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Investigating Veterinary Insurance

 by zack on 31 May 2013 |
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Nobody wants to dwell on it, but health and wellness issues are a constant worry for owners of older dogs and cats. Especially for a low income family, pet sickness, disease, or accidents are a gigantic financial concern. Not only are these issues a financial concern, but the availability of advanced medical veterinary procedures leave families in an ethical conundrum as well. How much is your pet’s life worth? At what point do you plan to throw in the towel?

Most hope to never be forced to consider these questions, but eventually most will. Unfortunately, healthcare costs for pets are almost as expensive as they are for humans. On the brighter side, there aren’t many instances in most pet’s lives where unreasonably expensive procedures are necessary. However, this bright patch leaves you with another difficult query: should you insure you pet’s health against disease, illness, and accidental injury?

Even for someone who will do anything for a pet, this isn’t an easy question. Many veterinary insurance policy premiums end up being much more costly over time than a significant health problem that occurs later in life. Then again, this is often the case with many car or health insurance policies as well.
That doesn’t make the policies any less useful when you need them.

So what should the determining factors for a decision on veterinary insurance be? Like most difficult decisions this one initially boils down to income. If you are independently wealthy, and can handle an occasional crunch in excess of 5 thousand dollars, then you probably don’t need to worry over health care for animals. It’s a drop in the bucket and you’ll be able to deal with it.
If this doesn’t describe you, and a pet’s medical emergency could put you in a serious hole, then a pet veterinary insurance policy might make sense for your family’s furriest member. At that point you have two options: A personal savings slush fund for your pet, or a veterinary pet insurance policy. In either case you’ll pay monthly premiums to ensure the healthcare of your animal at a future date.

It may be best to cut out the middle man. After all, pet insurance is considered a type of property insurance. That means rather than the policy paying your vet, you’ll pay out of pocket, and file a claim for reimbursement. Not to mention the fact that there are deductibles to consider.

Still a well-researched plan could potentially save you a boatload of money, especially if you research the policies thoroughly before purchasing. This goes double for a family pet that's at high risk for congenital or hereditary diseases.  

It’s a tough call, and a balancing act that requires careful consideration and extensive introspection. With all of the various variables in play, it can be tough to make a confident decision. The most important thing for you is to consider your pet’s risks, and then your commitment to your pet’s health.

Check back for the next post in which we’ll discuss how to pick the pet insurance policy that’s best suited for your needs. 


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