Pets today in many households are considered a part of the family. Pet insurance, whether for cats or pet insurance for dogs or some exotic pet, can prove to be a major asset when dealing with anBeans the Cat(117853)Credit: JHKersey emergency situation. Many people cannot afford the high costs usually associated with emergency and critical care treatments which can cost over $5,000. They are then forced to euthanize their pets. Also, veterinary specialist can now do amazing treatments that were once only provided to humans. Cancer treatments using radiation or chemo therapy, open heart surgery and organ transplants are now available as well as laser surgeries and other sophisticated procedures. Unfortunately they all come with high price tags due to the nature of the illnesses and the modern diagnostic equipment used such as MRI’s and ultra sound units. Treatments using lasers and other expensive equipment have also increased the cost of providing quality care.

     That being said, is purchasing pet insurance the right thing to do? The answer is somewhat complicated and depends on your financial situation and how much you are willing to pay. Purchasing pet insurance is both an economic and emotional decision. If you are willing to pay anything to save your pet than pet insurance may be better than going into debt or wiping out your savings.

     Pet insurance, like health insurance for humans, comes with a wide variety of coverage’s, deductibles, and premium costs. Before purchasing insurance for your pet, there are a number of questions to ask including do you want a plan that only covers accidents, injuries and/or serious illnesses or do you want a preventive care policy that covers vaccines, flea and heartworm preventatives, dental cleanings and other routine items or some combination.

             Questions to ask when researching policies include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Are pre-existing or hereditary conditions covered?
  2. Is there a waiting period and if so, how long?
  3. Are there age restrictions?
  4. Is there and annual or per visit deductible and the amount?
  5. What are the per visit, annual and lifetime limits of the policy?
  6. Are payments based on the diagnosis or a percentage of the bill and what amount is paid after deductibles?
  7. Is there a physical exam required for enrollment or renewal?
  8. Do premiums increase with the age of the pet or over time?
  9. Are specialty and/or emergency services covered?
  10. Does the policy cover wellness and preventative care?
  11. Is there a multi pet discount?
  12. Are there administrative or processing fees and the amount?
  13. What are the cancellation requirements for both the pet owner and the insurance company?
  14. Can you choose any veterinarian or animal hospital?
  15. Are prescription drugs covered?
  16. Are the benefits available when traveling with the pet and out of the approved network?

      Pet insurance is a way to manage your risk and help protect you and your pet from a catastrophic financial loss. However, you may be better off placing the amount of the premium in a savings account because the odds of needing to pay for an expensive treatment are small in most cases.

      If you do decide to buy, make sure you do your homework. There are so many insurance companies and plans offered today that you can easily make a mistake and choose a policy that is not right for you and your pet. Policies are changing all the time and it is important to research them by going on-line or calling the companies and asking questions and requesting a copy of the policy. Remember to read the fine print to see what is and what is not covered.

      Your pet’s health depends on your care as well as your love. Using the information provided above and a little common sense can lead to a longer, higher quality of life for your pet.

      For other pet related articles please see my other articles here on Infobarrel or check out my website at for a complete listing.