Admittedly, I have been a little behind the times when it comes to the recent talk of Pet Insurance that has been floating around. Dog and Cat Medical Insurance talk is taking off these days and I wonder, “Where have I been?" OK, my kitty seems fairly uninterested in all of the hullabaloo and he is pretty self-sufficient, as well, save for a stray flea here and there, but I am interested enough to get the facts.
So, what is the interest as of late?
Let me give you a bit of what has been talked about in the news lately. The negative news media folks tend to make it look like our precious Pets are being neglected and are always the first to go during economic troubles and that is not true at all. In fact, it seems that people have not been letting Fido and Fluffy go without and, in fact, have actually spent more on their pets, according to recent newscast and articles I have ferreted out, and that includes in the realm of Pet Health Care. Evidently, the California Governor thinks that people love their Pets as well, because he wants to tax them somehow when they are taken to the vet. Oh, brother, another way for government to get into our wallet, but that is an article for another day.
Dog and Cat Health Care have become a HUGE market in the last several years. In 2005 alone, over $175 million was spent on some form of pet health insurance. That figure rose to nearly $300 million last year, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association and is said to probably increase even more this year.
Staggering, isn't it. There are even reports that many companies are offering Pet Insurance as part of a compensation package for new employees. Are you laughing yet? Maybe a bit, but I guarantee that as fond of your Pet that your family is, if you came home and told your significant other that fluffy is now covered with the family for medical cost, the kids, at least, would be happy. Heck, in South Africa did you know that Pets can now be classified “Officially" as members of the family and can be placed as dependents on their medical aids?
Whose laughing now?
It is all about peace of mind, really, isn't it? Isn't that the basis of most insurance? Peace of mind knowing that you could defray some cost in the case of some calamity.
So why the emphasis lately on Pet insurance. Well, as we become more affluent as a society, and we are no matter what the news media are telling you, we put more and more into the overall care of our Pets. I don't believe that all of a sudden we care more about our Pets but that we can now do more for them in their time of need.
My biggest fear is that the Pet insurance industry does not seek to ruin standard Pet Care like the health industry has been affected by the health insurance industry by making it tougher and tougher to provide pretty decent care that is fairly affordable now.
I guess only time will tell, but I pray that Fido and Fluffy do not become scapegoats to the whims of yet another business conglomerate like the insurance industry.
Just like with us, it requires us to make sure that we are giving our pets the great care and do our best to make sure we are not neglecting our Pet's health by thinking that we can just take them to the Vet for free.
I can't imagine my life without my cat and I know it is the same for you. Our Pets are our family members and with that, we are given a great responsibility to take care of them.
DA Southern is not a Doctor and doesn't even play one on TV, but has had a long obsession with pets and has spent a lot of hours working with various Animal Rescue Organizations and has a passion for animals. In his work in various animal organizations, DA has had many conversations with Doctors and animal experts who have given him some excellent information regarding Pet Behavior. Visit him at http://petcare.itsyourshowitsyourlife.com and get involved with the Pet Care Newsletter.