Pet Insurance--Do I really need it?
Pet insurance isn't for all pet owners. As many as 83% in the U.S. have no cover whatsoever. Obviously, cost is a major factor, but if you consider yourself a responsible, loving dog owner---then dog insurance can be a smart move.
No one can foretell the future. So much depends on the how healthy your dog is throughout its life. There are hereditary problems in most dog breeds, some far more than others. Accidents, routine checks, and general dog health problems, can mean a visit to the vet being more expensive than you ever planned for.
Pet insurance means that you pay a little now--to ensure that you don't get hit with a big bill at some later stage. Being wise before the event is preferable to being in financial trouble after it. Here then are some of the options.
- At its most basic you can get cover for injuries caused through accidents. There are usually limits on how many per annum claims that are allowed. Insurance companies are in the business of making profits--not being kind to animals. Therefore, be careful to read what is, and what isn't covered. This applies right through the whole spectrum of policies.
- Once you move past the basic package the price moves progressively higher. From a flexible plan, which can just offer substantial discounts on an increasing range of services. Or, all-inclusive--which is exactly what it says. From your pups first vaccination, through regular health checks, to treatment for all types of illnesses.
- Dog Insurance Cover is based on the age, health and breed of your dog. Cover starts from 6-8 weeks. It is wise to get in at the beginning. The older your dog gets--the more the cover costs, even if its as healthy. Some companies will only cover dogs under 8 years of age.
- More than one pet usually means a reduction on a second policy.
- If your dog already has a medical problem? This is a real minefield--exclusions abound. No company will insure your pet if the problem is terminal. Some companies offer cover with the proviso that the condition must have been stable for the previous 6 months. And that is dependent on the type of illness.
Alternatives to Pet Insurance.
There are some other roads to go down if the financial side looks a bit frightening.
Some animal hospitals offer discounts on various health procedures, including help for older dogs. There are a number of very able non-profit making companies out there who offer financial help to pet owners, in various ways.
The bottom line with pet insurance is it can save you time, money, and sometimes a great deal of stress. But you do need to do your research. Try your vet first, ask his/her advise at what's available locally. Then get googling.
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