Disclosure: I may be compensated through the links in the post below, but the opinions are my own.

Pet insurance a hurdle too much

Insurance industry is one of the few booming industries and we all feel the burden of it. There are home insurances, car / vehicle insurances and then there are healthcare insurances too. Thinking about all the premium bills which mount up monthly or annually could be a bit of a worry.  But have you ever wondered what would happen to you without a healthcare insurance, if at all you have to go through a surgery. What if you met with an accident, ruining your car and also your health? With people running their expenses end to end, unforeseen circumstances like an accident is often a burden. Insurance is surely one of the best options today for healthcare, home and automobile.

Over the years, people have tried to insure everything they love and now we have pets that are part of our family. My dog sleeps in my bed, makes me active by forcing me to take him for a walk and yes of course he brings in all the attention when we are with a group outdoors. I would surely be willing to trade whatever may come in his life,  if god forbid, something happens to him. Most people who own pets would agree with me. But there are times when we are helpless. The money we need doesn’t really add up to the extra cost of the surgery for the dog or the right treatment. Only then do we all wish that we had insurance. If you love your dog, it’s time to show.  It’s time to be responsible. The treatment for your pet is one of your many other responsibilities, but it’s one which cannot be ignored.

Over 94% of all people who come for treatment for an emergency usually do not have a pet insurance. While a total of 2-3 percentage of them would shell out the amount to get the surgery done right out of their pockets, the others simply are forced to euthanize their pets. Both the kinds unfortunately are not happy with the situation but are forced to do so. Only 1% of all pet owners are insuring their pets today. Things are changing for good though and the rise in percentage of insured pets is quite evident.

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Why pet insurance?

There are times when we wonder if your pet actually needs a pet insurance. But ponder these points now.

  1. Are you usually meeting ends with your finance with very little to spare?
  2. Do you think that your pet could be prone to accidents and emergencies at some point in its life?
  3. Do you care for your pets enough to spare a few bucks on the side to give him the right treatment and care when he really needs it?
  4. Do you really love your pet?

While most people say that they love their pets, some of them just don’t mean it. If you are among these few, then it’s best to forget the insurance. The time when dogs were simple farm animals that just needed a meal a day and a rabies vaccine (so as to not get you into harm’s way) is extinct. For the rest of us, it’s time to prepare and plan for the worst when and if it arrives.

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Putting aside a large sum for your pet would be a good option if you are not really thinking of insurance. If you are among those who can set aside $20-$30 every month for your pet in a safe box, you may end up with over $2500 plus for your pet when he is around the age which will require some health related attention. Hoping that your dog did not have to go through any unforeseen accidents, you may well be able to cover the cost for your dog’s well being while he is at that age. But as most of us are realistic, we know that there is no sure shot way of knowing when an emergency can arrive. While one day you may be walking your dog in the park or playing Frisbee with him, the next day you may have him in intensive care , fighting for some unknown emergency condition which may require an immediate down payment of $1000.

Life is such. And let’s face the fact. While you may be willing to sell your house and car, blow your life savings to save your daughter or son, most of us wouldn’t go to that extent to save our furry friend.  So if you think that the cost of insurance is too high, read along and let me help you justify.

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When to get insurance for your pet?

There is no wrong time to do the right thing. But there is always the best time to get things done. The best time to get insurance for your pet would be when it’s a pup. If you are bringing home a dog from an adoption centre, then it’s time to get the insurance then. The best time to get your pet the insurance would always be the first time you get it to your home as a member of your family.

Aged dogs are not covered for conditions already existing. This means if your pet is already diabetic before being insured, then your pet would not be covered for any problems related to that condition. So if your dog is to have an eye surgery which is related to the diabetes, you are not going to be insured for the same. That’s the reason why people recommend getting your pet insured while they are still a pup. It’s not always like you would have no problems while they are young. My mother in law’s sister has 3 dogs at home and one of them bumped into the door while at play when he was only 3 years old. Younger dogs are very active and accidents at home are unavoidable. Unfortunately, the dog broke his front left leg which had to be amputated. The cost to cover the expense was indeed high and it was all incurred from her own pocket. Fortunately she was able to afford it from her pocket but with $2500 off the pocket for medical expenses and surgery, it took a toll on her expenses for almost 3-4 months.

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If the dog was insured while it was a pup, the expenses would have surely been taken care of and there would have been better attention to the dog too instead of worrying about the expenses.

Can you claim pet insurance through any doctor?

Not all doctors are authorized to sign off your dogs’ insurance claims. But all certified vets can sign off without conditions on most pet insurance. Taking the form with you while going to the vet to get the form filled and signed will most likely get your claims done within a month, the time due for most credit card bills. There are also no exclusions on what is covered and what is not. But in most cases, it is recommended that you read the fine prints before taking up any insurance for your pets.

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Some pet insurance do not cover hereditary conditions in dogs of certain breeds. There are others with special conditions. You may need to go into details about what’s covered and what’s not.

How much does pet insurance cost?

While most pet insurances are in the range of 30-40 dollars a month, there are others which could go up to hundreds. Your cost is directly proportional to the facilities availed. So if you are looking for an all cover insurance which would include vet visits, you would be looking at costs on the higher side. Also the costs for premium could go high for specific breeds or for specific conditions.

While you are looking at the cost, also make sure that you look at what services you want to avail. If you are looking for options to treat your pet holistically you may want to get an insurance that meets these requirements. Of course the cost would increase slightly but then you would be covered for both emergencies and holistic remedies in case you change your mind while your pet is being treated.

Rising pet care cost is a major concern among pet owners. The right time to get your pet insured is NOW.

Yes that’s right. When you are looking at a surgery, you could be looking at $3000 upwards. A case of a dog swallowing a corn cob which required immediate surgery ended up with a veterinary bill of $3600.  Luckily, since the pet owner had insurance, the cost was covered by the insurance company with the owner paying only a small amount. If this was a case for a person without insurance, the bill would have been exorbitant and sometimes unaffordable.

Today the care provided by most veterinarians is explicit. The instruments are advanced and the medication is a lot better than what it used to be a decade ago. With quality comes price and naturally you can expect to pay some good money for pet health care. While more and more people are treating their pets as a part of their family, it’s only but natural that they are willing to spend a fair amount on their pet’s health and well being.

With everything said, there is nothing better than a health insurance for your pet but surely you should know what the benefits provided by these companies are. Yet again a reminder. Read the fine prints, and yes, get that insurance done!!!

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