Although pet insurance has been available for approximately 20 years,Dog Insurance: Yes, you need it Articles many pet owners have never used it and are surprised that such a thing would even exist. After all, insurance is for people, right?
Well, if you have ever had to use your savings account in order to pay for a pet’s surgery or if you have ever had to put a beloved pet to sleep because you couldn’t afford medical care, then you know the usefulness of pet insurance.
As is the case with most other health-related expenses, the costs associated with an average pet’s medical care are rising all the time. If you have multiple pets, the cost of even the most basic care can be financially painful. When deciding whether or not to buy a health insurance policy for your pet, you have to ask yourself a few questions.
1. Do you consider your pet to be part of the family?
2. Would you be unable to pay for (possibly thousands of dollars in medical bills if your pet develops cancer or needs long-term medical care?
3. Would it absolutely break your family’s heart to have to euthanize your pet because you didn’t plan ahead for potential health crises?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’ll want to seriously consider purchasing an insurance policy for your pet.
What Kind of Pet Insurance Is Available?
Pet insurance is now available through a multitude of specific companies; and, just as with your average health insurance plan, the higher the premium, the greater the range of benefits you and your pet receive.
The average plan is from $20 per month and has either no annual benefit limit at all or a limit of approximately $15,000. Many plans offer discounts for multiple pets. Your deductible will be determined by the plan you choose, but the average is approximately $100 per year.
Since the majority of the medical expenses generated by a pet are related to routine procedures, look for a plan that covers vaccinations, neutering and spaying, annual check-ups and dental care. You want your pet to be protected in case he develops a serious illness or injury, but these lower-budget procedures can also put a big dent in your bank account. Make sure you’re pet is covered!
What Sort of Restrictions Are There?
You may be willing to pay for your pet’s health insurance, but that doesn’t mean an insurance company will automatically cover him. If your pet is over a certain age, he may be denied coverage. Even if you find insurance for your pet, there are always certain coverage limits and restrictions. Most policies won’t cover the treatment of pre-existing conditions or genetic defects. Sometimes cancer is also excluded from coverage (although many companies will add cancer care to the coverage for an additional cost).
Be aware of any waiting periods that are written into your pet’s policy. The waiting period will determine when your pet’s coverage actually begins – waiting periods can last anywhere from two weeks to six months. Once your plan takes effect, you may have to choose a veterinarian from a list of approved providers.