Pet Insurance: Worth It or Not?


Health insurance is a hot topic issue these days, especially for individuals and families. But what about for pets? Did you know that you can buy health insurance for your pets? Pets can get sick, need surgery, or medications just like people. However, covering your pet for possible medical needs is not something that is widely talked about. There are pros and cons, questions to ask yourself and your vet, and questions to ask representatives of potential pet insurance companies.


The benefits of pet insurance almost speak for themselves. Just like medical insurance for yourself and your family, insurance for an animal can help with unforeseen expenses. Even the healthiest of pets can suddenly become ill or injured. Treatment, surgery, and hospitalization can be very costly and many vets do not offer billing or payment plans to offset immediate charges. One single illness can be financially devastating.


Pet insurance can be expensive and deductibles can be high. If your pet enjoys a healthy life and is not ever in need of medical care, you have put a lot of money into the insurance policy that you did not have to use. However, why do you have medical insurance or home insurance or auto insurance? It is protection for what could happen, not necessarily protection for what will happen. Pet insurance can be thought of in the same manner. While you hope to never use it, you also never know. While in the grand scheme of things, the monthly premiums may end up not being used in the long run, the best you can do is have planned ahead in order to avoid a very costly event. As the saying goes, hindsight is always 20/20, but we cannot predict the future.


The pet insurance policy that you buy may not cover everything. Be sure to ask about pre-existing conditions, services that are or are not covered, how much you have to pay before the insurance kicks in, and if your vet accepts the insurance policy. Different insurance companies offer different options, so be sure to compare pet insurance plans before buying. Speaking to a representative will also give you an idea of the customer service offered should you have questions down the road.


A pet owner with a young family said recently, “I have several pets and they have all been healthy...until my cat became diabetic. She now requires two shots of insulin per day, oral gel, and pain medication. She requires twice yearly check-ups for blood sugar levels. I wish I had pet insurance as the costs have been astronomical. But she is a valued member of our family and I can't imagine not treating her. She no longer qualifies for insurance because the diabetes is now considered pre-existing.”


Pet insurance is definitely something to consider seriously. It may not be for every family or every pet, but it is worth your while to at least check out the potential benefits and see if it is something that would give you and your family some peace of mind.

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