Pet insurance can be confusing and most people aren’t sure if it’s worth getting. Even though most people can financially handle a routine vet visit now and again, if a serious medical emergency occurs, the cost can skyrocket and it can cost thousands to take care of your much loved baby. A recent survey by the Associated Press found that a significant number of pet owners (41 percent) are extremely or somewhat worried they could not afford the medical bills for a sick cat or dog.
Here Are Some Benefits To Having Pet Insurance:
You are allowed you to pick your veterinarian. Unlike human health insurance policies that may require you to use a specific health care provider, pet insurance policies allow you to obtain care from the veterinarian of your choosing. You simply provide the veterinary bill to the insurance company for reimbursement of qualified expenses.
Peace of mind. Having pet insurance allows you to choose treatments for your ailing or injured pet based on the best medical option available and not restricted based on family finances. Most pet insurance policies reimburse up to 80% of costs after deductibles.
Provides an easy way to budget pet care costs. Pet insurance policies can be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. You decide which payment plan works best for you. Most plans offer discounts for additional pets in the household.
Prevents dipping into the family’s emergency fund. True, you can set up a pet savings account, but it can be tough to discipline one’s self from dipping into this designated account when you face pricey car repairs, household renovations or other major unexpected expenses.
Pet insurance coverage could save—and extend—the life of your pet by enabling you to authorize the medical treatment your pet needs should he develop cancer or require surgery.
When you are looking for a carrier, here are some things you should make sure they cover. The plan you select should satisfy your pet healthcare needs in five important areas: chronic disease, ongoing coverage for chronic disease, congenital and hereditary disease, breed-specific and species-specific disease, and cancer.
Chronic diseases typically appear in middle-aged and older pets and are considered incurable. They include problems such as heart disease, chronic kidney or liver disease, diabetes, endocrine system disorders like Cushing’s or Addison’s disease, etc.
Look for a plan that covers chronic diseases, preferably without exclusions. Chances are good that if your furry companion lives long enough, he’ll develop a chronic health problem of some kind. Your pet healthcare plan should be designed to cover such eventualities.
You also want to make sure it covers ongoing diagnostic testing and treatments for any chronic illness your pet may develop. Also be sure you’re informed about any limits on reimbursement for specific diseases.
Congenital and Hereditary Disease:
Your pet healthcare plan should cover congenital and hereditary conditions – the kind that are present at birth, as well as those that develop later in life. Examples include hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, entropion (a disorder of the upper eyelid), liver shunts, etc.
Try to avoid plans that cover one but not the other, as some pet insurance providers consider congenital conditions “pre-existing.” Pay attention to maximum payouts and any limits on reimbursement for specific diseases.
Breed-Specific and Species-Specific Disease:
Many breeds of pets, dogs in particular, have medical conditions they are more prone to than other breeds. For example, Golden Retrievers are more likely to develop cancer than other breeds; small and toy dogs are more prone to patellar luxation.
Your policy should provide coverage for problems that may arise specific to your pet’s breed or species.
Sadly, cancer is common among veterinary patients these days, especially certain dog breeds. And it isn’t exclusively a disease of old age. Traditional cancer treatment for pets (typically surgery and/or chemotherapy and other medications) can get very expensive, so make sure the pet insurance you’re considering provides coverage in this area.
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