You never know when the unexpected will strike! Approximately one in three dogs and cats must visit the vet due to illness or accident every year. Today diagnostic, medical and surgical procedures unheard of a few years ago are now commonplace in veterinary practice. Unfortunately, few of us are aware of the true cost of medical or surgical procedures. Our elation in finding that our 15 year old, much loved pet can have the same sophisticated MRI procedure as our grandmother had following a minor stroke, quickly turns to despair when a bill of several hundred dollars for the diagnostic procedure alone is presented. These are the times when pet health insurance makes sense.
Pet health insurance is designed primarily to cover emergency situations. Frequently vets and owners have to decide on alternative diagnostic and treatment plans solely because of costs involved. When an owner has pet health insurance coverage, these types of concerns become a thing of the past.
However, do not think that insuring your dog will provide an inexhaustible source of payment for every possible veterinary expenditure. Few policies today cover routine vaccinations and general “maintenance” health care such as dental cleanings. The aim of pet health insurance is to provide for the unexpected expenses such as trauma and debilitating disease of advanced age. In many cases the cost of treatment can run to several hundred to a few thousand dollars.
How does pet health insurance work?
The principle is similar to our own health insurance plans. Different levels of coverage are available for different premiums. Generally it is cheaper to start insuring when your pet is young and healthy than when older and more prone to illness. Premiums can be paid monthly, quarterly or annually and many companies offer discounts for direct deposits or multiple pets. There is usually a co-payment or deductible amount to pay on each condition and some companies also charge a percentage of the total cost of treatment if the pet is above a certain age. Many policies have the premium rate linked to the age when first insured. Premiums and the deductible tend to increase as the pet gets older.
How do I find out about pet health insurance?
Many well known companies today offer pet health insurance policies and in addition there are specialist pet insurers. Most companies allow premiums to be paid monthly or yearly.
If you would like further advice, please do not hesitate to contact us. We keep brochures from selected companies but others are available and we can advise according to your needs.