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Is Pet Insurance Worth the Money?

Pet owners do not share a universal opinion on pet insurance. Whether an owner thinks it's worth the investment or would rather take his chances with out-of-pocket costs, all pet owners understand why it exists. Pet care can prove very expensive over time.

From food to preventive medication to routine veterinarian visits, having a pet is a financial commitment. Should that pet become injured or ill, most pet owners want to do what's in their power to fix the problem as quickly and effectively as possible.

But medical procedures on animals can be expensive. According to Costopedia, the average medical procedure on cats and dogs ranges from $500 to $2500. These prices may vary depending on the length of stay in an animal hospital or the general health of the pet being treated. Furthermore, as technology and information have proliferated, so has the cost of routine veterinary procedures.

Pet health insurance provides a means to reducing out-of-pocket costs on veterinary procedures. Just as with any type of insurance, a person is paying a monthly premium with the hope that nothing will happen, but being ready if any issue does arise. It may seem like pet insurance can be a waste of money, but it's no more a waste than health insurance for humans.

Unless money is especially tight, pet insurance can be a good investment, especially for those who would do anything to maintain the health of their pets. Insurance policies can vary depending on coverage chosen, theft of the animal or even death. Some policies may also include coverage for dental, physical therapy, medical devices, kennel fees, and even behavioral treatment.

Unlike medical insurance programs for people, pets don't need referrals and are not restricted to visiting in-plan doctors. Instead of billing the insurance company, the vet will bill the pet owner, who, in turn, submits a claim to the insurance company for reimbursement.

As with humans, pet insurance rates may fluctuate depending on the age and overall health of the animal at the time he or she is being insured. There are some policies that insure the animal regardless of health, breed or age. Pet owners can customize plans to meet their budgets.

Surprisingly, pet insurance is relatively inexpensive. It may be as inexpensive as $10 per month. Those that cover routine veterinary care in addition to special procedures may cost more.

It's a wise idea to purchase pet insurance shortly after the pet is acquired. This way the animal is free of pre-existing conditions and in good health. A veterinarian may be able to suggest a plan; otherwise pet owners can browse online and research different policies. There may even be discounts for multiple pets.