To begin with, I thought I would put a few comments about Pet Insurance on this home page as I consider this subject to be such an important issue and one which is often overlooked by dog owners everywhere. Pets are an integral part of our lives. A pet often becomes like a member of the family. When a beloved pet becomes ill, people often go into debt to pay for treatments. Unexpected expenses resulting from broken bones, swallowed objects or other injuries can quickly become expensive. More people are beginning to purchase pet insurance and a variety of plans are available to fit your needs.
The most basic plans cover injuries and accidents. These plans cover incidents such as car accidents, broken bones, burns, allergic reactions or injuries involving your pet ingesting foreign objects or poisons. Such plans are relatively inexpensive, costing fewer than twenty dollars a month. With most plans, you are limited to two claims per year. Basic accident plans don’t cover expenses related to illness or disease.
Slightly more expensive are plans that cover both accidents and illness. These cover diseases of most major body systems, cancer and infectious disease. The coverage payments can range from two to three thousand dollars or more, depending on the plan you choose. Many of these plans offer added benefits such as accidental death coverage, which reimburse your fees, if your pet accidentally dies during treatment. Some plans offer to pay kennel fees for your pet if you are hospitalized and unable to care for your animal – this is an excellent added benefit.
A few companies are now offering pet insurance plans specifically for older dogs. These plans are only slightly more expensive than those for other dogs. The deductibles tend to be higher on these plans. Pet insurance plans for older dogs cover stroke, heart disease and cancer, which occur most often in the older dog. In order to receive benefits, you must have taken out the pet insurance before your pet becomes ill. If you suspect your pet is sick, don’t waste your money on health insurance. All plans for older dogs have health requirements and require a check up before the policy is issued. These health insurance plans offer euthanasia coverage in the event you would need to put your pet to sleep.
How much money you will save with pet insurance really depends on how often you need it. Unless your dog is accident prone or becomes very ill, the premium may not be worth the expense. Most policies have limits on treatment for cancer or other diseases, usually between two and three thousand dollars. Depending on the plan and the pet, you will spend between two and four thousand dollars for lifetime pet insurance coverage. Comprehensive plans which cover check ups and vaccinations are the best deal in terms of saving money at every visit to the vet.
When comparing pet insurance plans, don’t look at the monthly premium alone. A lower premium can mask higher deductibles. Read the plans carefully for information on deductibles and co payments. Check the rates for your pet. Some companies charge higher rates for certain dog breeds, older pets or pre-existing medical conditions. Read everything carefully and ask questions. You want a policy that will be worth the money you spend in premiums.
Remember, all insurance companies want to make money, so check the small print. Plans are written to reduce the liability of the company and make a better profit. They stack the deck in their favor by excluding conditions typical in certain breeds. For example, many larger breed dogs are prone to hip dysphasia and certain disorders of the bones and joints, so many pet insurance plans list these ailments in the exclusions for the breeds most prone to the disorders. If you have a breed that is prone to a particular illness and pet insurance won’t cover the treatments it may not be worth the premium. For the same reason, pre-existing conditions are generally not covered and some plans require a check up with a vet to exclude these.
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