Dog Health

What you need to know about Pet Insurance

Why purchase pet insurance? The simple answer is pretty basic, because pet insurance allows you financial relieve from any type of serious illness or accident. Unfortunately, as much as we love our pets and consider them to be part of our family, we are faced with financial constraints when trying to opt for medical care that is not only in the best interest of our pet, but the best interest of everyone. We simply can not afford to pour the mortgage, the grocery money, and the car payment into a possibility that our beloved pet might survive when we have families to care for and responsibilities to attend to.

Pet insurance makes the financial aspect of caring for your pet less of a determining factor. It really is that plain and simple. The most cited reason for not purchasing pet insurance is not understanding what it really is all about. Does it work like human insurance? Are there exclusions and limitations? How does one even begin to compare policies to know which company to go with?

Pet insurance works on a very similar principle as human health insurance. However, unlike human insurance, pet insurance is accepted at any vet, so you don’t have to worry about finding the appropriate provider or leaving the veterinarian you have allowed to labor over your beloved friends for the last twenty years. This because filing a claim is different than that of human insurance.

Human insurance claims are generally filed directly by the physician’s office or the hospital. Pet insurance is filed by the pet’s human. The pet’s human is responsible for the bill at the time of service, and then they simply submit the appropriate paperwork to the pet insurance company for reimbursement. Most pet insurance companies take about 4 to 6 weeks to send out a check covering the cost of the veterinarian care.

Why purchase pet insurance? Because a single dead tooth can cost as much as $800 to remove safely. Because the average veterinarian visit runs about $100 for an animal with even minor illnesses or injuries. Because despite the fact that a dog may look healthy, there can be problems which can not be detected. Because when an animal suddenly stops eating, the possible problems are endless, and the tests required to discern the problem can easily run about $300. These are every day normal problems that veterinarians run into. Almost every dog and cat owned in the United States will have at least one emergency trip to the vet in their lifetime.

The average dog runs an annual vet bill of about $800 to $1000. This simply includes office visits for check ups, shots, and the usual run of the mill flea and tick protection and heart worm protection. One small health problem that can be handled with daily medication can easily triple or quadruple that figure. A cat or a dog with a chronic medical problem like diabetes can cost their human as much as $5,000 to $10,000 annually in vet care and medication. These are not light numbers considering that many humans have a hard time coming up with these figures for treatment related to human illnesses.

There are no pet insurance companies that will offset the entire expense of a chronically ill animal, but the better ones will cover about half. This can mean the difference between life and death. Most have a financial limit per accident, a fairly high limit nonetheless. The majority of accidents occur when a pet either falls from a place outdoors or gets hit by a car. While no pet owner ever wants to face the prospect of having to deal with the tragedy of trying to heal their beloved friend after a car has gotten through with them, knowing that the bulk of the expense will be reimbursed makes it easier to make decisions based on the animals health and not the impact on the check book.

Young, healthy pets often require little medical treatment to substantiate the fees associated with pet insurance. However, all pet insurance companies have an age cut off limit. Just like people, as dogs and cats age, the likelihood of needing extensive medical intervention increases. Carrying a pet policy on a young dog is often more about insuring his later health than dealing with his current health. Illness sneaks up on a dog quickly. Sometimes humans don’t even realize that their dog or cat has aged rather quickly, and before they know it, their best friend has turned ten in the blink of an eye.

While we keep posing the question, ‘Why purchase pet insurance?’ the more likely response is ‘Why wouldn’t you purchase pet insurance?’ It is the only financial failsafe available for cats and dogs today. Even if you are just looking to shield yourself and your pet from the possible illnesses of the future, carrying a basic policy on an animal might run about $30 per month, give or take a few dollars depending on location and medical history. Pet insurance has ultimately offered thousands of pet owners the right to make responsible health decisions regarding their best pal

Pet insurance is more than likely the difference between a last chance and filing the final claim for cremation services (which many pet policies do cover) for any animal that even fifteen years ago wouldn’t have been given a fighting chance. Our pets are such a part of our daily lives and become a definite member of our human families. Protecting their interests is vital to their future and their health, just as you would make the same decision regarding the rest of the family.

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