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Pet Insurance is a Wise Investment


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Seems everyone is talking about pet insurance. A piece in the Chicago Tribune notes pet insurance is gaining in popularity – true….but still, around 90 percent of pet owners don’t have insurance, and most of those pet owners don’t even know pet insurance exists.

There remain many misconceptions about pet insurance.
– Some people actually believe the government is in some way involved (like they are our own insurance – for better, or worse). It’s unlikely there will be any government intervention concerning pet insurance anytime soon (except for general state by state insurance regulations).
– Some believe pet insurance is worrisome because they don’t want to be given limitations on what they want to do for their pets, or which veterinarians they want to see. Unlike our own insurance, with pet insurance – your vet makes medical decision with your family, the insurance company has nothing to do with it. And you choose the veterinarian(s) you want to consult with, including specialists.
– Some are concerned about not being paid until the veterinarian is paid. Not a worry – since insurers pay directly to pet owners.

I believe there are more upsides to pet insurance than not – most important, while many policies cover wellness exams (encouraging veterinary visits is a very good thing), it’s really about catastrophic coverage. It’s about having a partner pay for what might otherwise not be affordable – that saves lives. With your pocketbook alone, you may not afford a $3,500 treatment, but if the insurer pays around half, or even well over half – that makes a huge difference. Without insurance, the only option for some animals is tragically euthanasia.

However, there are some downsides too…One is that older pets cost most to insure. Multi-pet homes (which are most) pay more, of course. Even with multi-pet discounts, the price can add up particularly if most of the pets are older. And many insurance carriers don’t cover genetic or pre-existing conditions (although they may be hard to define). Comparing policies is challenging, so here’s my recent post about a helpful pet insurance website.

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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