We’re fortunate to live in a time when there are advances in veterinary health care almost every day. Dogs are benefitting from many of the same treatments that are now available to humans. Unfortunately, some of those treatments are also very costly and not everyone can afford them if their dog has a serious health problem. That’s why puppy health insurance is something that you may want to consider.
Pet health insurance is not quite the same as human health insurance. Pet insurance companies typically pay for claims after they are submitted by the owner. The owner usually has to pay the vet the full amount first. Otherwise, pet insurance can vary, depending on the company and the country. Some companies pay for total care or just for part of your pet’s care. Some payments are based on percentages of the total amount of the bill. Some companies will pay if a pet is lost or stolen. Some companies will pay when a pet dies.
Some pet insurance companies offer preventive care, such as vaccinations, and some do not. And some cover elective procedures such as neutering, while others don’t. Comprehensive coverage that would include dental care, prescription drugs for pets, and alternative therapies such as acupuncture may also be covered by some plans.
Many companies will limit coverage for “pre-existing” conditions which is why puppy health insurance can be a good idea. Most puppies will not have any pre-existing conditions so you are unlikely to face this limiting factor. If your puppy should develop a condition, you will already be covered.
Obviously, many companies offer different policies so customers are able to choose the amount of coverage they want for their pet. The more coverage your pet has (i.e., the more conditions covered, such as preventive care), the more expensive the policy. However, if your pet has a major catastrophic injury or develops cancer, a pet insurance policy can often literally be a life saver. Many pet owners could not afford the vet care for a pet otherwise.
At this time pet insurance is more popular in Europe and some other countries than it is in the United States, where an estimated 1.04 million pets were insured in 2012 (out of a total pet population of 165 million), or 0.65 percent. Nevertheless, there are approximately 10 well-known pet insurers in the U.S. and Canada and the number of pets being insured is growing in North America.