Deciding to welcome a pet into your home can be a big decision. This is especially the case if it is an animal that is likely to demand a lot of your time, such as a dog. As animals cannot tell you when they are feeling unwell, you must keep a close eye on them. Any suggestion of illness should be further investigated and a vet consulted where necessary. The question that many owners have is whether insurance is an essential part of pet health care.
The financial side
Obviously the key concern that owners have over pet insurance is how much the premiums will cost them. Whilst this can vary dependant on animal and breed, cat insurance can be found for as little as $6 per month. The cost tends to be slightly more for dogs. So for less than $75 a year you can have the security of knowing that you won’t be hit with any expensive vet bills in the event that your cat becomes sick or has an accident. To understand just how much this could save you, here is a rough estimate on a range of cat treatments:
- A consultation alone can cost $65
- Dental treatment on cats tends to average around $375
- If you cat has been hit by a car you could be looking at charges in the region of $800
Of course, there is no guarantee that you will ever need to rely on your insurance and then you may feel out of pocket. The question you have to ask yourself is whether you notice the monthly premium going out of your bank account. You will certainly notice a vet’s bill of $500! In some cases it may even be that you simply don’t have the money at hand to pay for life saving surgery and must opt to have your pet put down. How would you feel about this?
If you are still unsure as to whether pet insurance is the right move for you, consider the specific breed of your animal. Certain breeds of cats, dogs and other creatures have genetic issues that commonly cause health problems. Take some time to research your specific pet breed and find out if this is the case for them. If your pet is susceptible to breed-specific conditions then taking out some insurance is a wise move.
Choosing a policy
When choosing a pet insurance policy, do some shopping around and comparing to make sure that you find the one most suitable for you. There are a few important details that you should check to make sure that you find an appropriate policy:
- If the policy covers breed-specific disorders
- What the level of excess is
- What maximum individual and annul payouts are
- If ongoing health issues, such as arthritis, are covered
- If there is a maximum pet age
Once you are satisfied with the answers to these issues, you should then take some time to research the companies left on your list and check for online reviews. There is nothing more frustrating than dealing with an awkward insurance company, when all you want to do is focus your energy into pet health care.
For free advice on pet health care visit www.pethealthinfo.org.uk.