Along with all the joy and love that a German Shepherd can bring to you and your family comes a big responsibility for you as a pet owner – and that is to keep your German Shepherd happy and healthy.
You can do everything perfectly, from watching everything your dog eats to taking them to the vet for their annual shots to keep them healthy. Unfortunately, we can’t control everything. There is, and always will be, a possibility that something tragic might happen to our dog out of nowhere. And when those tragic moments happen – like when your German Shepherd develops an ear infection or diabetes – you need to be prepared. This is where German Shepherd insurance can greatly benefit you.
In this article, I will be sharing the different benefits of having German Shepherd insurance and its corresponding costs, but before we do, we must first know exactly how pet insurance like this works.
How Does German Shepherd Insurance Work?
The simple answer is that German Shepherd insurance works very similarly to our personal human insurance plan; however, it’s not as complicated as a human insurance plan.
German Shepherd insurance can be narrowed down to three simple steps.
- Get the treatment that your German Shepherd requires;
- File a claim to the insurance company;
- Get the reimbursement from the insurance company.
It’s as simple as that. If your German Shepherd is ill or requires medical attention of any sort, head to your veterinarian as soon as possible, ask the vet for the appropriate procedure and medication and give it to your German Shepherd. As soon as that’s over, you can find most insurance reimbursement claim forms on their respective websites; if not, head to the office of your insurance company and ask for the claim. Fill it out and submit it back to them personally or via email. After that, wait for 5 to 15 business days for the reimbursement.
Whenever possible, choose an insurance company which has an insurance plan that will actually benefit your German Shepherd.
What Does a German Shepherd Dog Insurance Cover?
Now that we know how German Shepherd insurance works, the next thing that pops into our mind is the question of what exactly an insurance plan like this covers. A lot of different insurance companies offer different coverages, but the most common ones are the following:
- Injury-Only – this type of coverage is considered the basic coverage. It only covers German Shepherd injuries, meaning you won’t get reimbursed if the medical attention that your dog needs was not caused by an illness. If you get this insurance plan for your dog at an early age, it’s one of the cheapest forms of German Shepherd insurance that you’ll find on the market.
- Injury and Illness – this is what most pet owners get for their pets when it comes to insurance. It’s basically the same as the injury-only coverage, but with the addition of illnesses, too. Meaning you can get reimbursed for the treatment of your German Shepherd for illnesses like cancer, diabetes, dental issues, urinary issues, or ear infections.
- Hereditary Conditions – this type of plan covers illnesses or diseases that your German Shepherd acquired from birth.
- Ongoing Conditions – this type of coverage is rather tricky. Depending on the current situation of your German Shepherd, your insurance company might decide to charge you more, decline you immediately, or ask for tests before making any decisions.
- Behavioral Conditions – this plan covers any consultations, tests, and medication for any behavioral conditions that your dog might develop. Behavioral conditions include excessive chewing, licking, urinating everywhere, and more. Not a lot of insurance companies offer this, so if you’re interested in getting a plan like this, you might want to look harder.
We spend a lot of time picking the best bedding, best toy, and best treats for our dogs, so it’s only right that we pick the best insurance for them as well, right? It is important to know what insurance companies offer, so that you can make a decision that is best for you and your German Shepherd. Keep in mind that each insurance company is different, therefore it is still best to ask them directly what they offer. The options I have presented are simply the most common ones on the market. Insurance companies tend to mix things up to entice their customers. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting so as to enjoy all possible benefits both for you and your German Shepherd.
Benefits of Insuring your German Shepherd
Now that we know what German Shepherd insurance actually is, how it works, and what it covers, it’s time we talked about the benefits of getting an insurance for your dog.
German Shepherd insurance:
- Prevents you from using your emergency fund. If you’re like me, you know that it is very hard to scrape off some money on top of our emergency fund. For us, it’s the last resort and once it’s touched, we feel like the end is upon us. The beauty of having insurance is that you know that even if you have to borrow something from your emergency fund, your money will be reimbursed back to you.
