dog might mean your dog is more likely than others to need medication or surgery to treat or manage a condition.
- You can get an idea of how much the Top 10 Medical & Surgical Conditions for dogs cost here as a benchmark/guide for what you might expect to pay.
- Unplanned surgeries and medications can cost you between $100 to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on what the surgery or medication is for. The average cancer claim could be anywhere from $1000 to $10,000, and the average foreign body ingestion claim (your dog swallowing something) could be anywhere from $1000 to $17,000, depending on which insurance company survey you read
- The average annual cost for regular veterinary checkups, medications and related products per dog is around $400 to $500 a year according to a range of surveys.
You might compare what the cost of insurance is yearly for you, and weigh that up against the likelihood that your dog develops a certain condition based on what you know about your dog.
Obviously, one accident could also cost you alot of money, so you have to consider accidents as well and what you’re willing to pay for your dog.
Potential Pet Insurance Savings
You might try:
- Seeing if your own insurer offers pet insurance – they may offer you some form of discount if you sign up through them
- It becomes more expensive and harder to insure pets as they age. You can save on insurance over the entire lifetime of your pet if you get it while they are young. Check how the insurance changes as your pet ages when your pet is still young
- Compare at least 5-10 different and comparable insurance plans from different companies. It might sound obvious, but go through each one side by side looking at inclusions, exclusions, cost, how they change year by year etc.
- Be aware of key things like exclusions, limits of cover, excess, out of pocket expenses etc.
- Speak to other people online or in person who have taken out pet insurance and ask them for their feedback or for any useful information they can give you on their experience
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