Recently, I spent a rather large sum of money taking my dog to the veterinarian on a Sunday evening, only to discover he had an allergy attack which was simply and quickly cured by a dose of Benadryl. Granted we love our dog and seeing him with a swollen snout and hearing him breathe with obvious effort scared us. Even though we forked over $90 to get the diagnosis, we were grateful he was okay. This wasn’t the case for some other pets that shared the waiting room with us that night.
Many people consider their pets to be a member of the family. In that regard, pets are often spoiled and enjoy the same comforts as their human counterparts. Pet owners have been known to take it to the extreme in some cases. We’ve already read a story or two about the billionaire who left everything to Fluffy the cat or the millionaire dog that now lives alone in a palatial estate. I used to think people who purchased pet insurance were in the same category. However, realistically those who are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure their pet is healthy, may find pet insurance a good policy to have if they otherwise could not afford a large bill in emergency situations. It is relatively inexpensive, costing on average between $15 and $28 a month, depending on the type, age, and breed of the animal. Coverage is generally divided between basic and premium.
When shopping for a plan, you should pay attention to what it will cover, such as which illnesses, injuries, and treatment options are included in the plan. Pre-existing conditions are usually not covered. Most plans will carry a deductible of $50 or more and require a co-payment. Typically, most plans will obligate you to pay the amount in full at the time of service and then file a claim for which you will be reimbursed at a later time. Owners, who wish to insure more than one pet, may be able to get a discount on the insurance plan. There also may be discounted programs available through animal-related organizations.
Purchasing insurance for your pet is really no different than buying it for yourself or your family. You need to shop around and compare plan benefits to get the best policy for you. Make sure the monthly premium payments are within your budget and before signing any agreements, be sure the company is legitimate and you are confident you are clear on what benefits are included. You should also make sure that the math will end up working out in your favor more often than not.