Do You Really Need Pet Health Insurance?

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Do You Really Need Pet Health Insurance?

You love your pet. You want to do what’s best for your pet, including giving him access to the best veterinary care you can afford. You’ve heard about pet health insurance. However, this type of pet insurance may not be appropriate for all pet owners. Fortunately, there are many insurance companies offering competitive rates so you can take your time in deciding whether or not pet health insurance is for you.

Species of Pet

Pet health insurance is often limited to dogs, cats, birds and horses. Horses may qualify for equine insurance or livestock insurance rather than pet insurance, depending on the individual insurance company. Some companies will cover both horses and more traditional pets like dogs and cats. Few companies cover pet reptiles or more exotic pets like tigers and lions. If you have one of these pets in a place where it is legal to keep them, check with zoos and circuses to see what insurance company they use.

Number of Pets

Do you have more than one pet? If you do the chances are good that you can get a discount for signing up multiple pets with the same insurance company. That helps you save money.

Check Total Costs

Pet health insurance is a lot like people health insurance. You do not just pay your monthly or annual premiums and you don’t have to worry about paying anything else. You will. You need to determine if you can afford the total costs of a pet insurance plan, including deductibles, limits and an increase as your pet ages.

Comes With Adopted Pet

Some animal shelters will offer pet health insurance for a limited time after you adopt a new best friend. Take advantage of this offer, even if it only covers the pet for one year. This will help cover any health care cost from accidents, which are most likely to happen to newly adopted pets unused to their new homes and may be prone to w andering. Some health problems do not show up until a pet reaches sexual maturity so if you have a puppy, kitten or foal, insurance is a good way to help cover medical costs should your pet develop one of these conditions.

No Pre-Existing Conditions

The time to get pet insurance is before your pet is diagnosed with a major illness like cancer. Most pet insurance companies, like human health insurance, will refuse to cover pre-existing conditions. If you do have trouble paying for an expensive treatment for a beloved pet, ask your vet about taking out a loan to cover costs. Many vets are willing to work with good pet owners about payment amounts or payment plans. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

Age of Pets

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to get good health coverage for older dogs and cats. Some companies have age limits and some will refuse outright to cover older pets. Usually, the younger the pet, the better your chances for getting your pet approved. If your dog or cat is already elderly, your best bet is to set aside $10 or $20 each week to pay for any emergency veterinary expenses.