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paw print Is Dog Insurance Right for You?

When I was growing up our house was always full of pets. Back then I never realized how much money went into taking care of them since my parents were always the ones footing the bills. Well now that I’m an adult with a dog of my own, boy was I in for a rude awaking the first time I saw the vet bill. It got me thinking about all those commercials I’ve seen on TV for dog insurance and if it was something worth pursuing.

Pet coverage can cost $2,000 to $6,000 over the average life span of a dog, but the chances anyone would actually spend that much on a treatment is pretty small. Most people would be better off putting the money they’d spend on premiums into a savings account. However, there are those out there that would do anything for their dogs and would be willing to spend thousands of dollars on medical care. In that case, dog insurance might be a good choice instead of the alternative: going into debt.

I bet you’d be surprised at how easy it is to find a dog insurance provider. Insurers have teamed up with Petco Animal Supplies and American Kennel Club to offer insurance and more than 1,600 companies (including Office Depot and Google) offer coverage through their employee benefit packages. But just like regular health insurance, you need to be aware of what a plan actually covers before purchasing it. Some plans won’t cover pre-existing problems or hereditary conditions and some won’t even cover pets over the age of 9.

Before purchasing any insurance plan, do your homework and consider the follow:

  • Shop around- Policies and premiums can greatly differ. It’s important to pay attention not just to the monthly or annual cost, but also the differences in co-pays, deductibles, and caps, which could limit payouts by incident, annually or the dog’s lifetime. Ask the insurer if there are discounts on insuring multiple pets or if your employer offers dog insurance as a benefit.
  • Scrutinize policies- The conditions that will most likely to afflict your dog, are usually the ones excluded from a policy.
  • Build up your savings- A Consumer Reports showed that pet owners with insurance might actually end up spending more money on their animals than those without.
  • Check with your state- Like human health insurers, pet insurers should be registered with your state.
  • Check out this article if you would like more information on where or not dog insurance is right for you.

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