Pet Insurance

What is it, Who is it for, and Why Should You Get It ?

By: Bob Baker DVM 536604_279328702147215_148247985255288_629051_1974042811_n

More and more people are opting to purchase health insurance for their pets.  Health care costs have been rising steadily each year, and advancements in the procedures and equipment in veterinary medicine have led to higher and higher fees.  Most of this is driven by the cost of medical equipment and drugs, much of it the same as in human medicine and influenced by the same economic factors.  There is also an increase in demand from pet owners for state of the art diagnostic equipment and the newest technology for delivering health care and these technologies are expensive to acquire.

The result of this is higher fees usually across the board for the pet owning population.  For better or worse, insurance on the human side of medicine has become large part of the health care delivery system.  This is not the case in veterinary medicine, but insurance is becoming  a rising factor of how pet owners manage the expenses of veterinary care for their pet.

dog-take-ibuprofenThe first thing to remember  when considering pet insurance is  that it is completely different from human insurance.   In veterinary health insurance, the client pays the veterinary provider directly and is reimbursed by the insurance company. This also eliminates veterinary offices only excepting or working with certain companies.  With our office we will submit a claim for any insurance company.  Second, pre-existing conditions ARE excluded by most insurance companies.

In an “average pet” life expectancy you are going to pay more in premiums each year than you are likely to pay if you paid as you went. If you have the discipline to take the money you would have paid in insurance premiums and banked it specifically for your pet’s health care, you would “on average” come out a little ahead.  You can think of pet insurance as an enforced 5073b95e64c1f36647afb72075c09a73savings plan for health care for your pet.  In some cases, where a pet is very healthy and you don’t have much health care costs…you will end up losing money over the pet’s life expectancy.  On the other hand, if you have a pet that is accident prone (IE..lacerations, eating things it shouldn’t, etc), or ends up with a chronic illness (IE.. ear infections, skin/eye issues, renal disease, cancer, etc), you will definitely save money in the long run.  With some cases getting into the thousands of dollars, this can be a financially saving device for people, affording people to take care of their pets where they would not have the opportunity before.
There are too many companies providing pet insurance to list, and companies have different plans to suit individual needs of the client. Plans can include everything from basic medical coverage, to complete health maintenance programs including vaccinations and dental care.
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We at Baring have started promoting Trupanion. They offer some of the best coverage out there and the client care is above and beyond. For more information on Pet Insurance, please contact our office and one of the members of our staff can go over it with you.