Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost? To find out the availability of participating veterinarians in my area, I went directly to my own veterinarian. A quick phone call and I found out that, even if I did buy dog insurance, I would not be able to use it at my current vet. According to my vet, they do not accept pet insurance, the main reason being that they are rarely ever asked about it. Another reason they don’t participate is because of the cost. She told me they would have to purchase a special machine for processing claims and the insurance company would then charge them a processing fee. She did say, however, they would consider it if there were more of a demand.
Since my vet is located in a rural area, I decided to expand my research to more populated areas and called a vet in a large city to the north of me.
What I found was that pet insurance is much more commonly used and accepted in the higher populated areas. The veterinarian I spoke to in the large city told me that a number of their clients use it and they accept most, if not all, insurance.
I requested an on-line quote from two different pet insurance companies. For both quotes, I entered the information for “Panda” (my 5 1/2 year-old Border Collie) and each time I requested a quote for their most extensive policy, with a • 50.00 deductible.
Each policy covered illness (including cancer treatment) and injury but only one covered spays and neuters. One covered up to • 20,000 in veterinary costs (90% reimbursement) and the other plan covered up to • 14,000 in veterinary costs (90% reimbursement).
One plan cost a little over • 31.00 a month and the other cost a little over • 33.00 a month.
Only one of the plans I checked covered routine surgeries, such as spays and neuters. However, the plan that did not cover spays and neuters did cover kennel boarding in the event the pet’s caregiver is hospitalized and there is no one else to care for the pet. This plan also offered rewards and advertising for lost pets. Both plans covered prescriptions. Neither plan covered pre-exiting conditions.
My advice for those interested in purchasing pet insurance is to, first, find out if your veterinarian even accepts it. If he doesn’t, and you’re willing to find a new vet, then call other local vets until you do find a participating one.
Once you’ve found a vet who accepts pet insurance, ask which companies they accept. The one vet I spoke with who accepts it told me they accept all companies but that may not be the case with all vets.
Then, the fun begins! You need to do your own research to determine which company and policy best fits your needs. Maybe the pet you have is already spayed or neutered, so having a policy that covers that may not be as important to you as one that has a “wellness” program (which may or may not cost extra).
Article by Josie Anderson. Greenbee.com