Protecting the Smallest Member of Your Family: A Step-by-step Guide to Pet Insurance
Let's face it ? Fido and Fluffy are an important part of your family. Do you want to have to assign a dollar value to them if they become sick or injured?
That may well be the case if you don't have pet health insurance. Rising veterinary costs mean that pet owners can pay hundreds ? and even thousands ? of dollars for their pets' health problems. As the bills stack up, uninsured pet owners must determine how much they are willing to spend on their animal friend. It can be a heartbreaking decision to make.
Much like insurance for health, cars and homes, pet insurance helps people put a little money away now to avoid a major payout later. Coverage and cost vary, so it's important to thoroughly research the options if you decide to insure your pet.
Step one: Determine if Pet Insurance is Right for You
When people decide to get a pet, they often don't consider how they will deal with the inevitable unexpected illnesses or accidents. Keeping a pet indoors by no means eliminates all the hazards. They can still swallow foreign objects, ingest a poison or injure themselves. As well, living indoors does not make a pet immune to disease and infection ? particularly those that are common to their breed. Pets with access to the outdoors have even more opportunities to pick up a disease or get hurt.
Don't have a dog or cat? Insurance companies are starting to offer plans that meet the needs of a variety of pet owners. Some now offer coverage for birds and exotic animals.
Not all owners are good candidates for pet insurance, however. Pet insurance is ideal for owners who deeply love their pets and are willing to spend a significant amount of money to keep them healthy and extend their life. They buy their cherished companions the best food and care they can afford, sometimes even putting their pets' needs before their own. For this type of owner, pet insurance can be a smart investment that can prevent considerable costs and bring peace of mind.
Pet insurance is not a good investment for owners who don't have a strong emotional tie to their pet. Owners who would rather have their pets euthanized than spend money on vet bills are not good candidates for pet insurance.
Step two: Decide What Type of Coverage You Want
Most pet owners will weigh two main considerations when shopping for pet insurance: budget and coverage. Peace of mind can also be an important factor, but far more difficult to quantify.
Pet health insurance is still relatively new in the United States and Canada, so the options available are fewer than for other forms of insurance. That said, North American pet owners can choose from a variety of coverage choices, ranging from injury/accident-only to all-inclusive.
As with all insurance products, the cost of pet insurance increases as the coverage improves. As a pet owner, you must decide what is the right balance between affordability and the care you want for your pet.
When choosing pet insurance coverage, first consider what kind of insurance customer you are. Do you prefer all-inclusive coverage that pays for everything from routine checkups and vaccinations to accidents and chronic illnesses, or are you comfortable with a lesser degree of coverage that just kicks in during emergencies? Perhaps you prefer a flexible plan that offers discounts on a wide range of services, from veterinary care to training. This decision will lay the groundwork for your final choice.
Some issues to consider:
* Make sure to check for coverage of pre-existing conditions as well as breed-specific genetic ailments, such as hip dysplasia for large dogs. Some plans refuse to cover these conditions.
* Some plans place limits on annual, per-incident, per-illness or lifetime costs.
* How old is your pet? Coverage usually starts at eight weeks, but some plans won't cover pets over a certain age (usually between six and 10 years old, depending on the breed, type of animal and other factors).
Payment options for pet insurance include flat fees or deductibles and/or co-payments. Not surprisingly, plans with lower monthly premiums come with higher deductibles and/or larger co-payments.
Some issues to consider:
* Insurance premiums are affected by the age, health and breed of your pet, as well as the type of animal.
* Some plans offers discounts for multiple pets.
* Plans generally require customers to pay the vet bill first and then submit receipts for reimbursement.
* Find out if the insurance premiums will increase as your pet ages.
* Depending on the plan you choose, the monthly premiums can range from less than $10 to about $40.
Step three: Choose an Insurer You've determined what you can afford to spend and the amount of pet insurance coverage you want.
Before selecting an insurer, here are some final considerations:
* Make a list of your questions and priorities in advance. Make sure to answer or check off each item when reviewing plan options.
* Research the insurer thoroughly. Review its website and sales materials, read its testimonials, talk to other pet owners and look for on-line reviews. How long has the company been in business? Are its customers satisfied? Make sure you feel comfortable about everything you hear or read.
* Compare the plan's benefit schedule with your vet's fees to determine to what degree the plan will cover the actual treatment costs.
* Find out how quickly the insurance company reimburses customers' claim payments and if it has claim deadlines.
* Read the fine print. Make sure you completely understand the plan's benefits and, more importantly, the limitations. If something isn't clear, ask ? and get the answer in writing. Otherwise, you might find you don't have the coverage you need if an accident occurs.
* Start a file for your pet. Use it for all receipts and insurance paperwork so you can keep on top of your claims and make sure you are maximizing your insurance investment.
Your responsibility as a pet owner doesn't end with food, shelter and affection. Pet health insurance can give the smallest member of your family a longer and healthier life ? and provide you with more time to enjoy the unconditional love it so willingly offers to you.
Burke Jones is a frequent contributor to Pet Health Depot.
