Health Insurance for your pet
Humphrey Roberts D.V.M.
One of the fastest growing industries is that of pet insurance. Generally, pet insurance offers fee-for-service coverage. You visit your veterinarian, pay the bill and submit a claim for reimbursement. Depending upon the plan the reimbursement may be 70% to 100% of the bill, after the deductible. Most insurers limit the amount that they will pay per incident per year. Premiums on these policies average about $200.00 per year.
Insurance can be a great deal, but like with all insurance - read the fine print!
Protections such as "pre-existing conditions" do not apply to pet insurance. Rather, it is similar to car insurance - you don't buy collision to cover a crash that you had yesterday. Pet policies are considered property insurance and regulated by state insurance departments. As predictable the rates are lowest for young, healthy animals and higher for older ones. Also, it is generally true that most companies will insure only cats and dogs and not birds, ferrets and other pets. Typically, for an additional fee, a plan will pick up part of the cost of wellness care. Given the cost of this additional coverage and the deductible, it may be most prudent to pay for this yourself and get insurance for catastrophic occurrences.
Listed below is a link to companies that insure animals. Make certain that the insurer grades from a reputable ratings company. The Higgins Animal Clinic and the Wheeling Animal Hospital do not recommend any particular company but share this link for the convenience of our clients.