Your cat has just been diagnosed with diabetes and will require life-long insulin treatment. Your dog, who has a habit of eating things he shouldn’t, has a tennis ball lodged in his stomach and needs immediate surgery. For the majority of pet owners these scenarios provide a double dose of worry and anxiety - worry for your pet and anxiety over the cost of care. If funds are not readily available in these situations some pet owners are forced to choose between finding a way to treat their pet or euthanasia.
Pet insurance is designed to be a safety net that helps you absorb the costs of catastrophic, unexpected illnesses or accidents that can befall your pet. According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, pet owners spent more than $1 billion on insurance policies for their furry companions in 2017 (up 23%) and now more than 1.8 million cats and dogs are covered. If you are asking yourself if pet insurance is right for you, click HERE for a self-assessment may aid in your decision.
There are a wide variety of companies offering pet insurance and the task of picking the right policy for your pet can seem daunting. Some things to consider when perusing policies:
Most companies only ensure cats and dogs, but there are a few that offer policies for exotic pets as well. While it is generally considered best to enroll a pet in an insurance policy while they are young, there are instances where owners are looking for first-time policies for their senior age pets. In these cases pay special attention to whether or not the policy you are considering has an enrollment age limit. Also keep in mind that most pet insurance companies require that you pay up-front for veterinary services and then submit the bill for reimbursement. Always read the fine print associated with any policy you are considering and give their customer service a test-drive by calling with your concerns/questions related to their policies.
We encourage you to explore your pet insurance options before you're faced with sudden, unexpected financial decisions. Having a suitable insurance plan in place can help alleviate the anxiety and financial stress that an emergency situation can cause. We never want you to feel that you have to choose between getting your pet the care they need and being financially stable. In an effort to make the selection process easier for you, we have provided a side-by-side comparison of some of the most popular companies on our website. Another helpful resource, offers a ranking of pet insurance companies based on customer reviews.
Carol Hudecek, LVT- Columbia Animal Clinic