14 Discuss The Differences Between The Livers Of Domestic Animals Why Your Pet Needs Health Insurance

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Why Your Pet Needs Health Insurance

The question is really one of preparing for the worst. You need pet health insurance and hope you never need to use it. Having pet health insurance and not needing it is much better than needing it and not having it.

Molly Bee was a very cute, loving and absolutely gorgeous Western Terrier. Coming into my life when she was 12 weeks old, I assumed the best for her since I was getting her from a reputable AKC breeder. I had no way of knowing what was in store for her. I was not prepared for the thousands of dollars I would waste trying to save his life.

Molly Bee developed a hereditary condition that shut down her liver. It was so devastating that our good vet told me her test numbers were higher than any he had ever seen. I prayed (and paid) until I prayed and paid no more. Molly Bee had to be put to sleep when she was just 18 months old. I was broke and had thousands of dollars. Remembering the pet health insurance flyer I had read while at her doctor’s office, I vowed to never go without pet health insurance again.

Below are six helpful tips on what you might need to know about this topic. You remember: Having pet health insurance and not needing it is much better than needing it and not having it.

Most people do not consider the breed of their pet, its disposition, whether or not this breed lives an active or sedentary lifestyle, and how neighborhood children or other animals, both wild and domestic, can interact with their pet. Small children can pose a real danger, and that Rottweiler down the street or that coyote from the space park could create a $1,000 vet bill with a bite from your Jack Russell Terrier.

1. Make sure you read the brochure!

Just like health insurance for people, there are all kinds of plans to fit your budget. Most pet health insurance plans offer 80% coverage (an initial treatment threshold of 20% or perhaps $100), which can increase along with your monthly premiums. For about $12.95 a month, you can insure your pet for most accidents and the costs associated with their emergency treatment. You’re likely better off paying as you go, or out of pocket, for routine pet health care, vaccinations, and the like.

2. When does coverage begin?

There will often be a waiting period, usually 14 – 30 days, before your pet’s health insurance coverage begins. Make sure your vet has well documented your pet’s good health at their last visit so it can be said that there were no pre-existing conditions (or if that condition has been removed or secured). A good time to buy pet health insurance is right after that vet visit.

3. Can I choose my vet?

Most plans allow you to choose your own pet health care provider, especially in the case of an emergency. I suggest you check with your vet about what insurance programs he or she accepts for routine or regular and emergency pet health care.

4. 6 million dogs and 6 million cats are diagnosed with cancer each year. Will my insurance cover those costs too?

Be sure to read your pet health insurance plan to see what is and isn’t covered. Often, your insurance policy will allow you to add certain coverages for additional premiums. Contact your carrier for further information.

5. Are there age requirements or restrictions for pet health insurance?

Yes, most plans do not cover the first eight to twelve weeks of your pet’s life. Some plans are limited to pets up to age 12 (varies with your pet’s age at the time insurance is purchased) and have other restrictions based on your pet’s breed. Great Danes, for example, usually do not live past 8 years. And, I’ve had cats that lived up to 20 years! Most policies place age and/or race restrictions on their coverage.

6. But I have more than one pet! Can I save by insuring them all?

Yes, most plans offer a discount (often 10% per pet) when you insure your entire “family”.

In closing, you should carefully consider all options for health insurance for your pets. Not having insurance at all is simply irresponsible. If your pet needs emergency care and you cannot afford that care, contact your local humane society or the ASPCA for assistance.

Remember that pet health insurance doesn’t have to be expensive, isn’t limited to a single vet, isn’t complicated to use, can provide coverage for general care or checkups, and can be applied for online!

In any case, we will be happy to answer your questions about this important decision. Send us an email or comment on this article and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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