Pet Insurance Protects Pets & their Families
You’ll hear us say it often at Park Grove Pet Hospital: “Pets are family, too!” And as is true with all of our family members, we want the best for them in terms of their health. It can become a very stressful event when any of our family members become ill and are in need of medical attention.
Pet health insurance helps us afford major problems such as unexpected surgeries (when Fluffy eats a bowl of rubber bands or Fido ruptures a cruciate ligament), emergencies (like trauma and toxins), illnesses, and even wellness care-depending on the program and policy.
Who should get pet health insurance? Pet insurance is nearly always a good idea. People who should look especially at these programs are first-time pet owners, owners of large-breed dogs, people with multiple pets, and anyone without significant savings or credit. But even if you do have significant amounts of savings or credit, insurance can often cover large portions of the medical bills, making it unnecessary for you to dip into those safety nets.
Important questions to consider include the following:
- What type of coverage are you looking for? (routine and medical, medical only, etc.)
- Does the company exclude any conditions for your particular breed?
- Are they clear and upfront about the specific conditions they exclude?
- Are there any conditions that they require a “waiting period” before allowing payment of benefits when diagnosed? (for example, cruciate ligament tears, etc.)
- What is their track record for payment of benefits?
How do I choose a pet insurance company?
Admittedly, gathering this information can be daunting. Fortunately, the Pet Insurance Review website is a very helpful site that can assist you with your comparisons of the different companies and plans, as well as up-to-date consumer ratings and comments. Some questions may still need to be directly referred to a particular company, but the website is a very good place to start.
A listing of the major insurance companies, which currently offer policies and are evaluated at Pet Insurance Review, are as follows:
- Trupanion Pet Insurance
- Embrace Pet Insurance
- Pets Best
- ASPCA/Hartville Pet Health Insurance
- Petplan US
- PetFirst Healthcare
Each company’s individual website may also be directly accessed from the Pet Insurance Review website.
Does Park Grove Pet Hospital recommend any specific company?
It’s hard for us to recommend one company over the others, but our experience has been good with Trupanion, Nationwide, Pet’s Best, and Embrace. Everyone’s situation is different, and the company that is right for you may not be right for your neighbor.
If you have a purebred dog or cat, Trupanion and Embrace both cover breed-specific and hereditary concerns, so this may be of special interest to you and your pet. Please ask your veterinarian if you have any questions about insurance.
Making tough decisions easier
Pet insurance is about peace of mind: it can help you get the best care for your pet without worrying as much about the cost. Many of us have health insurance through our employers, but ask yourself: when was the last time you stopped to consider how much the surgery or medications really cost? You pay your deductible and co-pay and you’re on your way.
Your pet can’t ask you for help, but pet insurance can help you plan for the expensive, unexpected curveballs that life throws. It can enable you to say “yes” to what the veterinarian recommends to make your pet better or healthier. And since you are reimbursed for your expenses, pet insurance is accepted at any hospital, including specialty and emergency hospitals.