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Why You Might Consider Pet Insurance for 2014—Plus, What It Is and How It Works

Why You Might Consider Pet Insurance for 2014—Plus, What It Is and How It Works

Posted Dec 06, 2013 by Jenifer Dorsey

We love our pets. They keep us company and can provide benefits for our physical and mental health. And more and more of us are welcoming them into our families. Approximately 62 percent of American households have pets these days. The number of dogs and cats in U.S. households has increased from 67 million to 164 million, according to recent estimates from The Humane Society of the United States.

An important part of caring for our animal family members is planning for their veterinary care—who will provide it, what we will do in an emergency situation, how we will pay for all medical expenses from the routine to the unexpected. More and more U.S. households are budgeting pet insurance into their family’s annual health care benefits. The cost of medical care for pets is higher than many of us think, and pet insurance can help take the shock and bite out of veterinary expenses.

How does pet insurance work?
After you pay you selected deductible, which often ranges from $100 to $500, pet insurance reimburses you for treatment related to emergency visits, prescription medications, cancer treatments, lab tests, X-rays and more. Reimbursement is often around 80 percent for covered services.

How much does pet insurance cost and what does it include?
Pet insurance plan premiums start at less than $1 per day. Coverage, such as that offered by healthedeals.com partner plans, include:

  • The ability to use any licensed veterinarian or emergency center anywhere in the world
  • Quick claims processing and direct deposit reimbursement
  • No upper age limit for pets
  • Optional coverage for vaccinations, routine exams and more.

Do I really need pet insurance?
For many households, it can mean the difference between a beloved companion receiving much-needed medical care or not. When planning for your own health insurance and health care expenses for the year, think about pet medical costs as well. How much can you pay for their care should an unexpected accident or illness occur? Are you financially able to pay for medical treatment beyond routine exams and vaccinations?

Consider this claims data from Pets Best Insurance and Trupanion, which reflects current costs for common accidents and illnesses:

  • $10,496 – long-term diabetes medications and bloodwork
  • $7,815 – long-term medication and surgery for hip dysplasia
  • $5,351 – for cancer chemotherapy
  • $3,717 – emergency surgery for a fractured pelvis after being hit by a car
  • $2,000 to $5,000 – broken leg
  • $1,300 to $3,000 – surgical removal of ingested items such as rocks or toys
  • $1,000 to $2,500 – treatment for chronic conditions such as diabetes or arthritis

Pet insurance can help ease the financial impact through reimbursement for covered expenses, which may include many of these expenses. Talk to your veterinarian or a pet insurance plan advisor to discuss whether or not pet insurance is right for your four-legged companion and what options to look for in a plan.

How do I find pet insurance?
Visit healthedeals.com or petsbest.com to learn more about pet insurance and find the right plan.

Did you know more than 50 percent of Swedish pets have pet insurance? For more facts on pet insurance here in America, see the healthedeals.com infographic Pet Insurance in the United States.

Jenifer Dorsey is a freelance writer whose specialties include health and fitness, wellness, sports and recreation. She is a competitive amateur track cyclist who also enjoys mountain biking, hiking, camping and other outdoor adventure. Jenifer received a B.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and is an MFA candidate at Naropa University. She lives in Colorado.