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Pet Insurance Policies

August 07, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

Pet health insurance works similarly to human health insurance.  You pay a yearly premium (which may be billed monthly) and you adhere to regular deductibles or co-payments when you visit the veterinarian.  Premiums and deductibles are generally based on the age, species, pre-existing health conditions and lifestyle (indoor or outdoor animal).There are many limitations in pet health insurance, just like in human health insurance, so you must always read the fine print and make yourself aware of the restrictions and limitations.  

Veterinary care has progressed to the point that your pet’s treatment, when diagnosed with an illness, may be the same as your care if you were diagnosed with the same illness.  But, the care that today’s veterinarians can provide costs far more than most people could afford to pay.  Providing your pet with pet health insurance can protect your pet from costly vet bills in the event he is diagnosed with a disease or has a serious illness or injury.  This will save you the sadness of feeling forced to euthanize your pet should they take ill.

Health insurance for pets is a relatively new business, first introduced 15 years ago by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI).  Newer pet health insurance providers include Premiere Pet Insurance and Pethealth Incorporated, which have come on the market to provide more choices in care and services. Deductibles and coverage are based on the particular package you might choose that suits your pet’s lifestyle and your budget.

Pet insurance policies can vary widely. Many plans only cover accidents and catastrophic disease, while others are completely comprehensive from well-care, alternative medicine and even death. Be sure to compare costs and services of each to determine which is right for you and your pet.

A new alternative to pet health insurance is finding a veterinary practice or animal hospital that offers wellness packages that include a monthly fee or annual premium for all the routine visits, vaccinations, spaying/neutering and more.  It’s worth the visit to your vet to ask about it.

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