Just several years ago, pet insurance was not something many pet owners considered a priority for their pets. The expensive overall payments they would have had to shell out over the lifetimes of their pets when measured against the low probability of the same pets actually ever needing the insurance was enough to give most people pause. Not so, these days. New and innovative veterinary treatments available today make investing in your pet’s insurance not only desirable but even necessary. That is, if you are the type of person who will try everything to save an ailing pet before even contemplating the thought of having your dog or cat put down. Veterinary care has become increasingly sophisticated of late, with pets having access to MRIs for diagnostic purposes, and such treatments as organ transplants and even radiation therapy to treat cancer.
These are fantastic developments, allowing pets to be treated for conditions they would have been put down for only several years ago. Unfortunately, there is one big disadvantage-these treatments are very costly. This is where insurance comes in. On average, a dog is twice as likely to end up at the vet’s as a cat. Cats are a better insurance risk for someone on a small budget. Before you decide to get insurance for your dog, first you must do your research. There are important questions you need to consider. For example, the age of your dog is crucial. Young dogs mean smaller premiums. Another factor is the breed of your dog. Different breeds are predisposed to different conditions. For instance, larger dogs like German shepherds and Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia. Some insurance companies will not cover such hereditary conditions.
Before you pick just any insurance company, you need to make a list. You must ascertain that every insurance company on your list is registered. Next, you need to call your vet’s office and ask about the insurance they accept. Your list will now contain only registered insurance companies accepted by your vet. At this point, you will need to review the policies offered by each company for your dog or cat. It is very important to note the deductibles, co-pays and caps that limit payouts annually in the event of your pet meeting with an accident or falling ill. Some insurance companies will only cover accidents, others will levy high surcharges if your dog is older than 9 years, or even refuse to cover a dog that age. Next you should shop around. Ask a lot of questions before committing yourself to one insurance company.
Inquire about your employer’s policy on pets, since it is possible pet cover may be included as a benefit. Ask if the insurance company offers a discount for the insurance of multiple pets. Make sure that your insurance is tailor-made for your pet. For example, pets that spend more time outdoors than indoors tend to have a higher incidence of illnesses and accidents. And obviously, the older your dog or cat, the more likely he is to fall ill. An insurance company like ‘Embrace Pet Insurance’ covers hereditary and chronic conditions, among other things, while ‘Petshealth Insurance’ covers only accidents. You might also consider picking a membership plan to a club like ‘Pet Assure’, where participating vets and animal hospitals offer a 25% discount to members, in lieu of insurance. Ultimately, it all depends on your budget and how much your pet’s wellbeing means to you.