Pet insurance is a godsend for anyone faced with a large medical bill after taking their dog or cat to the vet for a routine examination. Although pet insurance is relatively new, going broke because of vet bills is not!
Veterinary bills for cats and dogs have blown out by as much as 500% in the past couple of years because of advances in the medical treatment of animals. A review by consumer review group Choice has revealed some pet owners being charged up to $25,000 for certain treatments!
You never think that anything terrible will happen to your beloved pet. But there are many things you simply cannot control. Here are 3 questions for you to consider:
When my pet gets old, will he/she require medical treatment in the last days of life?
Answer: Most likely, and “end of life” medical bills are usually the highest.
If my pet is attacked by another animal, or hit by a car, what kind of medical help will I need?
Answer: Depending on the trauma inflicted on your loved pet this might be minor, or full-scale life saving surgery. The costs can easily go into thousands of dollars.
My pet is in perfect health and I take him to the vet for his shots and an exam every year. Why do I need insurance?
Answer: Well done, but the sooner you insure your pet, the cheaper your monthly premium will be and you will be prepared for the unknown. As each year passes your pet’s risks for disease and illness increase, and you know that accidents can happen.
Apart from general increases in vet service costs, there are also many more options of treatment becoming available for your pet. Advancements in vet care has led to better care, and along with this, added expenses. Pets can now be treated for cancer by chemotherapy or radiation therapy, rather than just with surgery or euthanasia. A pet insurance comparison has uncovered claims of $25,700 for cancer treatment, $16865 for diabetes, $11,035 for a snake bite and $8,760 for an ear infection.
Pet health insurance premiums, types and percentage of vet treatments covered vary widely. Policies also vary for different types of pets. The most common policies are pet insurance for dogs and pet insurance for cats. You can buy insurance policies that give you full coverage of most illness and accident related vet expenses up to a stated limit, or policies that give you a choice of what percentage you wish to be covered for. Discounts can apply for insuring multiple pets.
Some pet insurance policies also include standard vet costs for things such as desexing, vaccinations, micro chipping, flea treatments and teeth cleaning. Policies generally have some exclusions. Also, some breeds that are prone to certain problems may be excluded, or have higher premiums. Age limits for the cover can also apply and certain breeds may only be eligible to take out cover at a younger age. However, once accepted, the animal is usually entitled to cover for life as long as premiums continued to be paid.
Not all vet procedures are covered by pet insurance. Some procedures which may not be included are pregnancy, elective procedures, grooming, behavioural problems, dental conditions and pre-existing conditions that showed clinical signs before taking out the policy. There is also usually a waiting period for coverage of certain treatments, however accidental injury is normally covered immediately. In most cases you are able to use any licensed veterinarian of your choice, anywhere in Australia.
What will it cost you to investigate pet insurance? Only your time if check out the various pet insurance policies online. Many sites offer a quoting form so you can easily make a comparison of premium prices and coverage. Hopefully you will find a policy that suits your budget, whether it is everything included insurance, or a budget insurance policy. However be wary of very cheap pet insurance, as it may have restrictions or not really cover you for very much, so always read the fine print.
Pet insurance can help give pet owners peace of mind. Knowing you are covered in times of emergency takes away the worry of where the money for the vet bills is coming from, and allows you to make decisions based entirely on your pet’s best interests. You will also know that you have done the right thing for your beloved pet.
Pet Insurance Tips:
- Get your pet checked out before taking up insurance. This helps to avoid complications if you make a claim.
- Once your pet turns nine, no new insurer wil provide cover. Before age nine, any previous illness becomes excluded as a pre-exisiting unless you have it waived by a vet.
- Pet insurance will not cover your pet for illnesses that can be avoided by vaccination, so make sure these are up to date.
- If you have more than one pet, find a provider that gives a discount for extra animals.
- Most pet insurance providers require a co-payment on claims. The lower your co-payment, the better the value in many cases.