The biggest risk to your pet’s health… - Pet InsurancePet Insurance
Apr 2015

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Pet insurance won't cover costs for any condition that your pet showed signs of before the start date of the policy. (Medical records or a vet exam might be required to establish your pet's health). But, pet insurance will cover new conditions and accidents. Also, all the pet insurance plans here will cover conditions that your pet might have been born with but haven't showed up yet. These are called hereditary or congenital conditions. So it's still important to get covered!

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The biggest risk to your pet’s health…

Is the veterinary care bill.

You’ve just picked your new dog up from the shelter, and you can’t wait to show them their new home. Perhaps they were abandoned as a puppy or were found wandering the streets, or maybe they’re an elderly dog that was relinquished by owners who could no cope. You’re not too sure, but you know one thing for certain…they are amazing and adorable and exactly the dog you’ve always wanted! Rescuing a dog is an emotional experience; anyone who has ever visited a shelter knows how heartbreaking it can be to see so many dogs looking for their forever homes. The ASPCA estimates that about 3.9 million dogs per year enter shelters, you can’t rescue them all but now you get to provide at least one of those dogs with a new family. You probably signed a contract with the shelter promising to care for your new dog, but let’s face it, you don’t need a contract to know that you would do anything for them.

Puppy in a cage at the shelterWhen you get them home you introduce them to their new surroundings, you’ve bought them everything they could possibly need, a new crate, ten different types of treats, the best food, toys, a leash, a collar and those all important tags marking them as a member of your family. It takes them a while to settle in, after all, they’ve had a tough few weeks, maybe even months or years, but soon they are like your four-legged shadow and you can’t remember what it was like to not have them around.

Before you brought them home, you probably researched what you needed to buy for them, and there are literally thousands of resources available online to help us make a dog’s move home easier. You could Google preventative dog care and get a million results letting you know what medications you need to give on a monthly basis and how much they’ll cost. Online calculators will even tell you how much your dog will cost on average per year. Yet one thing that seems to be talked about less is planning for unexpected costs.

It’s hard to work out why exactly this is, although it seems like the pet care industry, in general, hasn’t promoted the amazing advances veterinary care has made in the last decade. In fact, a lot of the treatments we expect for humans are now available for pets. For example, The Animal Cancer Foundation estimates that almost ten percent of companion dogs will be diagnosed with cancer each year, that’s a huge number of dogs that need treatment. This treatment can range from surgical to drug therapy and can be hugely successful. However, it’s also very expensive and will easily reach thousands of dollars. Likewise, something as simple as your dog eating candy wrappers can get very costly very quickly if surgery is needed. This isn’t surprising when you look at the range of diagnostic tests, treatments, and drugs Veterinarians now have access to.

So how do you pay for these treatments? The sad answer is that some people don’t. In a USA today article, one veterinarian is quoted as saying that two-thirds of all animals euthanized at his practice are done so because the owners couldn’t afford to pay for treatment. Some options include raiding savings accounts or putting the balance on credit cards. Neither of these is a good choice, especially with the high-interest rates on most credit cards. Pet care doesn’t need to be this hard, can you imagine having to choose between buying a car to get you to work and paying for emergency care for your pet? It might even come down to not being able to pay rent in order to get your pet the best possible care. When your pet is sick the last thing you want to think about is finding money to make them better.

However, there is another option if you plan ahead—Pet Health Insurance. This type of insurance is much better known in Europe but is rapidly gaining popularity in the US. Pet Health Insurance has many similarities to human health insurance; you pay a monthly premium with set deductibles, co-pays and coverage limits. And just like health insurance, pet insurance is available in a range of coverage levels. Simply select a plan, pay your vet as usual, and then get reimbursed up to 90% (sometimes 100%) of vet bills. It can provide coverage for accidents and a broad range of illnesses. It’s important to pay attention to the exclusions but with a little research you can get help with a huge percentage of your vet bills. For prices starting at less than 40-cents per day for accident only coverage and 1-dollar per day for fully comprehensive coverage you can get the best care for your pet without worrying about your budget. Prices will vary depending on the age, breed and location of your pet, but there are affordable options available for everyone. Pet Insurance can help you enjoy every moment with your pet without worrying about looking after their health, that feeling alone is priceless.

You can get a quote here, they are free and unbiased. How much would protection for your pet’s health cost?