Some people think that buying health insurance for pets is a bit much. Yes, everybody loves their little friend, but why pay the premiums on an insurance policy for an animal that at most will live 15 years? The reason actually goes to the heart of the relationship between a pet and its owner. Pets give unconditional love and in the lives of some lonely people that means a lot. Even for other pet owners the animal is a very special member of the family. Health insurance is there to help defray costs of keeping the pet healthy.
That is a very real concern. Health insurance can cover
procedures such as surgery for cancer, tooth extractions, and disease brought on by parasites. The price of the veterinarian charges for services is not small. As a matter fact, what we might consider to be minor surgery of the pet can cost several hundred dollars. The pet owner is liable for all of that if there is no insurance.
Something else to consider is how insurance can influence decisions made by the pet owner. It wasn’t that long ago that certain health problems such as cancer were a death sentence for the pet. The owner did not have the resources to afford the surgery or medical treatment, and was left with no other choice but to have the animal put to sleep. Pet insurance permits that same person to consider other options that don’t include death. The treatments needed to restore the animal to health can now be quite affordable; the options are more in favor of life.
In shopping around for a pet health insurance policy. The owner has to inspect very carefully the following:
• Limitations on coverage. The policy might not cover any pre-existing conditions and a pets existing situation could be excluded at time of renewal;
• Any coverage exclusions. Hip dysplasia is a condition that many insurance carriers will not cover. There may be others and the pet owner should check on these exclusions before buying a policy;
• Frivolous or unneeded coverage. Some coverages such as wellness care may not be worth the extra premium dollars given the actual payouts for claims file;
• Claims processing. The administration of claims may include reasonable cost and annual maximums on payouts for a given year. A pet owner should ask questions about claims processing and a very important query regards the turnaround. An owner should not have to wait months to be reimbursed for properly filed claims;
• The percentage of coverage. There may be some conditions such as neutering that are completely covered. Others, however, may only pay up to a given percentage or dollar amount whichever is the lower figure. Insurance companies do not want to pay out extravagant amounts on claims. A rule of thumb is that the higher the premium the owner is willing to pay, the lower the deductible or the higher the percentage of reimbursement;
• Additional out-of-pocket fees or expenses. If a pet owner is paying monthly premiums, he or she may be charged for administrative fees on monthly basis. The possibility of an annual payment either reduces or entirely eliminates the need to pay administration fees.
The above suggests that a pet owner should carefully look over any insurance policy before buying one. The benefit is that the right pet insurance policy will reduce overall pet health care costs.
The premiums are not that bad. They can range anywhere from $20 all the way up to $100 a month depending on the coverage and deductible. What is interesting is that pet insurance is not as widespread as one would think. Only a small fraction of pet owners invest in a pet insurance policy. This might be in part to old-fashioned notions about pets, and whether or not it is practical to keep pets alive as they become sick. It is true that these animals do not have an extended lifespan. However, in those years they are with their owners the pets provide tremendous amounts of love, joy, and entertainment. Owners become so attached to their pets that any illness will drive these rational human beings to levels of very high anxiety and worry. Pet insurance guarantees that for the lifespan of the animal whenever a chronic health condition arises it can be effectively treated. Those lovable pets do not need to automatically be put to sleep.