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How Important is Pet Insurance? Do you need it?

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Back "in the day" a trip to the vet with your pet was a catch-as-catch-can visit that ended in modest bills for shots or a 'hands-on' diagnosis. While x-rays were available and some basic blood tests were also, veterinary medicine had not reached the level it is at now.

Now with the advent of MRIs, transplants, and replacements, your bill could easily get into the thousands of dollars range. Pet insurance will cost between $2000-$6000 during your pet's lifetime. While some may feel it would be better to have the money in your pet's own bank account, there are others who would go to any extreme to restore the health or save the life of their pets.

Is It Worth It to Have Pet Insurance?

Nearly one-third of the $46.billion that Americans will spend on their pets this year will be veterinary expenses. According to the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues, "only 850,000 pet insurance policies were in effect in 2007". This opposed to the 150 million pets being kept in the United States. Although that is an increase over previous years, it still causes many people to make painful financial decisions if their pets become seriously ill.

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With the adoption of veterinary treatments that were once reserved for humans, the cost of care has grown considerably. Pets can now receive radiation therapy, MRIs, and other costly diagnostic studies that would have been overlooked in the past. Although the choice is yours as to whether you want your pet to have these treatments, it is difficult to let it go if there is a chance that one of these costly procedures could save your cat or dogs' life.

Most pet insurance companies do have deductibles, caps, and co-pays. These will limit how much is paid out annually. Any hereditary conditions, such as hip dysplasia, are not generally covered except by a few plans. Your fee will also be based on the age of your pet. Most companies will not take pets over 9 years old and the premiums are higher as a surcharge. Pre-existing conditions are generally not covered either.

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As you can see, a trip to the vet can be as financially devastating as hospitalization for you. For this reason, there are more and more people subscribing to the various companies that are offering this insurance. 

Do you need Pet Insurance? 

That is a question that only you can answer. Is your pet a member of your family? Would a painful or chronic illness be a burden to you both emotionally and financially? Do you want your pet to have the best care available at any cost? If you answer yes to any of these questions, the subscription to a pet care insurance policy may be well worth the time to investigate and invest in.

It is advisable to check with your personal veterinarian before making a choice. They are well informed as to the benefits of the different companies and can lead you in the right direction. Choosing the right policy is as important as choosing the right vet.

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