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Pet Insurance Primer for Pet Parents

Aug 17

Categories: Blog

You love your pets. They love you. What to do though when an unexpected and unplanned medical, surgical, or dental event occurs. Especially in these economic times!  You have plenty of choices for pet care and you want the best for your pets but sometimes what we WANT to do is not what we CAN do at the time. Considering that one out of two pets will experience a major injury or illness during their lifetime, we may be forced to make some hard decisons and difficult choices.  And because we don't have that proverbial money tree growing in our backyards...

We, at Animal Health Care of Marlboro, are encouraging our pet parents to consider pet insurance as a way to offset these unforseen financial emergencies. And, yes, you have plenty of choices when it comes to pet insurance so we'll talk about the types of insurance out there.  Basically there are well care programs with coverage for the emergent/urgent problems and insurance that is for accident/illness care only.  That's basically the difference, but the choice is still yours for the type of coverage policy you pick. 

Pet insurance is health insurance for your pet and can, depending on the policy, help defray much of the costs in veterinary health care. Veterinary care has advanced in many ways very similar to human medicine with generalists (like us) and specialists (to whom we refer) so that many of the procedures and medications for our pets are the same as ours!

It really pays to get pet insurance early on when our youngsters have few or no pre-existing conditions.  But, healthy older pets can also get pet insurance. Many of the insurance plans let you customize your policy based on your pet's needs and your budget.  Some plans cover hereditary and congenital conditions. Some policies will cover wellness care which can include vaccinations. Other coverage can include prescription medications and alternative therapies. There are even dental plans that can be added for professional dental services which can include dental cleanings as well as periodontal surgery and extractions.

So how to decide? Well, a few great questions to ask include

1. how does the plan reimburse?

2. does the plan cover genetic conditions?

3. what is covered and what is NOT covered?

4. are there per-incident limits?

5. what are the rules around pre-existing conditions?

and

6. what do their customers say about them?

We currently recommend two companies at Animal Health Care of Marlboro: Embrace Pet Insurance and Trupanion Insurance. These companies even provide trial pet insurance plans for puppy and kitten owners. You can enroll them on-line or on site in our animal hospital.  You decide...

But for an unbiased review of all the policies/programs and companies out there go to www.Petinsurancereview.com.