Clients often wonder if they should purchase pet insurance. Every animal has needs to be met: physical needs (food, bed, water) security (shelter, restraint) healthcare and love. Love we can provide freely however, physical needs, security needs and healthcare cost money.
There have been great advances in medicine and diagnostics over the last two decades and veterinarians have many more options when it comes to diagnosing and treating your pet. The pet’s status in the household has also changed over this time-period. They are not just a pet but have become a member of the family. Client’s expectation of healthcare for their pets has also expanded. As medical science advances, veterinarians are able to provide new treatments to help pets recover from illness or injury. But this has also led to more expensive procedures.
There are major expenses within the first year of life of a puppy or a kitten, Moderate expenses can be expected for the annual health check, vaccines, and flea and heartworm protection.
However, additional expense(s)should be planned for. Pets come to the clinic with lacerations, abscesses, torn ligaments, broken bones, porcupine quills, poisonings and any number of other ailments. As pets age, other major illnesses or conditions can affect them over their lifetime.
The question one should ask themselves is: “Can I financially handle the sudden expense of a trauma or major illness should one affect my pet?” If the answer is no, then pet insurance may be the answer for you. There are several companies that offer pet insurance. Like any other insurance, you must do your homework and read the fine print.
Most companies do not provide coverage for regular maintenance (eg. annual health check, vaccinations, flea and heartworm protection) or pre-existing conditions. The more extensive the policy coverage the higher the cost of the policy premium. Some breeds will also cost more than other breeds. It can be complicated.
There is an excellent resource on the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) website on this topic. The website discusses the value of pet insurance and the types of coverage available. The site also gives advice as to what to look for in a policy and provides a list of questions you should ask when choosing an insurance provider. Check it out at https://www.ovma.org/pet-owners/pet-insurance .
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