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Pros and Cons of Pet Health Insurance


veterinarians-739252_960_720Veterinary care can be expensive, especially when emergency situations arise.  For this reason, more pet owners are choosing to insure their pets with a health insurance policy, one that can cover the cost of both emergency and routine care.  Here, pet health insurance is explained, as well as the benefits and disadvantages of insuring your dog.

What is Pet Health Insurance?
Health insurance for dogs is similar to that for humans.  After choosing an appropriate policy based on deductible and coverage, as well as age, sex, and breed of your dog, a monthly premium is paid to the company.  In return, the company may cover the cost of accidents, provide monetary damages should your pet become lost or stolen, and reimburse you for the majority of medical bills.  These policies are most helpful when major accidents or illnesses arise.

What are the Benefits of Insurance?
The major benefit of having canine health insurance is being covered should a serious accident occur or if your pet requires expensive tests.  Many pet owners are faced with the decision of euthanizing their pet due to inability to pay medical fees.  With insurance, you are guaranteed that portions of the bill are covered.

Unlike human health insurance, reimbursements are easy (simply send a receipt from your vet), and there is no worry of out-of-network coverage.  With most pet insurances, every veterinarian and procedure is covered.

With some insurance plans, even the cost of preventative medicine and treatments are reimbursed, such as heartworm preventative and blood work at the yearly exam.  For these reasons, health insurance for your dog can help you better budget your money, instead of having to cover surprise costs throughout the year.

Finally, one of the best advantages of canine health insurance is that many providers don’t limit the amount of reimbursement provided.  If your pet develops a chronic illness or is accident prone, you can rest assured you will make the payments.

What are the Disadvantages of Insurance?
Pet insurance is not without drawbacks.  Depending on the coverage that you choose, you may spend years paying more money than you would have otherwise.  With the average premium being $32 per month, owners may “lose” an average of $400 yearly if the insurance is not needed.  For certain breeds, such as Boxers, Golden Retrievers, and Dachshunds, insurance premiums are higher due to the history of health problems.  The region in which you live will also affect the price of your premium.  For instance, a pet owner in Chicago can expect to pay more than a pet owner from a rural area.

From a practical perspective, pet owners must meticulously research and compare insurance companies, as not all are created equal.  Plans vary considerably among providers, and satisfaction among clients should be taken into consideration.  Ultimately, pet owners should plan for medical emergencies regardless of whether they purchase insurance.  No one should have to make the decision between pet and wallet!

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Anna Weber

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