Health Insurance for Pets: Here’s What to Know – NBC Southern CaliforniaHealth Insurance for Pets: Here’s What to Know – NBC Southern California

Adopting a pet can change your life — and your budget.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that dog food costs about $300 annually for the average pet owner. About $225 a year goes to routine medical expenses, $185 goes to medication, and $97 would go to treats plus toys.

On top of thoses expenses, there are other fees for licenses, pet beds, clothes, accessories, and grooming.

That’s why many people consider getting pet health insurance, to at least help with expensive vet trips. But how effective the insurance is all depends on the particular coverage and needs associated with your dog.

Advantages plus Disadvantages of Pet Insurance

The nonprofit organization Consumer’s Checkbook analyzed policies offered by a dozen insurance companies, and their analysis revealed that pet insurance coverage doesn’t always save owners money on veterinary appointments.

The reason is that will most plans are quite expensive, according to Kevin Brasler associated with Consumer’s Checkbook. Many of them charge up to $250 a month by the time the pet turns ten years old, the particular age when many animals really need veterinary attention.

For creatures with few or moderate health problems, none of the policies Card holder’s Checkbook looked at proved in order to be a good deal. But if your family pet needs a lot of medical interest, insurance could be of great help.

What to Do If You Decide to Buy Pet Insurance

Brasler says pet owners should carefully read the health insurance policy contract, especially the fine print.   This may help you avoid nasty surprises when you need to use your coverage, because not all plans are the same.

Try in order to avoid contracts where companies charge a person high premiums and copays, and keep in mind that most plans don’t cover pre-existing conditions.

If a pet proprietor feels more comfortable without heavy insurance coverage, they can opt for accident coverage. Those plans are usually cheaper plus cover bills from big, unexpected veterinary visits.

Costs of Veterinary Visits

The particular cost associated with a vet visit varies from one office to the next, Brasler points out.

According to the particular Consumer’s Checkbook, the most expensive care is not usually the best.   Their evaluation highlights that some of the lowest priced vet offices received very high ratings from their customers.

This story originally appeared in Spanish on our sister station Telemundo 52’s website. Para leer en español, haga clic aquí.

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