This is a guest post from Betsy Rosenfeld, who writes a blog called Love Thy Dog and just published a book, The Complete Single’s Guide to Dog Ownership.
All budget conscious pet-owners should get pet insurance. Just like their human owners pets get sick and get hurt and treatment is expensive and unpredictable. Although a new concept for many Americans, pet insurance has been around since the 1920’s in Britain and it’s very popular in Canada.
Pet insurance is an indemnity insurance which basically means you pay a premium, monthly, quarterly, or yearly (there are often discounts for paying yearly) and you submit your pet’s veterinary bills to the company. They pay you back according to your coverage, i.e. after they apply your co-pay and deductible.
Here is where things can get dicey. All pet coverage is NOT the same. First, policies vary widely as do their premiums. You can get policies that range from those which just cover accidents to those which cover the common vet visit. Accident only policies are less expensive and as the coverage goes up so do the premiums.
Secondly there is the issue of pre-existing conditions and exclusions. Basically things the insurance won’t cover because your pet either had the condition before, or is predisposed to having because of its breed. Each company operates differently in regards to their policies on pre-existing conditions so be sure to read the fine print.
Unfortunately in this new economic landscape, just like many human insurance companies, some pet insurance companies are using a deny-first-ask-questions-later policy.
Go to PetInsuranceReview.com and see which company sounds good to you, and be sure to read the fine print. The company I used sent me a check immediately after my dog burst her spleen a few years ago, yet due to a technicality that I should have noticed (and that I am fighting) they denied a recent and very expensive claim.
Yet even with that experience, I know pet insurance is key. One should never have to euthanize a pet because they can’t afford the vet bill.
Betsy blogs about dogs and other creatures at LoveThyDog. Don’t forget to buy her new book!