- Allows you to pick the vet that you want. That’s right, German Shepherd insurance allows you to go and use any licensed veterinary clinic that you like, unlike human insurance, where you can only go to specified clinics and doctors. This is especially useful to those who often travel with their German Shepherds. You can rest easy knowing that your dog is insured wherever you go.
- Doesn’t restrict age. Always remember that you can insure your German Shepherd no matter how old they may be. Just keep in mind that the premiums or monthly payments for the insurance of younger German Shepherds are a lot cheaper than those of older ones.
Personally, what I like most about having insurance for my German Shepherd is the peace of mind that it gives me. I know a lot of my friends who suffer because they have to postpone or delay the treatment of their ill pets just because they can’t afford the bill. Thankfully, I don’t have that problem. I sleep peacefully at night knowing that, whatever happens to my German Shepherd tomorrow, I can get him treated, I can get him the medical attention that he needs and deserves.
German Shepherd Dog Insurance Cost
How much does insurance for German Shepherds actually cost? It’s hard to give an exact amount, because there are actually a lot of factors that come into play when determining the cost of the German Shepherd insurance. Some of these factors include:
- Age – as mentioned earlier, older German Shepherds will cost more to insure them than younger ones. That’s because, similar to humans, older German Shepherds are more prone to illnesses that require extensive treatment.
- The Company – each insurance company has a different strategy in balancing their premiums and other costs, which means that one company might be more expensive than the other even though the insurance plan covers the very same things. Make sure you talk to a lot of insurance companies so you can compare their costs and decide accordingly.
- Location – the truth of the matter is that the services offered in some places are simply more expensive than others. If you live in a prime city, the chances are that your local veterinarian is quite expensive. To help offset the costs, insurance companies might increase your premium.
- Coverage – the best way to explain this is that with more coverage comes a higher premium. From the coverages mentioned earlier, if yo decide to have all of them covered, expect a high premium. The deductibles and reimbursement rates are yours to decide, both of which will significantly affect the cost of your premiums.
- Deductibles and Reimbursement Rate – Insurance companies normally offer deductibles and reimbursement rates that ranges from $100 to $1500, and 50% to 100%, respectively. In a nutshell, the way these affect your premiums is that with low deductibles and high reimbursement rates, you get a higher premium. Personally, to maximize the value of my German Shepherd insurance, I decided to have a $500 deductible and an 80% reimbursement rate.
Like I’ve said earlier, it’s hard to give a direct and exact answer as to how much a German Shepherd insurance costs, but knowing what affects it can greatly help you in choosing the right values for you and your dog.
On average, insurance for a German Shepherd with a basic coverage can range from $30 to $50 per month.
I highly suggest that you ask every insurance company you can think of so you can have a lot of options to choose from. Lastly, don’t forget to ask about discounts. Some insurance companies like to offer discounts like 50% off your monthly premium for 3 months, or discounts if you’ll insure multiple pets, etc.
What if my dog is being treated using traditional means?
Contact your insurance company and ask if they offer coverage for alternative therapy. There are some insurance companies that include acupuncture, hydrotherapy, chiropractic care, and more to their coverage. This coverage is relatively new, so expect a slightly higher premium if you opt for it.
Can I get reimbursement for tail docking my German Shepherd?
No. Insurance companies will not cover procedures like tail docking, as they are deemed inhumane. Procedures like ear cropping and claw removal are also considered to be inhumane by insurance companies.
How long do I have to wait for the reimbursement?
Most insurance companies take 5 to 15 business days to reimburse your claim.
How much will the insurance company reimburse?
Your reimbursement rate solely depends on what you have chosen upon applying for the German Shepherd insurance. You can contact your insurance company to ask about your reimbursement rate.
Considering all the factors involved: the unexpected expenses, rising healthcare costs especially for pets, and customizable policy plans, I truly believe that the German Shepherd insurance cost is more than generous for the benefits that it offers. I love the thought of knowing that my German Shepherd is insured, ready to receive the care that he needs whenever and wherever.