While ferrets are often considered an exotic pet, it’s not uncommon to find families who’ve welcomed a ferret or two into their home. Like other pet owners, when you own a ferret, you cherish your beloved pet and want to provide them with a safe and loving place to live.
Part of creating a safe environment for your ferret includes giving them access to quality health care when they become ill or injured.
Unfortunately, the cost of veterinary care can add up when unexpected incidents occur, and as a result, your ferret may be unable to receive proper treatment.
Ferret pet insurance can help you avoid finding yourself in this situation.
Best Companies For Ferret Pet Insurance Plans
1. Nationwide Pet Insurance Plans
Nationwide is one of the most comprehensive pet insurance providers in the industry. The company offers insurance policies for dogs, cats and a wide range of birds and exotic pets insurance including ferrets. Its coverage is available for ferrets that are between six weeks and ten years old.
Nationwide Pet Insurance Rates
While rates aren’t readily available on the company’s website, potential customers can contact Nationwide through the toll-free telephone number listed on their website to discuss their pet’s situation and receive a quote. According to the company’s website, plans start as low as $35 per month and there’s a 14-day waiting period.
Nationwide Pet Insurance Plan Options
Nationwide offers three plans, each with different levels of coverage. Whole Pet with Wellness is the company’s most comprehensive plan and includes a wide range of injuries and illnesses, examination fees, diagnostic testing (X-rays and lab tests included), hospitalization, and routine wellness care. For customers looking for a less extensive plan, Nationwide’s Major Medical plan excludes wellness coverage and provides reimbursement only for unexpected illness or injuries.
Lastly, the Pet Wellness plan is available to those who prefer wellness-only coverage, which will take care of routine checkups, vaccinations, and deworming treatments. Nationwide’s Whole Pet with Wellness Plan is one of the most competitive plans available, covering all examinations, diagnostic treatments, and conditions, except for pre-existing conditions.
The plan also covers routine checkups, vaccinations, spay/neuter procedures, and alternative therapies. Aside from pre-existing conditions, the only exclusions to this plan are taxes, waste, grooming, and boarding.
Customer’s with the Whole Pet with Wellness plan are eligible for 90 percent reimbursement on all veterinary costs after their deductible has been paid. Deductibles range from $100 to $250 annually, and coverage is unlimited. Customers who have a Major Medical or Pet Wellness plan will receive reimbursement based on the company’s fee schedule, which pays a specific amount per condition or treatment.
Nationwide Pet Insurance Claims Process
Nationwide’s claims process is simple, and the company offers customers a variety of options for submissions including an online portal and a mobile app. There’s no option for direct billing, but customers can sign up to receive their reimbursements electronically. Nationwide promises a turnaround time of 30 days on claims, but customer reviews indicate that they’re typically paid out much faster than that.
Nationwide Pet Insurance Financial Strength
Nationwide is Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited and has a rating of A+. While there are 296 complaints about the company on file in the past three years, this is about average for a company of its size, and most pertain to the company’s home, auto, and life insurance divisions.
2. PetAssure Discount Plans
PetAssure provides ferret owners with discounted veterinary care when it’s accessed in a participating veterinary office. Those who subscribe to PetAssure’s discount plan will be assigned a membership card that can be shown to participating offices to obtain 25 percent off on all in-house medical services and procedures.
Rates are reasonable and based on the animal or animals that are subscribing. The company’s online quote calculator provides a quick quote based on the number of pets, the breed, and ZIP code.
Any breed of pet can subscribe to PetAssure discount plans, and the company doesn’t exclude any animals based on breed, age or current health condition. Unlike traditional ferret insurance, the PetAssure discount can be used for the treatment of pre-existing conditions, which are typically excluded from coverage with insurance providers.
If pet owners have already purchased an insurance policy, a PetAssure discount plan can still be used to lessen out-of-pocket expenses, provided care is accessed in a participating clinic.
Pet owners can use their discount on any services that are provided to their pet in a participating veterinary office, including:
- Routine checkups
- Exam fees
- Dental checkups
- Emergency care
- Dental cleaning
- Dental exams and X-rays
- Allergy treatment
- Cancer treatment
- Tumor removal
- Diabetes treatment and management
- Spay and neuter procedures
- IV fluids
- Prescription medication
PetAssure only excludes grooming and boarding from discounts, as well as any care that is outsourced to a healthcare provider outside of PetAssure’s network.
PetAssure is accredited with the BBB and has a rating of A+. There’s only one complaint on file for the company in the last three years, which has been responded to by PetAssure and closed by the BBB.
3. Wells Fargo Healthy Advantage
Instead of purchasing ferret pet insurance, ferret owners have the option of applying for credit with Wells Fargo Healthy Advantage.
