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Is Pet Insurance Good?

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Authored by Douglas Mefford in Pets
Published on 09-12-2009

With over one hundred million pet owners in the United States alone, it is obvious that dogs and cats are considered an extremely valuable addition to the family. As affectionate and uncomplaining companions, our four legged friends provide much-needed interaction in an increasingly isolated existence. But animals are as subject to illness and accident as the humans that keep them. Medical costs continue to increase for not only humans but veterinarian care as well. The concept of pet insurance to help with the cost of pet care is an increasing market in the United States.

No one wants their pet’s care and well-being dependant on just their financial situation so investigating the possibility of obtaining pet insurance is growing. There are points both good and bad which need to be investigated. To begin with, pet insurance is not handled the same way as human health insurance. Pets are considered private property so most pet insurance is more along the lines of auto or home insurance. You do not file paperwork with your veterinarian and have the pet insurance company pay the bill. With pet insurance you must pay for the medical care for your pet and then file with the pet insurance company for a reimbursement of the fee.

Some pet insurance companies are very helpful and easy to file claims with while others will look for any way to deny claims. Few pet insurance companies will honor claims for treatment of known pre-existing health problems. There are two separate aspects to pet health insurance as well. The standard policy will be designed to help cover emergency treatments while a separate or added part can help cover routine care and maintenance treatments.

Pet health insurance policies do not generally cover the entire expense. A set amount or percentage of the total cost is set as a “deductible payment” just as with human health insurance. Some tests and procedures are still considered “preventative” and will not be covered by an emergency treatment care policy even if it is given as a means to try and determine a prognosis for treatment.

Pet insurance can be just as much a gamble as human insurance. If your pet stays healthy and does not become involved in an accident that would require emergency care, you may well pay much more in premiums that you would have ever spent on routine visits to the veterinarian for standard health care. Conversely, the insurance can help immensely with the cost of advanced treatments or surgery if your pet has a life-threatening accident. With some procedures running into thousands of dollars, even with the “deductible” you may prevent having the care for your pet put you in a severe financial bind.

Before deciding on which company you will get your pet’s insurance from, investigate them thoroughly. Because of the popularity of pets in this country there are plenty of websites that offer reviews and user comments about the pet insurance companies that they have used. You can quickly get an idea of who would help you the most. Also read the policy information from the pet insurance companies’ websites. Be sure you understand just what it is you are paying for and what may not be covered. Asking a company representative to explain the policies can also give you an idea of whom would be best to invest in for your pet’s future health care needs. A friendly and helpful representative can indicate a concerned and worthy company.

As with its human counterpart, pet insurance can be very good for helping you afford to give your four-legged friend the health care they need. The same care of investigating and choosing a reputable company that you use for your own needs will help you keep from being taken advantage of while seeking these services for your pet.

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