Just like health insurance is an important part of health care for people, pet insurance is an important part of dog care. Both ensure that we have the funds to cover unexpected health costs. However, unlike health insurance, pet owners are generally left paying the whole premium.
Would you like to save a little money on pet insurance? Here are 5 ways to get a discount on Pet Insurance :
1. Employer sponsored Pet Insurance Plan
According to the New York Times article Pet Insurance Is the Latest Work Perk by Susan Jenks (June 2017) “Some 5,000 companies, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Xerox and Hewlett-Packard, now offer pet insurance, sometimes covering part or all of the costs, in an effort to lure talent.” Employers are able to take advantage of lower cost group rates. They may also be able to negotiate even lower costs with the Pet Insurance underwriters.
For employees, company sponsored plans have a major advantage over purchasing individual plans. In addition to being cheaper, company sponsored plans are generally vetted by the employer. Meaning there are less surprises for the employees.
2. Employee Unions
Many employee unions offer discounts as a way to enhance their membership benefits. Since these discounts are often based on group rates, there is no cost to the union to provide them.
Although a 10% or more discount might sound good, read the fine print carefully. Sometimes the discounts are based on other requirements like insuring multiple pets or enrolling online. Remember to always read the fine print.
Here are a couple examples of unions that provide pet insurance benefits:
- The National Education Association (NEA) Member Benefits offers a 5% discount through Pets Best Pet Health Insurance. The 5% multi-pet discount has restrictions, so read the fine print carefully.
- Union Privilege is a nonprofit organization founded by the AFL-CIO to provide Union Plus benefit programs exclusively to union members (current and retired) and their families. As a Union Privilege member, you can get up to a 10% discount on pet insurance. 5% of the discount is based on group rates and the other 5% is based on a Weblink discount that applies to the Best Benefit plans only. Check carefully, discounts are not available in all states and the Weblink discount only applies to the first policy term.
3. Credit Unions
Credit unions like labor unions offer discounts to their members to enhance the memberships. For many Credit Unions, these discounts include Pet Insurance.
Credit Unions offer the same services as banks, but are owned by the members. Usually you need to pay a one-time membership fee and a small deposit to join.
You may be eligible to join a credit union based on your:
- Employer – many employers sponsor their own credit unions.
- Geographic Location – many credit unions serve anyone that lives, works, worships, or attends school in a particular geographic area.
You can find a credit union near you by using the Credit Union locator at MyCreditUnion.gov.
4. Special Interest Clubs
Special Interest Clubs like the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) also offer discounted benefits to their members.
Just make sure to check the benefits of the local club serving your area. Clubs like AAA are separated by geographical location that serve the member’s needs in those areas. Not all AAA clubs offer all benefits.
Beware; some special interest clubs license their names to insurance carriers in return for royalties. Although these clubs sometimes tout their offer as “the best plan available”, this isn’t always the case. You may be able to find the same discount elsewhere without having to pay the membership costs.
Here are just a couple special interest clubs that provide pet insurance benefits:
- AAA of Mid-Atlantic – AAA Members receive up to a 10% Lifetime Discount on Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation.
- AARP – The American Association of Retired People (AARP) offers what they call an exclusive member offer. With this offer you can save up to 10% on a Petplan policy and get a $35 Visa® Prepaid Card when you enroll online or by phone. However, make sure you read all the fine print. There is a lot of it with this offer.
5. Wholesale clubs
Wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco negotiate discounts for their members for a wide array of items from cars to home insurance. Now they are getting into the discounted pet insurance business. Check out these offers,
- Sam’s Club – Sam’s Club offers a gift card that can be redeemed for one year of pet insurance with Pet First Pet Insurance. The gift card comes with a maximum payout of $1,000 or $2,000 (depending on which gift card you choose) worth of comprehensive coverage that provides up to 90% reimbursement for injuries, illnesses, genetic conditions and emergency care. While this coverage is less expensive than traditional plans it is limited to the maximum payout listed on the card and is only good for one year’s worth of coverage.
- Costco – Although not available in the USA yet Costco has joined the Pet Insurance discount wagon by offering discounted benefits in parts of Canada and the UK through Pets + us pet insurance.
Always, always read the fine print!
I touch on this throughout the post but it is worth restating.
Always read the fine print before purchasing pet insurance from anyplace. Many of these discounts sound great until you read all the requirements. Sometimes the discounts are based on conditions that may not apply to you, like needing to insure multiple pets or enrolling online.
In some cases you don’t need to pay a membership fee to get the discount. An example of this is the Enroll Online Discount’. If you enroll online through Ensurance you get a 5% discount, no membership required.
If you are unsure or don’t understand something, ask questions before you purchase a policy. Also ask for a copy of the policy before you buy. Make sure to read it so you know exactly what you are getting.
Lastly shop around. Don’t rely on someone else to tell you what is the best pet insurance policy. Only you can decide what is best for you.
For more tips on buying pet insurance check out my other posts:
- Is Pet Insurance worth it?
- Looking for Pet Insurance? 8 Things You Should Know Before You Buy
- 9 Common Mistakes When Buying Pet Insurance
- My Dog Ate My Homework! And other stories
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