Pet Insurance

“I wish my pet could be included on my health insurance plan!”

Does this statement sound familiar to you? We occasionally hear from clients that wish they could claim their pet as a dependent. In recent years, pet insurance has become a reality. There are several companies that offer pet health insurances.

Costs for everything continue to rise, and health care costs for animals are no exception. In addition, the scope of veterinary medicine is definitely becoming wider all of the time. Specialty health care options once only available for humans now have counterparts in animal health care. For example, pets can receive MRI’s, CT scans, or chemotherapy just like people! There are also emergency specialty clinics for pets springing up all of the time.

Due in part to these changes in the veterinary medicine field, pet health insurance is no longer uncommon. Like with regular health insurance, you pay a premium (usually monthly) to cover your pet. There is a large variation in the things insurance policies will cover, so it is important to carefully read any exclusions. Policies can range from covering only emergency care to full coverage for annual examinations and vaccinations. Most policies (and veterinarians) require that you pay for veterinary services up front and you are then reimbursed for eligible charges by the insurance company. Like human policies, preexisting conditions are usually excluded from coverage. For this reason, it makes the most sense to purchase an insurance policy early in the life of a pet, while it is still young and healthy. This will also make premiums as low as possible.

Some owners like the peace of mind provided by pet insurance policies. Coverage by these policies can mean they will never have to make a treatment decision for a sick or injured pet based on the limitations of their bank account. Critics of pet insurance policies say that owners would be better served by simply putting the amount spent on premiums into a savings account earmarked for pet health care. Realistically, however, this is not something most people are likely to follow through on. Whether pet insurance is right for your pet depends on your particular situation. If you have any questions, please call our office and we can provide you with names of pet insurance providers to investigate.