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Why you should consider getting pet health insurance, how it differs from human insurance

In the U.S., we are living with about 78 million dogs and 86 million cats, and bout 60% of households have some sort of pet at home! 

September is National Pet Insurance Month, and Tom Dock of Noah’s Animal Hospitals joined us Monday on “Life.Style.Live!” to discuss why you may want to consider getting health insurance for your pet. Here’s more from him:

With concerns about inflation and the cost of veterinary care, many pet lovers are looking for ways to make sure that their furry friends are protected from accidents, injuries or illness, as well as protecting their wallets. Some will turn to Pet Insurance 

Pet insurance is quite popular in Europe and the UK, but here in the US, only about 2 million pets have some sort of policy. How does pet insurance work? 

The most important thing to know about pet insurance is that it does NOT work like human insurance. In most cases, pet insurance will REIMBURSE you after you have paid the veterinarian for services.   

Like other insurances, you will pay a premium regularly as well as having a deductible.  In return, the insurance company will help to offset the costs of an unexpected veterinary visit, such as an accident or a sudden illness. The vital point here is that you should still be prepared to pay your veterinarian! 

There are many different pet insurance companies available to compare plans. Examples include Nationwide, Trupanion, Embrace, and many others. You can look at how the different companies stack up against each other by visiting review sites such as Buyers Guide.org

Look for differences in premium rates, how much of a deductible you can expect to pay, as well as different coverages. Some companies will cover wellness care, others only pay for injury and illness. 

Consider how this will impact YOUR monthly budget. For some people, pet insurance ends up being life-saving, but for others, they pay premiums month after month and their pet never gets sick.  Would it be better to put that money into a savings account? 

The time to look for pet insurance is BEFORE you need it! Don’t wait until you are faced with a pet emergency to make plans for how you will pay for that visit. 

Other financing options include programs like CareCredit, ScratchPay or even keeping a separate credit card just for pet related expenses.