A question that I hear quite frequently from clients is whether pet insurance is worth it. The answer to this question is not really black-or-white, however. There are a lot of factors that can go into your decision to purchase a pet insurance policy.
Of course, you can expect that your pet will require veterinary care during its life, with regular checkups, vaccinations, flea prevention, fecal testing, etc. But what if an emergency pops up out of the blue? Or your pet becomes ill when you least expect it and requires extensive diagnostics and treatments? These types of unknowns in the span of your pet’s life can potentially come with a hefty cost.
Pet insurance is not widely owned by pet parents, albeit this is changing every day. The premiums can be expensive, depending on what company you choose to go through and which policy you purchase. You will also need to remember that reimbursement for claims depends on the type and coverage of the pet insurance policy you elect to have. There can be stipulations on how services are reimbursed, such as exclusions from coverage on pre-existing conditions and other various caveats.
There are many companies out there that offer pet insurance, with several types of plans to choose from. Keep in mind that each company is not cut from the same cloth and handles each policy differently. The most common, top-rated pet insurance companies include Trupanion, VPI, 24 Pet Watch and Pet Plan.
If you have decided to purchase a pet insurance policy and are in the midst of choosing a company, it is important to ask any and all questions you may have, check out policy ratings, learn what is included and what is covered in each plan, compare figures and find out if there is a wait period between the time you sign up and the time coverage begins. Doing research prior can greatly help you understand exactly what you will get. Like health insurance policies for us, pet insurance policies can be convoluted, yet beneficial, despite the complexities.
MEGAN L. FOUCH is the office manager at the Madison Park Veterinary Hospital (www.madisonparkvet.com).
To comment on this column, write to MPTimes@nwlink.com.