Tips For Consumers/“Is Pet Insurance a Good Idea?”
Do you have a favorite dog or cat? Many folks in the Hagerstown area love their pets-but they worry that sickness or accident might result in very high veterinarian bills. Now, however, many companies are selling medical insurance for pets. Is it a good idea?
Basic pet insurance comes in two forms. A comprehensive health and accident idemnity policy can cover almost anything. It can even come with a rider for routine vet care. Such policies may cost $400-$500 per year, depending on the seller.
The other form of insurance is more like the preferred provider organization, or PPO, that humans use for health care. Sometimes offered as an employee benefit, PPO coverage for pets gives owners discounts at vets who agree to participate in a care network.
The American Veterinary Medical Association has said that pet insurance “can make some treatments economically feasible” that otherwise would be out of reach for some consumers. The group, which represents the nation’s veterinarians, encourages coverage “for health maintenance as well as for illness and accidents.”
Still, not everyone needs to invest in pet insurance, said and officer of the Consumer Federation of America. “Dogs aren’t people,” he said. “You have to have insurance on your children, on your wife, on yourself. But you don’t have to have it on your pets. Still, pet insurance can make sense, especially if consumers have very valuable dogs or are so attached to them that they would spend thousands rather than have a pet euthanized or they couldn’t sleep at night worrying about their pets.
Most policies cover vet examination fees, hospitalization, anesthesia and surgical charges, and prescription medication. The premium for a dog averages about $20 a month for health and accident coverage, while a rider for routine care would add about $100 per year. Premiums for cats are generally less. Premiums depend on the age of the pet, the plan selected, and the state the person lives in. Shop around.
Be aware that most policies exclude pre-existing conditions as well as hereditary problems. In other words, if the breed of dog is susceptible to hip problems, coverage of hip care may be excluded. For this reason, by the insurance when the pet is still young.
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This article was submitted by Nicholas Geaves, President of the The Better Business Bureau.