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August is Pet Insurance Month!
It is a nightmare for many pet owners, that unexpected visit to the veterinarian where there is a difficult diagnosis and an expensive treatment. Very few of us are in a position to spend several hundred or a thousand dollars at short notice for advanced diagnostics or a life-saving procedure. Everyone is already anxious for their beloved pet, but now additionally, there are financial worries. There is a straight-forward solution to this financial problem: pet insurance.
Pet insurance generally covers your pet’s medical bills for diagnostics and treatment of illness and trauma. Years ago it was unheard of, but now there are many companies that offer pet insurance plans for cats, dogs and horses. Just like any insurance for car or home, there is a wide selection of plans available. Some only cover emergencies, like a pet who has been hit by a car, other more comprehensive plans cover illness and preventive care. Ongoing treatment for very manageable conditions like diabetes and thyroid disease can get expensive over time, but many plans cover the cost of the medications and blood tests if they are diagnosed after the policy comes into effect. Some plans may even cover boarding fees if you have to leave your home during a natural disaster. And just like those other insurance plans, the devil is in the detail. Before you purchase pet insurance, make sure you read all the fine-print to know what it covers and what it does not. If you travel a lot, find out if you can get out-of-country protection for when you travel with your pet.
The price of pet insurance is tied to both the coverage a plan offers and also the deductible you have to pay before the insurance kicks in. Take a few minutes to look at this. The more comprehensive the plan, the more expensive; but also the greater the likelihood that you will use some of those insurance benefits. Deductibles can sometimes be per illness, or per calendar year. This can be an important factor especially with older animals who might get multiple illness in the same year, or develop a chronic illness requiring ongoing treatment and monitoring. Some companies allow you to customize your deductible; a higher deductible will lower the month premium, while others maybe more comfortable with a higher monthly premium in exchange for a much lower deductible.
The best source for information on a particular pet insurance is directly from the company that issues it. Most of them have good websites that are easily found by Googling: “pet insurance Canada”. But if you need help deciding on a policy, your veterinarian and veterinary technician can provide you with the benefit of their experience. Though we hope you never need insurance, we know how much easier it is to cope with a sudden illness or trauma when the financial worry is gone. Enjoy the rest of the summer sun and remember to keep your pets safe.