It’s an unfortunate reality of being a pet owner: you will most likely outlive your pet.
As a responsible pet owner, you will be faced with some very tough choices that may include medical treatments, or in some cases euthanasia.
I know this is a difficult subject to discuss. With the rise of specialty insurances, such as pet insurance, it makes one wonder if these services are helpful or a scam.
NBC columnist, Herb Weisbaum weights in on the pet insurance trend:
Pet Insurance: A Good Deal? Or A Rip-Off?
Is insurance the answer? When people ask me that question my answer is always the same: It depends. Buying pet insurance is both an economic and an emotional decision that needs to be based on your personal financial situation and what you’re willing to pay for peace of mind.
“If you get the right policy, it can be an asset to the health care of that pet and have a significant impact on the bill that results from a visit in an emergency situation,” says veterinarian Jean Maixner, co-owner of Animal Critical Care & Emergency Services in Seattle.
“Some people can’t afford the treatment so they ask us to euthanize their pet. It’s absolutely horrible,” Dr. Maixner says. “If people had acquired pet insurance before the emergency occurred, they might have been able to move forward with some reasonable treatment to help their pet.”
This is a bit disheartening and probably not the answer you were looking for.
Whether a pet policy is good, depends.
Unfortunately, most people considering pet insurance find themselves in a difficult situation to begin with. When most pet owners begin their search for insurance types, they’ve already experienced some kind of medical issue or problem with their furry friend.
For many, having to choose between the comfort of their pet and additional expenses can be a difficult choice to say the least.
Pet Insurance Policies ComparedCanine Journal did a lot of heavy lifting to provide the top 11 pet insurance providers. Here’s a list outlining the rankings.
First: Healthy Paws 2009
Second: Pets Best 2005
Third: Petplan U.S. 2003
AKC Pet Healthcare 2003
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance 1997
Figo 2013 (will be added to our review this year)
Nationwide acquired VPI in 2014 and started selling pet insurance as Nationwide (VPI was founded in 1982)
You might be wondering what were the pet health providers ranked on. That’s a great question. Here’s what was listed on Canine Journal:
Customer Service & Reputation
Timeliness of Claim Payment
Price of Policy
If you’re interested in purchasing a pet insurance policy, you may want to read the reviews and understand the limitations of each policy. That could save you a lot of headache and heartbreak in the long-run.
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