Pet Health Insurance: Luxury or Necessity?

Pet Health Insurance companies are springing up everywhere. In a time of economic recession, is pet insurance a luxury most people can’t afford? In actuality, pet insurance is quickly becoming something most pet owners need to treat their pet before something major happens. It isn’t a way to save money on veterinary care, it’s actual insurance. It’s much more like car or home insurance than human health or dental insurance.

Emergencies, accidents and illnesses are a fact of life when you have pets. Many people comment on the cost of veterinary care, comparing it to their affordable health insurance co-pay. We all know that health insurance premiums have been sky-rocketing over the past several years and that the co-pay is only a portion of what health care truly costs. Many of us are not prepared financially to pay for sudden, unexpected veterinary care. That’s where pet insurance can truly help.

Pet insurance allows you to visit any veterinarian, whether it’s a general practitioner, a specialist or an emergency provider. There are no networks, and no pre-authorization is required or necessary.

Let’s look at car insurance as a comparison. If you are in an automobile accident and your car requires several thousand dollars worth of repairs, what do you do? Typically, you will visit your collision repair shop, obtain an estimate and agree to services to repair damages to your car. You would pay for these services and submit a claim to your car insurance provider. You would then receive reimbursement for your expenses, minus your selected deductible. Pet insurance works in exactly this manner! If your pet has a serious accident or illness, you would visit the veterinarian of your choice for treatment. You would pay for your pet’s veterinary care, then submit a claim to your pet insurance company for reimbursement. You would receive direct payment from your insurance company, minus your deductible.

Several years ago, most companies had pre-existing condition clauses that prevented some pet owners from obtaining affordable insurance for their pets, especially if they were older or had already suffered a major illness. Today, there are many choices available and pre-existing conditions and the ages of pets are treated differently. To find pet insurance that fits the needs of your individual pet, go to for an overview of available plans in the U.S., along with costs and comparisons.

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