Deciding Whether or Not to Buy Pet Insurance

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As with people, dogs or cats get older and often end up having health problems towards the ends of their lives. In addition, many pets also suffer from other conditions for their entire lives making it costly to maintain your pets’ health.

For this reason, many pet owners are beginning to grapple with deciding whether or not they need to purchase health insurance for their pets.

The pet insurance market has actually increased 26 percent each year since 2001 thus emphasizing the fact that more and more people are beginning to consider the financial positives in buying into pet insurance. At the same time, only about 3 percent of dogs and 1 percent of cats in the United States are insured which also signifies the fact that many people may not be ready to take that leap into pet health insurance.

When most people think about it, they view health insurance for an animal as something rather ridiculous, a luxury that is really only for humans.

However, with so many people placing a lot of stock in their pets as near family members, consideration of pet health insurance is relevant. However, deciding what kind of insurance can be just as complicated as figuring out human health insurance coverage. Knowledge of the policy coupled with asking the right kinds of questions is the only way to go to get the best deal and most for your pet.

Today, everyone from Wells Fargo to Home Deport offers pet insurance to employees. In 2003, there were about 800 employers offering pet health insurance. Today, that figure has more than doubled.

If you are considering insurance for your dog or cat, the first question to ask yourself is how extensive you want the coverage to be. Some policies will cover everything from checkups and vaccinations to spay or neuter surgeries. Other policies only cover accidents or illnesses.

In addition, do not automatically assume that the cheapest insurance is the best because you could still end up footing a large amount of the bill when it comes to paying the co-pays.

Incidentally, if you decide to get insurance while your dog or cat is still young, you will generally have to pay less. However, if you decide to get insurance and your pet is already older, it will obviously be more costly as insurance companies will assume that your pet will be more prone to health problems.

In general, pet insurance is not that much more different from human healthcare insurance. You have to decide if the veterinarian you currently have will be covered by insurance or even if the insurance policy you choose is licensed in the state you live in.

As an insurance owner, you will also have to find out how long claims will take to process and whether your pet’s pre-existing conditions will be covered.

Check out A.M. Best ( which rates insurance policies for more help in making your decision.