Should You Insure Your Family Pet?

Expensive, maybe, but it could save you heartache

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Insure Your Family Pet

If you would stop at nothing to save or improve the life of your pet, the costs can add up fast. Now you can buy pet insurance in case your pet needs medical attention that you can’t afford. Veterinarian Karen Halligan explains pet insurance and how to decide if it’s for you.

Like all insurance, with pet insurance you’re paying for something you may never use. But in the event you need it, you should be sure the coverage is there. Health insurance for both people and pets is a business and it stays alive by making a profit. By definition, pet insurance insures against emergency costs while charging monthly premiums whether or not claims are made. That, of course, is the essence of insurance. Either you take the risk or you pay the insurance company to take the risk on your behalf.

If you’re the kind of pet owner who would stop at nothing to save or improve the life of your pet, the dollars can add up quickly. A hit-by-car accident could easily cost upward of $5,000 in vet bills, especially if your pet is in intensive care in a 24- hour hospital, which costs around $500 per day. You pay for insurance in case your pet needs medical attention that you can’t afford.

What Is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance pays a portion of your vet bills in exchange for a monthly premium. Typically you pay the vet bill upfront and the insurance company reimburses you an amount that is stated in your policy.

Although there are differences, pet insurance is similar to human health insurance with deductibles, maximums, and co-pays. The portion that’s paid to you is contingent on your policy and the stated conditions that are covered.

Pet insurance usually doesn’t cover all treatments that your cat or dog might need. It’s not inexpensive or without its share of problems. I’ve heard some clients complain that it has taken six to seven weeks to be reimbursed for a claim when the policy promises to pay in thirty days.

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