By Gary Walker
If your last visit to the vet left you with a serious dent in your savings you already know that veterinary care is not cheap. Still you want to be sure that your pet has access to the best available care, so how do you do that without having to dip into the kids college fund?
The answer is pet health insurance.
Just about every major medical insurer offers pet insurance these days. Unfortunately, the variety on offer brings its own problems. With so many options, how do you find a policy that provides the cover you need?
Your start by doing some research. Pet health insurance plans are no different to your own medical cover. There are plans offering different levels of cover, each with their own rules, regulations, and exclusions.
Make doubly sure about what is covered and what is excluded because mistakes can be expensive, and even tragic, if you later discover that you don’t have the cover you thought you were paying for.
Is Pet Health Insurance Really Necessary?
Only you can answer that question, but if you believe that your pet deserves the best health care available then, yes, pet health cover is a must.
Without cover, you are left with two options, either you foot the bill, or your pet goes untreated. And while basic veterinary care may be affordable to you, emergency care and treatment for major diseases can be prohibitively expensive, running to thousands of dollars.
So pet insurance is a wise investment that could actually end up saving you money.
How Much Is This Going To Cost Me?
There are a number of variables that determine the cost of pet insurance, the main ones being the dog’s age, breed and the level of cover required.
There may be other considerations as well. Some insurance companies will charge a premium based on your dog’s lifestyle – for example, whether he is a watchdog, as well as a family pet.
What Restrictions Apply To Pet Insurance Policies?
Again, these differ between companies and policies. One common factor is the dog’s age. Many companies will not cover a dog that is over 8 years old, unless coverage was already in place before the dog turned 8.
Most insurers will also not cover any pre-existing condition.
Another common clause is a 30-day waiting period before the cover starts. The usual protocol is for accident and emergency insurance to start right away, and for all other cover to start once the waiting period has passed.
What Is The Best Policy For My Dog?
Choosing the right policy comes down to is weighing cost against benefits. There are lots of different plans available and it’s a competitive market, so do your homework and ask lots of questions.
Your dog deserves the best health care available, and pet health insurance ensures that you can provide it without denting your wallet in the process.