Pets have become as important in our lives as our children and for some people, their pets are their children. Thanks to dietary and veterinary advances, pets, like people, are living for significantly longer and as such are seeing more veterinary care. Surgery on pets has also grown tremendously as affectionate owners are opting for expensive procedures rather than putting their animals down. These visits and surgeries can be very expensive and our pets, like us, should be covered with a health plan to pay for unexpected medical treatment.
Finding an insurance company to insure your pets is often as simple as logging onto the internet, using a search engine and comparing company reviews. Unless you have a truly unusual pet, you should not have a problem getting their health insured. Most domestic animals from lizards and snakes to guinea pigs and rabbits to cats and dogs can be covered for anything from routine veterinary visits to lab tests to major surgeries. Some insurance companies even offer breed specific cover for specialized or rare breeds of dogs and cats. Even exotic birds can be covered.
It is a good idea to cover your pet as soon as you possibly can. Most companies will insure pets from the age of six weeks. Insuring them from a young age before pre-existing or genetic ailments develop could save you a lot of money. Insurance companies will also renew your policy even if your pet has fallen ill or was involved in an accident. Most insurers will not cover pets that are older than ten due to the increased risk.
Basic policies will cover illness, accidents, surgery and any lab tests, medications and treatment of cancer. Some companies offer routine care cover as an optional extra which might not be a bad idea. Pet insurance is much cheaper than human health insurance so the additional cover will often be affordable. Make a note of your insurance company’s cover of breed-specific problems as some companies are quite specific on that point. If possible do not buy animals that are known to have genetic weaknesses
Pet insurance usually works as a reimbursement plan. Since veterinary care is much cheaper than human health care, you can usually find the cash to pay upfront and then claim from your insurance company afterwards. In extreme cases, you can sometimes make arrangements with your veterinarian to accept partial payment until your insurance has paid out. It is important to note on your insurance schedule whether there are payment limits per claim as this could prove to be a difficulty in the event of a major surgery or other expensive treatment.
Remember to shop around and view potential company’s reviews on independent reviewer websites. Make use of price comparison websites to find good deals. Also check with your current health insurance company to see if they do not have an add-on pet insurance option. Ensure that the prospective company has a sound financial history so they do not leave you stranded in the event of a claim.