Pet Health Insurance

There are many factors to be taken into consideration when deciding about health care insurance for our pets – after all they are part of the family! Although having pet insurance is a very important part of cat health or dog health, it is essential that we choose the right insurance policy enabling us to keep our pets safe and healthy and leading happy and active lives. We can do this by checking out the small print before making a decision, paying particular attention to the points listed below.

Does the insurance company use a provider list or network?

As with any kind of insurance, you need to know if the company uses a provider list or network. Maybe your pet is normally seen by a vet who is not part of such a provider list so you would opt to use another company in order to stay with the vet your animal is familiar with. The fact that you are allowed to nominate the vet of your choice is a major benefit to most pet insurance.

What are the exclusions and deductibles?

There are several varied exclusions in connection with pet insurance, clearly the most prevalent being pre-existing illnesses and conditions. so when your pet has a condition which was diagnosed prior to the commencement of the insurance, it will most definitely not be covered by your policy. Other treatments such as heart worming medication , spaying, vaccinations, flea control and dental care are not included in your pet insurance. As with most other insurance policies, pet insurance has a deductible. This is usually around fifty dollars, but the amount generally increases with the age of your pet, and if it is necessary for procedures need to be carried out, each one will have its own co-pay. Coverage may also be restricted during the first year of your pet’s life if neutering has not taken place.

Is it a “one size fits all” policy?

Companies providing pet insurance usually have a limit of how much they will be held responsible for. Procedures are covered up to a certain figure and if the vets treatment incurs a medical bill over and above that amount, then the pet owner will have to pay the excess. Some pet insurance companies set a lifetime cap to benefits so if you have an older pet, and he or she gets ill, you are responsible for the medical payments if the insurance limit is reached.. Most companies have a range of plans geared around the age of your pet upon taking out the insurance, offering different types of cover for different health care issues, such as, accident/illness and dental insurance to name but a few. It’s sad but true – an alarming number of pets are put to sleep each year because the owners simply cannot afford the cost of the medical treatments required.

Are there any other benefits to be had and savings to be made?

Many people treat their pets as family members and appreciate that as such, the animals need to have medical treatment available just like the rest of the family. Realistic benefits, for example, third party liability, boarding fees in the temporary event of the owner not being able to take care of the pets, and the cost of placing an advertisement for missing pets in the local newspaper have been introduced as an available add-on option by the insurance company.

David Lee is the owner of many pet web sites. See his sites for information on cat litter furniture or for health info see feline leukemia. For older pets see our pet steps. For dog lovers see Dog Disease, Dog Illness.

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