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Should You Get Pet Insurance?

Should You Get Pet Insurance?

First the good news: The number of advanced treatments and therapies for sick pets has grown. The bad? So has the cost of care. More and more pet owners are buying insurance to help defray the expense of catastrophic illnesses like cancer. But is it worth the money?

The price of insurance varies. For a newly enrolled 12-week-old, mixed-breed kitten, for example, VPI, a well-known insurance company, charges $162 per year for their “superior plan,” which includes up to $14,000 per year in coverage. The same coverage for an 8-year-old German shepherd would be $471 annually. The fine print: This does not include coverage for routine care (vaccinations, deworming, etc.) unless you pay an additional yearly fee of $99 and $50 deductible. VPI only pays up to a certain amount for each type of procedure, and if you want to insure an older pet, pre-existing conditions are not covered.

On the other hand, American Veterinary Medical Association President Roger Mahr, DVM, points out that pet health insurance isn’t just for catastrophes. Though few policies cover routine care, they may pay for treatments for chronic illnesses, like skin allergies and diabetes, that can quickly add up to a big pile of bills.

The bottom line: If you think pet insurance may be for you, look closely at the insurer’s policy to find out exactly what they cover. Then take the benefit schedule to your veterinarian and see if the amount of coverage matches what you would actually be charged.

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living. Click here for a free sample issue.

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By O'rya Hyde-Keller, Natural Solutions magazine

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Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living.

32 comments

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10:02PM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

Pet Insurance covers accidents and illnesses that your kitten doesn't already have- for example, if your kitten got hit by a car last week and needed long term painkillers and medical treatment for its leg, for example, then they wouldn't cover that as that's an existing condition.

So an pet insurance plan, as it does for humans, covers any new illness or injury. It doesn't cover shots, neutering/spaying, or declawing, or anything 'cosmetic' you have to do for the cat (such as teeth cleaning, nail filing etc.)

10:11AM PST on Dec 1, 2012

Thank your for sharing.

2:51PM PST on Nov 30, 2012

Thank you

2:02PM PST on Nov 17, 2012

Pet insurance in a nice thought! One must consider things like Cancer is the #1 killer of cats and dogs, yes insurance would be great then, but I am sad to say, most of the time cancer is not caught early enough, to spare them! Then that insurance is useless anyway and they may consider it preexisting, and we still end up loosing our precious babies. Just please be sure to read very carefully, and make sure it is worth your investment. I know most of us will do whatever it takes to make sure our furbabies are well taken care of!

7:55PM PST on Nov 10, 2012

Pet insurance would be nice, but I couldn't afford it for all mine.

5:13PM PDT on Apr 12, 2012

Thanks.

1:35AM PST on Mar 5, 2012

Thanks for the article.

8:23AM PST on Mar 4, 2012

Thanks.

6:46AM PST on Mar 4, 2012

I think it's better to just set aside money for an (emergency) fund for pet care. Unfortunately, it should be into the thousands to cover some vet bills.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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