Any avid pet owner likely would do most anything to keep their pets happy, unfortunately many pet owners are not even fully aware that getting pet health insurance for their cat or dog is even an option for them. This is because most people are never told about it until after it is too late. Sure you might see a flyer in the store, or some add online, but the truth is that no one ever really wants to share the bottom line truth about what is involved with getting pet insurance. Let's take a quick look at the good and bad points of what you will encounter with insuring your pet's health for the long term.
Like any type of insurance, there are dozens of companies that can provide you with insurance quotes and plans. As with your own insurance, you will be left to decide which company is best for you and your pet's needs. Here is a brief list of several of the most readily available pet insurance carriers on the Internet:
Pet Care Insurance Companies – PetCareInsurance.com
Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (VOI) -PetInsurance.com
Pets Best Insurance – PetsBest.com
Vet Insurance – VetInsurance.com
The basics of any insurance plan, whether it is for you or your pet are always the same: coverage, cost, and available doctors.
Because not all vets will be participating members of any one insurance company, you should always check with your locally preferred vets first. If you have been using the same vet for 20 years, then ask if they are members of any vet insurance companies, and ask why they have never mentioned it to you before.
Insurance coverage will vary based on each company. I found one company website, PetCareInsurance.com, to be quite informative and displayed available coverage options from the start. They did not hide behind the "get a quote type option". Coverage levels can include accidents only or long-term illnesses, and could range from a seventy percent (70%) payments to as high as one hundred percent (100%) cost coverage.
They also list the cost associated with common problems. This is when you realize that some issues like gastric torsion (where the stomach twists and bloats) or a bone fracture can cost you $ 3000 per occurrence. The vet is never going to tell you ahead of time how much some hereditary disease will cost you. No one ever thinks to ask how much it will cost * if * my dog breaks a leg. We do not want to think ahead in that manner. A breeder I received two dogs from recently paid $ 2500 to remove a throat blockage from a 5 week old puppy. There is no way to know what will happen with your pet.
The monthly costs involved could be as low as $ 11 per month for accident only coverage, to a range of $ 35- $ 85 for specific breeds long term illness coverage. Obviously some breeds are more prone to particular illnesses then other breeds. You should know your breed well, and take this into consideration when looking for pet insurance.
The bottom line is that you need to do your homework. You need to know the potential risks for your breed of cat or dog, as well as how they behave. If your dog is chasing cars all day long, assume that the risk of an accident is much higher then a dog who is stuck indoors all day. This is in no way saying that an indoor accident will not happen, but some things are more inherently dangerous.
Decide if you can afford to spend a small amount each month, or if you could afford to come up with a quick $ 3000 if you need to. Check with your vet about pet insurance companies they recommend or use personally. Ask them for their honest opinions, not a sales pitch. By taking the time and steps needed to learn and make an informed decision about pet insurance you could literally save your pet's life.