Should I get pet insurance? That’s a question veterinarian Charles L. Starr III is asked weekly. Health care for humans is quite the topic of conversation these days. But according to Charles L. Starr III, when it comes to pets we tend to look the other way. Many times a client tells me, “Our pets are our kids!” shares Charles L. Starr III. If we truly feel that way, shouldn’t we rethink their coverage?
Health changes over time. Accidents happen. Charles L. Starr III acknowledges when exorbitant bills hit unexpectedly, we’re in shock. Pets can also live a very long time. It’s not uncommon to see pets in the 13 -18 year range, states Charles L. Starr III. One of his patients recently had lost the use of its back legs, and Charles L. Starr III says that x-rays could not locate the problem. It was the CAT scan that discovered a moth-eaten looking tumor on the spine. That procedure allowed the patient the knowledge and confirmation needed to make final decision, explains Charles L. Starr III. While the cost of the treatment was high, their tax refund was used to cover their bill.
Although pet insurance may not be for everyone, Charles L. Starr III offers some basic considerations. First, insurance providers should provide details about limitations and exclusions of routine coverage, wellness, emergency treatments and conditions that require extensive care. Charles L. Starr III encourages asking if premiums will increase as your pet ages or if you place claims. Charles L. Starr III advises to also check for add-on options such as travel insurance or dental care.
In addition, says Charles L. Starr III, ask about pre-existing diseases or conditions. Some providers do not accept specific pets or breeds while others limit the number of insured pets. Inquire about multiple pet discounts, offers Charles L. Starr III. Be sure you fully understand the policy and any limitations. Is it a reimbursement plan? Are you allowed to select the veterinarian? Charles L. Starr III suggests asking about co-pays, deductibles, add-on charges and other fees. Most veterinarians offer payment options, reminds Charles L. Starr III, so ask about these ahead of time in order to prevent last minute stress.