Dr. Will would very much like all his pet owners to seriously consider purchasing pet insurance for all puppies, kittens, or newly adopted pets under the age of 2 years.
As a veterinarian, I have been blessed to work in an area where people have the financial means to care for their furry family members. That said, I understand that veterinary care can be expensive. I recently returned from a conference where I am happy to report that the future of treatment for dogs and cats is very bright. Like in human medicine, the power of genomics is being harnessed to make specific gene therapies to battle cancer, arthritis, and many other diseases. Many people are not aware that veterinarians actually diagnose cancer and arthritis more often than human doctors. These potential treatments are potentially world changing and life saving – but they will come at a cost.
Which is why I wanted to talk about pet insurance. I understand that many people don’t trust insurance companies. I also understand that many people are insurance poor – we pay car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, life insurance, … Now I want to talk about pet insurance? I can see the eyes rolling as you read this. However, please hear me out.
Pet insurance companies are betting that your pet will be healthy and you won’t need or use the insurance – true. Many owners do get pet insurance and cancel it after a few years because they feel they are paying for something they are not using. The problem being this. You need to sign up your pets when they are young and healthy to avoid exclusions. You need to be willing to pay when your pet is healthy – that is how insurance companies make money. The pay off for pet insurance comes when:
1>A young animal has an unexpected illness or accident
2>A senior pet needs healthcare
It is sad when a young pet has an accident or unexpected illness and the owner is stretched thin, and struggles to afford the veterinary bills. Owners with pet insurance have less to worry about in these situations.
It is sad when pets get older and the costs of medical tests and treatments increase dramatically. This also puts strain on many household budgets. I anticipate this to get worse as the newer treatments for cancer and arthritis are released.
Pet insurance allows you to make low monthly payments when times are good. And it pays for things when the worst case scenario happens. Or when pets are older and need more care. Honestly, I have never met a pet owner who maintained pet insurance into their pet’s senior years and regretted it. I’ve met quite a few people who have regretted NOT purchasing pet insurance when they needed it. The only people I have seen regret pet insurance are those that made payments for a young dog who was healthy for a few years, didn’t use it, and canceled it before they needed it.
I anticipate pet insurance will start becoming more and more popular as veterinary medicine improves and new treatments become available. There are many options available and, like human insurance, you should shop around and see what is available. Look for the best deal and tell the companies that you are shopping around and comparing. Make sure you ask questions and understand what it is they cover and do not cover. You won’t regret it if you take the time to understand what you are buying and how it works.
Pet ownership and proper veterinary care is expensive. Pet insurance is a way of budgeting for this and spreading out the costs. It can be a life saver – literally and figuratively – for many families when pets are unexpectedly injured or sick or for the proper care of pets in their senior years.
I hope this helps. If you have any questions regarding pet insurance, please don’t hesitate to call Byron animal Clinic at (519) 472-3770.
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