Pet Health Insurance
Before you purchase a pet health insurance policy for your cat or dog, you
should know what to look for so that you can determine which plan is best. You
should also be aware of changes that have taken place in the insurance market
over the years, so that you'll know which prices are acceptable, and what type
of benefits to expect from the insurance plan.
While it seems that insurance for pets is a fairly new concept, it is only
thought of as 'new' in the U.S.--other countries have been purchasing insurance
policies for their pets for years. However, the restrictions in some of the
policies have made it difficult for pet owners to find coverage for their pets
that is adequate.
This partly due to the high costs of veterinary services, since the amount of
care your pet will receive is not based on insurance. This means that you as the
owner are financially responsible for all costs (unless you purchase a policy),
and the animal hospital does no participate in co-pay in most cases.
Because of this, many veterinary services are making strides to advance the
benefits associated with pet health insurance. Just like with human insurance,
you will have to pay premiums each year, as well as deductibles. And, your
monthly payment is based on the plan you choose for your pet.
The age and species of your pet factor into the cost of pet health insurance,
and there are companies that are even starting to consider pre-existing
conditions in insurance policies for pets. The lifestyle of the pet plays a role
in the insurance cost as well, so if your cat or dog is an outdoor animal, your
monthly payments may be a little higher.
It is a good idea to talk to your vet about the benefits you should include in
your pet health insurance plan. If you know that your pet will be needing
surgery soon, a plan that helps to cover hospital costs would be ideal. Or, if
your pet has an ongoing condition that is going to need continual care, such as
feline diabetes, it is a good idea to choose pet health insurance that is going
to help minimize the cost of medications.
If you have just adopted a pet, or need financial assistance taking care of
insurance costs for your pet, there are a number of non-profit groups that may
be able to help. You can also check out programs like PetAssure, which offer
25-50% off pet supplies and services for your dog or cat, so that you can be
sure your pet is always taken care of.