General

The pros and cons of pet insurance

Is it worth it?

While I was on vacation, I received the type of call that no pet owner would like to receive. My dog of 11 years old was acting oddly and required to see a vet.

It turned out that she was suffering from a serious condition and needed an urgent operation. I was so ill with anxiety that the cost of $2,000 was not in my head. However, once I arrived back home, I realized that I not only had a pet to look after and feed, but I also had to determine how to deal with the cost of a major and unexpected cost.

A month later, she was due for another procedure that came at a price comparable to the charge soon after my dog was diagnosed with possible heart issues and required approximately $1,000 worth of testing.

I’m fortunate. Today my two dogs are doing great, and I was lucky to have an emergency reserve available to help pay for these costs. What if this wasn’t the scenario? The surgeries and tests would easily cost more than a thousand dollars, and I may be forced to choose between the lives of my pets and my financial security.

I gained valuable insight from this experience. I ought to look at pet insurance.

There are 1.4 million pets insured across the U.S. as of 2015. This may sound like an enormous number; however, it’s just one fraction of the 70-80 million dogs and 74-96million cats that are kept as pets.

“If you don’t wish for finances to be the primary factor in deciding what you need to be doing for the pet you love, having pet insurance will make the decision easier. Be sure to inform your veterinarian you’re insured for your pet. This can make your veterinarian more likely offer you the possibility of taking care of everything that could be feasible for your pet.” says Michael Cohen, veterinarian, and director of Center City Veterinary Hospital in Philadelphia.

The quality of treatment it requires is contingent on the insurance you have, and he adds.

“I worked as an emergency physician for six years and observed numerous instances where pets had to be killed or receive less than ideal treatment due to finances,” he explains. “Understandably that when money dictated what owners could do, the situation was made sadder…For the few owners that were able to perform the treatments that were needed because insurance coverage for their pets was in place to aid us, we simply were faced with the awful illness, the accident was and did not have the worry and anxiety of how the owner could afford the treatment.”

Then why is it that only a tiny percentage of pet owners decide to take insurance?

Perhaps they don’t think they’re worth it They don’t believe that they need it for their pets or don’t know where to begin. Human health insurance can be a bit confusing -and the same is true in the case of pet insurance.

But don’t worry. We’ve done our homework on the confusing realm of animal insurance. This is what we learned.

Pet insurance does not include all of your pet’s vet health care.

The first thing to remember when looking for insurance for your pet is that the insurance for pets doesn’t include all your pet’s medical services.

Some insurance companies, like Petplan, are not able to cover the routine health care of your pet in their plans. Instead, their policies are designed to in the aftermath of the unexpected injury or illness.

Other providers, such as Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation, cannot cover the vet exam cost or preventive services such as spaying or neutering.

Pre-existing medical conditions are also not covered by most, if not all, insurance companies.

Cohen exposes the essential features your pet insurance policies should include.

“Avoid plans that have breed restrictions. Avoid plans that include the fee schedule, which means an inventory of commonly used ailments and treatments. The insurance company pays for the amount they believe an operation should cost. It is usually a lot more from what is typically charged and could leave patients with a debt that is higher than they would otherwise.”

According to the expert, plans that pay a portion like 80 percent of the cost are the best option.

There are various plans at different levels :

  • Basic plans could be just $10 per month and will cover preventive medical care for your pet, including vaccinations, as well as annual wellness examinations.
  • Plans for medium-level coverage start at $34 a month. In addition to covering basic health care, they can provide coverage for certain ailments, surgeries, and hospitalizations.
  • Pet owners can also select the most extensive amount of insurance that could cost up to $100 per month. The plans generally provide coverage for injuries, accidents, routine veterinary examinations, treatment for cancer, and medication.

The amount of reimbursement varies.

If you think your deductible is all cost that you’ll incur when you purchase pet insurance, you should think twice.

Most insurance plans cover between 70 and 90 percent of covered ailments or injuries. This means you’ll be in the middle of a bill after all is done and dusted.

Be aware that you’ll often have to wait for a waiting time (usually just a few days; however, it could be as long as two weeks) before your insurance policy comes into effect. If your pet is scheduled for an annual exam, it is necessary to schedule an appointment before when the policy becomes effective.

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