Top tips on pet insurance

ok, this is a topic that hits very close to home. When my cici was hit by an SUV a few years ago, it was a devastating experience. Her femur bone was fractured and required immediate surgery and two surgeries after that within three months time. If I had bought the best pet insurance (that covered her treatment and paid out for the surgeries asap), I would not have had to come up with $1,000 the NEXT DAY after the accident and I would not have had to spend the next three months paying out of pocket for Cici’s three surgeries on her leg (a total of $3,500).

I could have gotten away with spending ONLY $1,000 and had her leg amputated. But for me at that time, it was NOT an option to be taken seriously. She was still very young, a year old, and I was making a decent income.  I could not imagine having her learn to walk on three legs. Some dogs do but I did not like that choice so I opted for the surgeries.  It was a very difficult three months, keeping her continually tethered up so she would not injure the leg. The only good that came out of the experience is that I started this blog during that time since I had to stay home with her and was out of commission, too.

If I had pet insurance, I also would not be worrying every time she limps, eats something she shouldn’t, itches and/or a variety of other normal things that happen with a pet during their lifetime. On Halloween, I was concerned because my roommate had taken Cici on a very long walk the day before. In the morning, she was hopping and limping on her once injured leg. Soon, she was fine, but for a few minutes, I considered the financial consequences of not yet having pet insurance…  $25 to $35 a month would offer me peace of mind, knowing that she is covered in case of another unexpected calamity. A small price to pay since I would NO longer have to even consider economic euthanasia as some pet owners are doing.

Below are some very important tips for buying pet insurance.

In order to protect your beloved cat, dog or family pet member, it is recommended that you get the best pet insurance policy that money can buy. However, by looking at pet insurance quotes online, you can secure the best deal for your budget while safeguarding your favorite animal from anything that life throws at it.

You can compare quotes and save money as well as check out the best insurance companies online. Discounts and other incentives are often offered by insurers on the internet, so be sure to do your research online. If you don’t shop around, you will not avail yourself of the benefits from discounts. However, the cheapest policy is not always the best. Be sure to take into account the level of coverage that is offered. Some plans don’t cover much of anything, and some will only issue coverage on certain type/breeds of pets, and within a defined age range, deductibles vary, coverage of illnesses and emergency surgeries as well as payouts do also so you could end up spending more than you have to when your pet gets ill.

If you pay for pet insurance monthly, an insurance provider usually charges interest on the amount owed over the course of the year; as such, consider paying on an annual basis if you can afford it. That way, you could end up saving as much as one or two months’ worth of coverage.

Obviously, buy from a reputable insurer. Shop around. There are about a dozen companies that offer pet insurance to pet owners in the United States alone. In the UK,  be sure that the provider is registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA). If they are not, it is advised that you do not purchase from them. If they are, read reviews on products offered to see how other people have felt about them.

Consider the various policies. How much is reimbursed from your pet insurance per claim (usually 75-80%). How much are the deductibles?  Is there an annual limit to the payouts/claims? The amounts vary. When do they pay you? What conditions are excluded? Check with your state. Pet insurers should be registered with your state regulators. Are there discounts for multiple pets? Does your employer offer pet insurance? Does the insurance cover pre-existing problems, chronic conditions and hereditary/genetic ailments? If so, are there limits to the coverage? Are there policy cancellation penalties? Premium increases? Is your pet covered while traveling away from home? Is coverage available on the date you purchase the insurance? Is preventative care such as dental cleaning, flea control, and heartworm treatment covered?

Pet  insurance is best used as protection against catastrophic expenses. Be sure to insure your pet from a young age especially because many insurers do not provide coverage for pets over a certain age. It is best to get pet insurance while your pet is healthy.

Typical claims for dogs are for ear infections, skin allergies, skin infections, gastritis and diarrhea. For cats, the top illnesses are lower urinary tract disease, gastritis, chronic renal failure, hyperthyroidism and diabetes.

You can take your pet to low cost clinics for shots instead of taking your pet to the vet. Check with your local Humane Society chapter, animal control department or veterinary hospital to find out the cost of vaccinations.  Insurance could cost you a lot more in the long run if you run to the vet for every little thing. Remember, you have choices to make and options.

Safety tips: 

Keep your dog inside, fenced in a yard, on leash and don’t let them roam freely alone. This will avoid car accidents and other mishaps.

Feed your pet the best food possible and keep their weight down. Obesity and poor nutrition lead to unnecessary health issues.

When your pet needs to see the vet, get a second opinion. Don’t feel that you have to do anything that you don’t feel is right for your pet.

Use a licensed veterinarian in the US and Canada.

1 Comment

Filed under cats, dogs, keep pets safe, pet care, pet insurance, pin removal surgery, Uncategorized

One response to “Top tips on pet insurance

  1. These are great tips and reflections on your experience. Though I’m sorry you found yourself having needed the pet insurance for Cici, I appreciate your sharing your experience with us. I have personally gotten pet insurance for our puppy Enzo, and while I hope I never need it, it definitely does provide great peace-of-mind. I have a friend (who incidentally works in insurance) who believes it’s good to get pet insurance especially early in the dog’s life, at least until you can tell how prone they are to get into trouble. Probably obviously as a financial company we advise pet insurance as well. As you pointed out, the few dollars per month in premiums can pay off big time if something happens to your dog.

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