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Some basic plans start at $10.00 a month, while more extravagant plans cost upward of $400.00 a month. Since no two pet insurance plans are exactly the same, you should research each policy before making a choice that best fits your needs. The following questions are important to keep in mind when determining if pet insurance is worth the expense:
What's covered? Look over several plans from different companies before making a provider selection. Make sure the plan you choose defines clearly what is and what is not covered. For some pet owners, pet insurance is a safeguard for future catastrophes, such as sudden accidents or the emergence of a serious illness. For others, the coverage they choose applies to every vet visit, including checkups.
What's not covered? There is more to picking insurance plans then finding out what is covered by insurance. You need to also know what is not covered so you can compare plans to one another and so you are prepared when your pet needs a test or procedure that is not covered.
Are hereditary illnesses and conditions covered? If you own a purebred animal, they may be prone to a breed specific condition. For example, German Shepard's are likely to develop hip dysphasia, and Labrador's are often inflicted with eye problems.
What's the deductible? Is there a co-pay? Be sure to understand what you are expected to pay for and exactly how much. You don't want to pick an insurance that covers little if anything.
What (if any) is the age limit for a pet to be covered? The best time to purchase pet insurance is when your pet is just a puppy. As pets get older they require more care, especially later in their lives, and the premium goes through the roof or coverage no longer exists.
So who is pet insurance for? Pet insurance is best suited for pets that are young and healthy. Pet insurance is also a good investment if you:
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Don't take a good vet for granted, that's what I say. I currently live in another state and have taken my 10 year old dog to numerous vets over the years (California, Colorado, Vegas, and then some). Never have I ever received the attention and care I've gotten w/Dr. Hines. Within the past 3 months alone, my dog went to 3 different vets for a horrible and painful skin problem that broke out all over her body.
The first vet: I spent more time ponying up the $175 for the visit than the Dr. spent actually looking at my dog. He performed a woods lamp exam for ringworm. Even without Google or a veterinary degree, I could tell it wasn't ringworm. Thanks for taking my money.
Second vet: "Here's some spray, now here's your bill. Bring her back in two weeks so I can charge you another visit." No tests, nothing.
Between the two, I felt like I got nowhere. No definitive answer on why this affected my dog and the medication given wasn't even for a diagnosed condition. Just some general topical spray. I could have bought it at Petsmart and saved myself the time and money.
Recently, on a visit to Idaho, I planned ahead to bring my dog to the Rupert Animal Clinic. I asked the same questions, had the same concerns and now have different results. Dr. Hines gave me options on what route to take, ran appropriate tests and communicated with me every step of the way (even calling me personally when test results came in). My primary concern was cancer. Our dog is like our child- we'll pay the money if we can keep her healthy and safe. In the future, I've resolved to bring my dog to Rupert Animal Clinic on our annual trip for all of her exams. I know she won't be treated as a little cash cow to exploit an owner's love for pets.