Title: Pet Insurance
Word Count: 522
Summary: Is pet insurance right for you? There are a number of options available from
just a few companies.
Article Body: I don’t have to tell you that the cost of health care is skyrocketing. If you
have been to the vet lately, you know that health care for pets is also getting more and
Various and better treatment options are also available these days, and our pets are living
longer because of them.
Pet health insurance has been available for a number of years, but is just now beginning
to be more common. Pet insurance is more like major medical policies than the
comprehensive policies most of us have. The pet health policies don’t cover routine
office visits (although riders may be available from some companies) or immunizations.
You are free to use any veterinarian that you choose, and to opt for whatever tests or
treatment you desire.
There are no co-pays. You pay the full amount then submit a claim for reimbursement.
Reimbursements are based on occurrence, rather than the treatment. Insurance companies
selling health insurance for people usually set acceptable fees for procedures, and
determine which procedures they will cover.
Most pet insurance policies will cover any procedure or test for illnesses and injuries that
they cover. They will pay up to a certain amount for each occurrence of that injury or
illness, up to the policy limit.
Certain illnesses may be excluded, as are any pre-existing conditions. The excluded
illnesses and conditions may be breed specific and vary by company and policy.
Some policies have additional coverage for items such as accidental death of the pet, lost
pet recovery, spay-neuter procedures and other extras. Some plans will charge the same
premium as your pet ages (based on its age when you sign up), and others will increase as
the pet gets older. Most companies have an age limit for beginning coverage.
There are two major carriers, offering a variety of policies. They are PetCare Pet
Insurance (www.petinsurance.com, 888-899-4875) and Pethealth Inc., owned by Petco.
Pethealth offers insurance under a number of different names, including ShelterCare and
Premium costs range from $10 to $22 a month for cats, and from $11 to $75 a month for
dogs, depending on age, breed and coverage chosen.
The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that the average dog owner will
spend just under $500 per year on vet bills. It is hard to know whether you will save
money or not by purchasing insurance. Certainly in the case of catastrophic illness or
injury the insurance could be of great benefit. Like all insurance policies, you purchase it
in the hopes that you never need to use it, but you pay a lot of money “just in case”.
When deciding if pet insurance is right for you, consider the pet’s lifestyle. If it is mostly
an indoor pet, the chances of it becoming ill or injured will be less than if it lives outside
a great deal of the time.
One great benefit of having the insurance is that it will allow you to do more for your pet
if it does become ill. The peace of mind you may get from having pet insurance may be
worth the cost.