Considerations for Selecting Pet Health Insurance

If you've ever had a pet that developed a serious illness or was hurt in an accident, you probably understand just how important pet insurance can be. Veterinary care can be very expensive, and it can be distressing to have to make decisions about whether or not you can afford the medical care your dog or cat needs to recover from a health problem.

Choosing a Pet Health Insurance Policy

When researching options for pet health insurance, there are many important factors to consider. There can be significant differences from one policy to another, and it's important to choose the option that best meets your needs and those of your pet.

Often, the best place to start researching pet insurance programs is at your veterinarian's office. After all, it only makes sense to choose an insurance policy that will be recognized and accepted by your pet's health care provider. Your veterinarian may recommend specific plans, or may be able to share information with you about the experiences other patients have had with different pet health insurance companies.

Coverage Components

Before you select a policy, make sure you understand exactly what is covered under the terms of the agreement. Some pet insurance policies provide partial or full reimbursement for preventive treatment, such as annual vaccinations and heart worm prevention. With these types of policies, you will get some benefit from your investment even if your pet remains in good health.

Other policies provide coverage only for catastrophic problems, such as chronic or acute illnesses or injuries requiring intense and costly medical care. These types of policies tend to be less expensive than the ones that provide coverage for preventive treatment. When you have this type of coverage, you hope you will never need it, but are very glad to have it in the event that a worse case scenario develops with your pet's health.

Age and Health Issues

The younger your pet is when you purchase a pet health insurance policy, the less expensive the premiums will be. As your pet ages, premiums are likely to increase. Some insurance companies won't write policies for pets that are over ten years old. As with human health insurance policies, pet coverage plans often include exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Making Your Decision

Once you know the different pet insurance options available to you, it will be possible for you to make an educated decision regarding the types of policies that are in your best interest, as well as that of your pet.

author: Randall Olson

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