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Pet Health Insurance - luxury or necessity?

Pet owners know how costly veterinary care can be, even routine procedures and visits are expensive. If your pet becomes ill suddenly, or is injured in an accident the resulting bills can make a big dent in your savings.

The United States lags well behind most of Europe in the number of domestic pets covered by Pet Health Insurance, but more and more savvy pet owners are beginning to realize what a lifesaver it can be…in every sense of the word!

Think about it for a minute – if Fido were to be seriously injured or fall ill tomorrow, would you be able to afford a veterinary bill for $1500, $2000 or $3000 plus? If not, you could find yourself faced with a heartbreaking, life-or-death decision. That's a situation no pet lover wants to be in.

If you have pet health insurance you (and your pet) can be spared the agony and heartbreak of being unable to afford critically important veterinary care in a time of crisis. Just as your own medical cover/health plan is there for you when you fall ill, Fido's health insurance will be there for him.

There are many different pet health insurance companies, all offering plans that are similar in the respect that they all require annual premiums, have deductibles and offer a range of different coverage options to suit individual needs.

However, there are also many differences between policies, and before deciding which pet insurance company to go with, it's a very good idea to pay attention to the small print and ask questions. The following list is an example of the kind of things to look for (it's not a comprehensive list though, it's up to you to do your homework!)

Some pet insurance policies have age limits, both minimum and maximum, and they can vary considerably between providers.

There can be different ‘waiting periods' (the time it takes for your coverage to come into effect) from one provider to the next

There are different attitudes and regulations concerning the cover (or lack of) for pre-existing conditions

Some pet health insurance providers may exclude certain breeds (often larger breeds) who are prone to particular hereditary or congenital illnesses or problems

In some cases a policy may cover routine procedures such as vaccinations, annual wellness checks and/or routine preventative care, neutering & spaying etc. Others may charge a ‘wellness rider' or have additional charges for this type of care

You may find you're limited to choosing a veterinarian or veterinary hospital from a list of ‘approved providers', or you may be free to pick whomever you want.

Always check to see if a particular pet health care policy covers dental care, eye care and prescriptions.

If you have several pets, ask the pet insurance provider if they offer a discount for multiple pets. Always check to see if the pet insurance provider you're considering, offers any 'extras' such as an informative newsletter, or even discounts on pet supplies/service.

You can get a lot of information about the different pet health insurance companies and their policies by checking online. You can also get free quotes and even register from the comfort of your own home. How easy is that!

Pet health insurance is a growing trend in the US today and rightly so. If your pet was to become suddenly, and seriously, ill or injured, having a comprehensive pet health insurance plan in place could make all the difference in the world.

A pet health insurance policy can help you live up to the commitment you made to provide your pet with good veterinary care, and to keep him healthy and safe. Good health care is not a luxury, it's a necessity, and pet health insurance can make it easy to provide.

Unless you have considerable savings, and are happy to dip into them, unexpected veterinary costs could cause you a good deal of hardship and heartache. Even if you DO have the money, would you really want to spend it on high vet bills when you could be paying a modest, annual sum instead?

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