Pet Insurance - A Life Saver
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Pet Insurance - A Life Saver
Recently, many pet owners have been asking us about pet insurance. Although pet insurance has been available in the U.S. since 1981, most pet owners are still unaware that it is even an option to help with your pet's care.
Operating much like other types of insurance, pet insurance helps pet owners budget for unexpected accidents and illnesses.
From broken bones to swallowed toys, poisoning and cancer, pet insurance was started to help end the "economic euthanasia" of pets and give pet owners the ability to keep going forward with medical treatment.
As advances in veterinary medicine have been made, pet insurance helps bridge the gap between an owner's desire to continue care and the ability to pay for it.
Plans vary by provider and your desires for coverage, but all pet insurance companies in the U.S. Operate on a reimbursement basis, which is why it's important to ask about claim turn-around times when enrolling.
When looking into pet health insurance, be sure to also ask the following questions:
- Are you allowed to visit your own veterinarian or will you be required to visit a network provider?
- Is the amount reimbursed to you a percentage of the actual bill or a percentage of what the company chooses to allow for each procedure and visit?
- What limitations or exclusions are parts of the policy? (Hint: all companies have limitations and exclusions - some are just more forthcoming about them. )
- Will a condition that's treated this year be considered pre-existing (and therefore not covered) the next?
- Up to what age will you insure my pet?
- Some companies have relatively low age requirements. Will your pets have coverage when they are older and problems like cancer, kidney failure and arthritis become more common?
Speaking of common, one common complaint we hear about pet insurance is that it won't cover problems and conditions that already exist. Unlike medical assistance funds, insurance is specifically set up - and priced - for unexpected illnesses and accidents, which is why many companies limit coverage for hereditary conditions and birth defects.
This is why purchasing coverage for your puppy or kitten is so important. By insuring your pet before an accident or illness happens, you are protecting your pet for life, as long as you choose a company that continuously covers your pet from an early age through end of life.
At least one company also offers a lock-in rate so that the lower rates for puppies and kittens can be kept until the pets are much older.
Doing your homework and reading the policy before you buy are two ways to ensure that you adequately cover your pet for life. Recent research shows that 60% of dogs over the age of 6 will have some form of cancer.
Be prepared for accidents and illnesses large and small by protecting your pets with pet insurance. Both they and you will be glad you did.
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