The program offers its customers the chance to use their credit toward the cost of services and products purchased in participating veterinary offices and make low monthly payments. Interest rates are competitive, and the program can be applied for on the spot in your veterinarian’s office with instant approval.
Healthy Advantage can be used for any species of animal, including ferrets, and covers any condition such as hereditary and pre-existing conditions, which traditional pet insurance does not cover.
Customers who have existing pet insurance policies can apply for Healthy Advantage to cover out of pocket expenses, including their deductible.
The BBB doesn’t list the Healthy Advantage program individually but instead lists Wells Fargo as a whole, meaning that ratings and reviews that are taken into account include the company’s banking and other credit services.
Currently, the BBB has revoked Wells Fargo’s rating due to a number of government actions that have been filed against it. There are also more than 3,000 complaints against Wells Fargo in the last three years. Unfortunately, the details of these complaints haven’t been made available by the BBB.
Common Ferret Ailments and Insurance Claims
Several ailments are known to affect ferrets. These ailments are typically the most common ferret pet insurance claims and the most common reasons that ferrets are seen for non-routine veterinary care.
Adrenal disease is perhaps the most common illness seen in ferrets. It’s typically related to a tumor sitting on the adrenal gland and can result in an extremely poor quality of life for the ferret.
Symptoms include lethargy, alopecia, difficulty urinating, sexual aggression, and muscular atrophy. Adrenal disease in ferrets can be treated with prescription medication or in severe cases surgery may be required.
Cardiac disease is a common ailment for ferrets, particularly over the age of three years. It’s often related to heart valve abnormalities or electrical disturbances.
Heartworms can also cause cardiac disease, which is why deworming as a preventative measure is so important in animals. Prescription medications can help to manage the symptoms of cardiac disease in ferrets.
Aleutians Disease Virus (ADV)
ADV is a form of parvovirus that’s exclusive to ferrets, minks, raccoons, and skunks. The virus spreads through feces, saliva, and urine from animal to animal and may be active or dormant, meaning there may or may not be symptoms.
In ferrets showing signs of ADV, symptoms include progressive hind end paralysis, urinary incontinence, tremors, lethargy, enlarged spleen and eventually, death. Although a cure hasn’t been discovered for ADV, early symptoms can be managed with prescription medication and other therapies.
Disseminated Idiopathic Myositis (DIM)
DIM is a recently discovered disease that generally affects ferrets under 18 months of age. The disease is characterized by extreme muscle inflammation and high white blood cell count.
The onset of symptoms is generally very quick, and the disease may last only several days or as long as several years. Other symptoms include decreased appetite, fluctuating fever, and severe lethargy. Unfortunately, DIM is typically fatal or requires euthanasia.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
IBD, a common disease in many species, including humans, has been known to affect a large number of ferrets. Although the disease is usually treatable or manageable with diet modifications or prescription medication, it has been known to result in fatalities for ferrets who are afflicted with it.
Symptoms include nausea, weight loss, loose or tarry stools, and teeth grinding. Some ferrets may not show symptoms until the disease is quite advanced.
Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis (ECE)
ECE is characterized by extreme vomiting followed by watery, green diarrhea. Ferrets with ECE are often lethargic with a decreased appetite. Although messy, the disease is rarely fatal. ECE is typically treated with rest and a bland diet. In cases where severe dehydration is present, IV fluids may be required.
Insulinoma and Lymphoma
Insulinoma, or islet cell cancer, is a common form of pancreatic cancer that’s often seen in ferrets, while lymphoma is a common cancer of the lymph nodes. Symptoms for both include fatigue, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and seizures.
While some cases are unfortunately fatal, when caught early, both insulinoma and lymphoma can be treated with surgery and prescription medications.
Common injuries incurred by ferrets include attacks from other ferrets, dogs or cats, and injuries that result from being accidentally stepped or sat on by a family member, which can result in broken bones, bumps, cuts, and bruises.
Ferrets are also known for having sensitive footpads which can easily become injured, mainly by metal cage floors.
Shopping For Ferret Pet Insurance
With the information above, you should have a good understanding of the options available to you for both ferret pet insurance and alternatives to insurance. Using these details, you can begin searching for a ferret insurance plan that’s best suited to your needs.
By purchasing a comprehensive ferret insurance policy, you can easily access veterinary treatment for a variety of conditions. The best pet insurance plans include a broad scope of coverage at reasonable rates and are issued by companies with high customer satisfaction ratings.
Consumers looking for insurance for their ferret should make sure the company offers ample coverage and suits their budget.
While shopping for pet insurance, ferret owners are likely to notice that their options are extremely limited, as there is only one traditional provider that offers plans that include coverage for ferrets.
However, there are other options available that can help you find affordable veterinary care for your ferret.
*While we make every effort to keep our site updated, please be aware that “timely” information on this page, such as quote estimates, or pertinent details about companies, may only be accurate as of its last edit day. Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.