Pet Health Insurance: The Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good: Many options exist which makes the cost of insuring your pet’s health  affordable. Policies range from less than $300 to over $600 per year.

The Bad: You usually get what you pay for! Policies that promise the world for peanuts, and seem to good to be true…almost certainly are. Insurance companies are in the business to make money, not to help pets.

The Good: At this time, pet health insurance companies don’t restrict your choice of veterinarian, or try to dictate what you can spend on services.

The Bad: Many companies severely limit what conditions they cover, or how much they will reimburse. Examples: One major company won’t cover any condition they deem genetic or congenital in nature; another will pay for lifelong conditions the year they are diagnosed but exclude them later. Still another limits the payment per illness to only $500. READ THE FINE PRINT!

The Good: You don’t have to shop around for a veterinarian who “accepts” your policy. Virtually any national company will cover you for service at any licensed veterinarian. And most veterinarians do not at present charge for helping submit your claim.

The Bad: That’s because you pay the fee’s up front and deal directly with your insurer for reimbursement.

The Good: Having the right policy could make the difference in a life and death decision. If you enroll your pet at a young age, it is possible to have coverage that lasts his or her entire life.

The Bad: If you wait until a condition is already diagnosed or “forget” to renew on time… you probably won’t be covered.

The Ugly: Insurance companies are in the business too make money. Many companies have come and gone over the years – the emphasis on “gone.” Those that make it are the ones that make the most money. Those that offer the best “deal” may mean well but may not be able to live up to their promise when you really need them. As in every contract, read the fine print and research the company before you send money!

An online site to research and compare different pet health insurance policies is: Dogtime.com.

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