Protect What Counts! (By Dr. Kara Ruthberg)

 

Pet insurance?! Who needs that?” You do! Keep reading to learn how pet insurance can benefit you and your pets.

What is pet insurance? Every year more than 1 in 3 pets falls ill or is injured. No one wants to have to choose between their pet’s health and their bank account.  Pet insurance helps you pay for your pet’s care in the event of a costly accident or illness, which can quickly run into thousands of dollars.

 

What does pet insurance cover? There are lots of pet insurance plans available but they vary a great deal. There are differences in what they cover, what they exclude, what they cost, their level of customer service, and how they pay claims. While budget is always a factor, don’t just pick a plan because it’s the cheapest. You get what you pay for!  Our veterinarians have reviewed the information from the most common pet insurance companies and confidently recommend TruPanion Pet (www.trupanion.com) as one of the best insurance carriers for your pets. Pet insurance plans can cover:

  • Treatment for accidents, illnesses and diseases
  • Treatment for allergies
  • Emergency kenneling
  • Cancer and chemotherapy
  • Theft
  • Surgery, hospitalization and nursing care
  • Laboratory and diagnostic tests including X-rays and MRI scans
  • Medications

      Some pet insurance plans also cover:

  • Genetic/hereditary conditions
  • Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, holistic and homeopathic medicine
  • Chronic and recurring conditions that last more than one policy period, such as allergies, diabetes and hyperthyroidism
  • Behavioral problems
  • Prescription diet food

What doesn’t pet insurance cover? Pet insurance plans usually will not pay for:

  • Pre-existing conditions – These are conditions that your pet had, was diagnosed with, or showed signs of before enrolling or during the waiting period. This is one of the most important things to consider and why you should insure your pet as soon as possible when they are healthy
  • Cosmetic, elective or preventative procedures such as de-worming, tail docking, ear cropping, and declawing (except where medically necessary)
  • Veterinary costs related to pregnancy, breeding or whelping
  • Orthodontic or endodontic procedures such as root canals or crowns

 

So, how much does it cost? The cost of pet insurance varies based on a few factors – the pet’s species, breed, age, gender and location. On average you can expect to pay around $30 per month for dogs and $20 per month for cats. Adding on wellness coverage (such as vaccines and dentistry) typically costs a little more. Pet Insurance companies also may offer discounts for things like:

  • Enrolling multiple pets
  • Paying annually for your policy instead of monthly
  • Being full-time in the military
  • Enrolling a service pet (like a guide dog for the sight impaired)

The most important thing to remember is that pet insurance is something you can’t get when you need it the most. If your pet is sick or injured it is too late to purchase a new insurance policy to help you with expenses. Planning ahead and doing your homework on pet insurance now are essential to getting the best, most comprehensive coverage for your pet before something happens. Please ask one of our doctors or staff members for more information.

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