Modern dogs and cats are sitting pretty when it comes to veterinary care. In many places animals can receive medical care that’s as good, if not better than, human medicine. But all of this great vet care comes at a cost. Today it’s no longer a question of if we will be faced with a high veterinary bill, but when. Are you prepared with the best pet insurance plan for your pack?
Latest Vetscapade Covered by Pet Insurance[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="408"] “I don’t feel so good guys.”[/caption]
At least once a year, Tripawds Spokesdog Wyatt Ray reminds us of the importance of pet insurance. Last week he did it again. Monday he was unwilling to do his usual Tripawds workout and seemed tired. Thursday he woke up with raspy, labored breathing and a runny nose. When our voracious foreign object eating dog turned down breakfast, we knew something was seriously wrong. Off to the nearest AAHA-accredited emergency vet clinic (VCA Valley Animal Medical Center Emergency Hospital) we went.
Forty eight hours later, we were handed a diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia and a $4,300 bill.
Thankfully we have a pet insurance Accident and Illness plan to cover most, if not all of the bill. But the diagnosis served as another reminder that as much as we grumble about paying those premiums, keeping him insured means we never have to face the heartbreak of economic euthanasia.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="520"] “Thanks for saving my life docs!”[/caption]
When Tripawds Chief Fun Officer Jerry was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, pet insurance wasn’t even on our radar. On that sweet little puppy’s Gotcha Day in 1998, it never occurred to us that veterinary care would cost thousands of dollars over the course of his life. And he really didn’t cost us much up until his diagnosis. Wyatt is a different story altogether. He’s the gold-plated German Shepherd!
It’s not always easy paying for Wyatt’s pet insurance plan. Our premiums started low but they’ve gone up as he ages, because older dogs are at greater risk of disease. The premiums keep getting larger, but even at a cost of $910 a year for an Accident and Illness policy that caps out at $5,000 annually, it’s worth the struggle to pay for it. We never want to have to choose between paying our rent and Wyatt’s life.
Since 2011 Wyatt’s insurance company has paid out $7,006 in claims and his newest $4,300 ER visit brings that up to $11,306! There is just no way we would be able to give him the kind of care he deserves without pet insurance.
How to Choose the Best Pet Insurance for Your Pack
If you haven’t looked into pet insurance, we urge you to do the research now. Money is always an issue but maintaining pet insurance is such a critical part of our modern pet parent world. If we all want to save our pets from accidents and illness and give them the life they deserve, pet insurance can help us do that.
Here’s how to find the best pet insurance for your pack’s needs.
Step 1: Read Pet Health Insurance: a Veterinarian’s Perspective. This short, 80-page book lays out the facts about finding the best pet insurance. It’s written by Doug Kenney, DVM, a veterinarian in Memphis, Tennessee who founded Your Pet Insurance Guide, a website the explains how pet insurance works.
Step 2: Listen to the Pet Health Insurance Guide Podcast on Tripawd Talk Radio
Step 3: Compare pet insurance plans with these companies.*
In our continuing efforts to help Tripawds members and readers make informed decisions about health care for their dogs, we are happy to share this guest post describing pet health insurance policies.
Why Pet Insurance Is A Good Idea
If you are new to the world of pet ownership, you may still be coming to grips with the basics. One essential topic that you should address as quickly as possible is pet insurance. Many cat and dog owners do not realize that it can take a number of days or even weeks for a new insurance policy to become valid and, for this reason, it’s important to select appropriate cover as early as possible.
Young paws have a habit of getting into mischief and one of the major benefits of pet insurance is accident cover. This can help protect your companion and your wallet should your pet sustain an injury in an accident and require veterinary treatment. In some instances, policies can also cover the cost of any damage to another person’s property caused accidentally by your pet.
Competition in the market has driven down cat and dog insurance costs in recent years and has also led to variation in the products available on the market. As a result, there are lots of good deals to be had and you may find you are able to net a discount for buying your insurance online, purchasing cover for more than one pet, or insuring a neutered or chipped pet.
In addition to choosing from an annual or whole of life policy, you are also able to select differing levels of cover; from the most basic and capped accident cover, you can also get policies that will even make provisions for rewards should your pet be lost or stolen.
The type of cover you choose will depend a lot on your individual pet’s needs and your financial circumstances, though if you are a new pet owner and have a young animal to look after it may be sensible to opt for whole-of-life cover. This type of insurance can be more difficult to gain later on in your pet’s life should they be unlucky enough to develop an on-going condition that could also raise the cost of annual insurance. That said, policy providers often place a cap on the amount of money that can be claimed for the treatment of certain illnesses, so, always be sure to check the exact details of any cover you take out.
One final reason to take out pet insurance is that it can often help you as well as your pet. As previously mentioned, many pet insurers now include extras in some of the higher cover policies that can include financial provision for boarding your feline or canine friend in kennels, should you need to go into the hospital for a few days. In this way, pet insurance can provide peace of mind for both you and your pet whatever circumstances should arise.