Tips for Finding the Perfect Family Dog
If your kids have been begging you to get a family dog then this article is for you. Having a family dog can offer your family a great amount of fun and enjoyment. Having a dog can also help your kids learn about responsibilities. Of course you need to find a dog that is family friendly. The following tips will help you find the right breed to suit your needs.
The Benefits of Large Birdcages
We've all heard the phrase, "Free as a bird." In the wild, birds are free, flying from tree to tree in effortless abandon. At home, we should recreate that environment to the greatest degree possible. In general, we should buy the largest cage that will safely accommodate our feathered friend.
West Highand WhiteTerriers - Westies Dogs - Footcare Health Tips
Westies dogs' owners delight in the companionship their dogs give them during long and leisurely walks. But this activity should be one that brings pleasure to both.
Essential Oils and MRSA
Natural preventative pet care isn't a new thing but it certainly isn't fully mainstream yet. One of the challenges is being able to re-educate the public to think outside of the box. For so many years we've been told over and over again by traditional care providers that our pets need yearly vaccinations, prevention medicines for heartworm, fleas, and ticks, and feeding premium kibble. We've been told these will all lead to ultimate wellness in our pets. Nothing could be further from the truth.
How To Find a Lost Cat
Losing your cat is a worrying experience, use these 'How to find a lost cat' steps, and try to stay calm. Remember that most lost cats have not run away from home, we all know about cats and curiosity.
Our Pets Behavior
Behavior can be a huge iisue with our pets. If each dog and cat owner in the United States took the time to understand the root of their animals'
Kids and Pets, Will it Work?
How can my child benefit from having a pet?
Dog Health Conditions and Terms You Should Know...
Some Dogs like Boxers unfortunately, are prone to several potential health problems such as:
Is Your House Killing Your Dog?
You love your dog. You would do anything for your dog. Wellyour home may not be the best place for your dog to live a long and happy life.
Is A Boxer Dog The Right Pet For You?
Having a boxer dog as a pet, although low-maintenance, require your consistent attention, exercise, human interaction, consistent obedience training and lots of love. You cannot leave them to their own design for too long or they will get lonely, bored and into trouble.
What About a Newfoundland Dog
Ok, so everyone who stays on top of the show dog world knows that a Newfoundland won Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show in 2004. That was a shock to many of the traditionalists who think that the smaller and more assertive dogs are the ideal and drool does not belong on the show floor. The win also caused an inflation in the price of Newfoundland puppies, which was bad for the average income household, but good for some dog breeding operations. Despite the Westminster win, the Newfoundland breed was not elevated to the "Most Popular Breed" spot with the AKC. Which was a relief to many Newfoundland lovers who take to heart a deep responsibility for the well-being and protection of the breed.
How To Adopt A Shelter Cat - Your New Cat Will Thank You For Reading This Article
If you are thinking of adding a feline to your family, consider adopting a cat from your local animal shelter or humane society. The animals have been carefully screened for adoptability and have usually been worked with to enhance sociability.
Interesting Old Dog Tricks: For Dog Owners Looking For Fun & Laughter
The teaching and training of dog tricks while not a necessary part of a dog's education, is an achievement that offer dog owners and his friends a great deal of amusement and adds materially to the value of a dog.
The Story Of My Amazing Dog Shandy
This is the story of my dog called Shandy. He was my favourite pet and he was very lively, lots of fun and very obedient. His main passion in life was to be taken for a long walk, culminating with a big run out in his favourite park.
Decorating for The Cat Owner - How to Protect Your Possessions
The first thing a cat owner should know about home décor is to keep it simple. Cats are completely convinced that they are in charge, that the house and its possessions belong to them, and that they have every right to break rip or shred anything they like. Even a well trained cat (a possible oxymoron) will occasionally get overzealous, and with an inadvertent sweep of their tail will knock your favorite decoration from its place to a pile on the floor.
Wooden Bird Cages
Gone are the days of boring bird cages. Today's bird cages are trendy. They are stylish. They make a statement about the owner's taste and lifestyle. Bird cages can blend in artfully with the décor or they can stand in bold contrast. Bird cages are available in many different themes and styles. Modern, whimsical, simplistic, Victorian, Oriental, Tuscan, Arabian -bird cages are available in these styles and more.
Surprising Health Benefits for Pet Owners
Did you know that there are key health benefits that canresult from owning a pet? Having one can enhance yourphysical, mental and social wellbeing.
Are Your Fish Sick?
Keeping a fish tank is a wonderful and relaxing hobby, but it can turn stressful if your fish start to die off. The most common cause of fish disease is poor water quality so it is vital that you perform regular maintenance on the tank, making sure you do a partial water change periodically and clean out any waste or uneaten food so it does not decay and poison the water.
Characteristics Of The Boxer
Is A Boxer Right For You?
West Highland White Terriers - Make Your Westie Famous
The West Highland White Terrier or Westie, has it's origin, as the name suggests, in the western Scottish Highlands. They were originally bred for controlling the population of rats, fox, otter and other vermin
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013