Does My Dog Really Need Insurance?

Interesting dog fact, the very first pet insurance policy was issued in 1982 to cover the dog playing Lassie on television. Today, an estimated 20 million cats and dogs have their own insurance policy in the United States. The pet insurance industry is growing rapidly and insurance for your pet is increasing in popularity.

According to the National Pet Owners Survey- eighty percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet. This is up from 56 percent of U.S. households in 1988, the first year the survey was conducted. And if you’re one of these 85 million pet parents, you already know how expensive your little furry friend can be.

My Mumford <3

My Mumford <3

About a year ago, my four-legged dog child, Mumford, ate some type of unidentified foreign object. To this day it’s still a mystery what he ate or how he found it. All I know is one morning at 4 am I awoke to the sounds of him repeat vomiting. It was not pleasant. Poor guy had gotten into something and it was causing him pain and discomfort. And as a responsible dog mom, I had to do whatever was needed to make him feel better.

So three days later, after multiple x-rays, blood tests, and some induced vomiting, he was finally better. The foreign object was gone from his system and he was my normal crazy mischievous pup again.

But - it wasn’t cheap.

My three-day vet bill was $3,200. Luckily, as an insurance agent, I was aware of pet insurance and had gotten Mumford a policy shortly after adopting him. My policy covered my entire pet bill, minus the deductible. Some people may not see the need for getting a pet insurance policy, but I was very thankful I had mine. I would hate to ever have to make a choice of not getting the best care for my pet because it was too expensive. Having pet insurance, you never have to make that choice.

Multiple pictures of Mumford are necessary for this blog:)

Multiple pictures of Mumford are necessary for this blog:)

So what do you look for in pet insurance? Not all policies are the same, so here are 5 tips to help you make the best choice.

  1. Coverage. Look closely at covered medical expenses, and more importantly, expenses not covered.

  2. Annual deductible vs. per condition deductible. Once you have met your chosen annual deductible, you no longer pay a deductible for the remainder of your annual policy period. A per condition deductible assigns deductibles per incident or condition—meaning cancer treatment may be subjected to a separate deductible than an ear infection. An annual deductible typically reimburses you more than per incident or per condition deductible.

  3. Reimbursement. Not all companies pay on the actual veterinary bill, and some don’t cover the examination fees.

  4. Claims Limits. Some companies apply claim limits per incident, per year, or over the pet’s lifetime.

  5. Pre-existing Conditions. Pet insurers do not cover pre-existing conditions; however not all prior conditions are considered chronic, and some pet insurance companies have a time-frame after which curable conditions may again be covered.

At Burgett, Ross & Associates we partner with Figo Pet Insurance. It’s the insurance I have for Mumford and I think they have the best coverage. So, if you want to insure your pet’s health to ensure you never have to make a tough choice between money or care, get a quote today and see if pet insurance is right for your furry best friend.