Benefits and drawbacks of pet insurance coverage

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pet insurancePet insurance coverage is steadily on the rise as a growing number of dog, cat, and exotic animal owners seek additional financial support to cover the cost of keeping their animals happy and healthy.

There are now ten times more insured pets than there were a decade ago, with policies that can insure anything from the regular health check-ups to unexpected emergency services or surgeries. There is a wide range of coverage available, but remember that the better it is, the higher the premiums will be.

According to most veterinarians, if it comes time that a pet will need a form of major surgery, then the insurance policy will pay for itself with that one event. It is important to recognize, though, that pet insurance will not provide coverage for conditions that are pre-existing, so it is typically recommended that you buy a policy as early as possible in the pet’s life as the premiums will be cheaper and more conditions will be covered.

Typical pet insurance can be as inexpensive as about $15 per month for a basic insurance policy or can be as much as $75 for a comprehensive coverage plan. The majority of policies will provide a reimbursement of between 80 and 90 percent of a covered claim.

That said, not everyone is on the pet insurance bandwagon. In fact, Consumer Reports doesn’t provide a recommendation for this coverage. Its research examined the top three pet insurers in the country, which have a 90 percent market share.

The key to making sure that you get the most out of your coverage is to make sure that you understand it to its fullest extent. Read the entire policy, including the fine print, and know whether or not your breed is even included in the type of coverage provided, as some companies have breed exclusions.

Consumer Reports recommends that if you do not obtain pet insurance coverage, you should set aside several hundred dollars to make sure that you are prepared for potential vet costs.

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