Dog and Chat: Is Pet Insurance a Worthwhile Investment?

When it comes to their pets, many pet owners will go to great lengths to ensure the comfort, happiness, and health of their animal companions. Advances in veterinary care have helped pets live longer and healthier lives than ever before.

Advances in pet health care can prolong pets’ lives, but that can sometimes come at a steep price. Pet owners continually face the difficult challenge of whether medical intervention is necessary and financially feasible. A pet insurance policy can make such dilemmas easier to navigate.

An Associated Press survey found that 41 percent of pet owners are extremely or somewhat worried they could not afford the medical bills if their pets became ill. According to the American Pet Products Association, pet owners spend between $220 and $250 per year on average on routine well vet visits for their cats and dogs. But unforeseen surgeries and emergencies can set pet owners back several thousand dollars.

Some emergencies are far more costly than others. Veterinary Pet Insurance says the average cost for a vet to extract a dog’s tooth is $829. But repairing torn cartilage can cost nearly $2,700.

Individuals with elderly pets or breeds prone to genetic disorders may be wise to look into pet insurance to defray some of their vet costs. Keep in mind that pet insurers are allowed to refuse coverage for preexisting conditions and can set annual limits and lifetime payout limits.N0452640H

Here are some reasons why pet insurance can be a worthwhile investment.

• Pet insurance typically allows policyholders to choose their own veterinarians. Such policies do not typically mandate that pets be taken to particular doctors to have their costs covered.

• Pet insurance allows pet owners to make decisions based on the best interest of the pet and not on their financial situations.

• Insurance offers peace of mind because many plans reimburse up to 80 percent after deductibles are met. Some plans even offer multi-pet discounts.

Pet insurance is a relatively new, but growing industry. Veterinary Pet Insurance issued its first policy in 1982. Consumers can now shop around and find the best options for their needs.

Pet insurance is an option for pet owners who want to provide for their companion animals. Such insurance can be a sound financial decision that gives pet owners peace of mind.

Here are some of the best pet insurance companies of 2017 as compiled by Consumer Advocate (please note, Home and Garden NJ is not affiliated with any of the following companies and we do not endorse any particular pet insurance company).

Healthy Paws -
Pet Plan -
Embrace -
Nationwide -
Pet First -
Pets Best -