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Revealing the ABCs of Pet Insurance | Health

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Revealing the ABCs of Pet Insurance
Health, Pets
Revealing the ABCs of Pet Insurance

 

(Welcome to our weekly pet column, courtesy of Pet Connection Programs Inc. of Marilla. We post a new article each week, so be sure to check back on a regular basis!)

The human-animal bond between pet owners and their pets is stronger than ever, as evidenced by 91 percent of pet owners who consider their pet a part of their family and a total of $58 billion a year spent on pets. 

While a portion of that spending is on medical advancements in veterinary care that are helping pets live longer, healthier lives, these increases in veterinary costs often present pet owners with a dilemma that weighs the cost versus the best care for the pet. Trupanion, a company that provides medical insurance to cats and dogs, recently released the ABCs of Pet Insurance, a simple tool to help pet owners navigate pet medical insurance.

"As advanced veterinary care becomes more available and costs increase, medical insurance for pets is rising in popularity and becoming an essential part of responsible pet ownership," said Kerri Marshall, DVM, chief veterinary officer at Trupanion. "However, with so many different types of insurance, companies, policy options and add-ons, choosing the best policy can seem overwhelming."

Medical insurance for cats and dogs should not be mistaken with liability or property insurance. The concept of it is fairly straightforward — pay a monthly premium in order to be covered for unexpected veterinary expenses — but every provider is different and offers varying coverage, plans, pricing options and limitations.

This simple guide outlines key factors that should go into deciding if it is the right fit for you.

Age: Many times, the age of your pet will influence the cost to insure them. Some companies increase the price of the premium as pets' age, while some price based on the age at the time of enrollment. Insuring your pet as a puppy or kitten does have benefits — it is often less expensive and more likely that a pre-existing condition will not already exist. But if your pet is middle-aged or older, don't think that they can't be insured as the coverage will help with treatment costs needed as your pet ages.

Breed: Certain breeds are predisposed to conditions, such as luxating patellae in Yorkshire Terriers, chronic lower airway disease in Siamese cats and cancer in Golden Retrievers. The right medical coverage will protect your animal even if they are prone to hereditary or congenital conditions.

Coverage: Each company will offer varying degrees of coverage, and some have coverage schedules and limits. Look for a provider that covers the largest portion of your veterinary bill, coverage for congenital and hereditary conditions, and has no limits to the amount they will pay out.

Deductible: Choose a deductible that fits your budget and how they are applied. Deductibles can help you control your premiums while making sure you see coverage before you hit your budget limit. Some deductibles must be met yearly, and some only apply once per condition. Some companies offer adjustable deductibles that allow you to adjust the premium cost that best fits your budget.

Pre-existing conditions: No pet medical insurance company currently covers pre-existing conditions, but each company identifies pre-existing conditions differently. Make sure you understand how each company defines a pre-existing condition and how they may decide if it relates to a future claim. Even if your pet has a pre-existing condition, like allergies or chronic ear infections, they are still a good candidate for insurance if they develop an unrelated condition down the road.

Flexibility: Look for a policy that does not lock you into a long-term contract and gives you the freedom to adjust your deductible or premium payments to fit your changing financial needs. You also want a policy that gives you the freedom to go to any veterinarian or specialist you choose.

Still not sure if pet medical insurance is right for you? Ask your veterinarian who can help provide insight. They have extensive knowledge of your pet's breed risks and health history. To learn more about choosing the right coverage plan and for more information about Trupanion, visit www.Trupanion.com. You can also ask your veterinarian for a Trupanion 30-day certificate to try Trupanion at no cost or obligation.

— PRNewswire

(For more information on pets and animal adoption, please visit www.petconnectionprogramsinc.com. Or, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PetConnectionProgramsinc. Located in Marilla, N.Y., Pet Connection Programs Inc. is a nonprofit maternity and special care shelter founded in 1984.)

 

 

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