Pet health insurance: What does it cover & is it worth it?

A severely obese dog, Vincent has lost over 20 pounds, thanks to K-9 Angels Rescue group, who saved him from the county shelter.

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Dogs are a man’s best friend but if you have one, you know it can be an expensive friend when it comes to health care. It’s why more and more people are opting for pet health insurance to ease the financial pain.

For many of us, our pets are like another child that you’d spare no expense for but the bill gets pretty high when there’s an emergency It’s why pet health insurance is becoming more common.

“The industry has evolved to take into account the growing expenses of veterinary care,” said Katerina Cavanagh, a veterinary technician at Central Animal Hospital in North Haven.

Cavanagh says an average visit costs about $1,500: that includes things like x-rays, blood work, maybe an overnight stay and medication. That’s just the basics. When X-Rays, surgeries and specialists are thrown in it can run upwards of $4-$5,000. It’s when the money spent on insurance may pay off.

“I’ve seen some policies that are probably $300-$400 a year for a decent policy that will pay on a claim 80-90%,” she said.

But Cavanagh says, the policies will cost you and not everything is covered so it’s important you research what your pet may need and what the coverage provides. Some people have found it’s not worth it.

“They need to determine if the policy is going to cover congenital abnormalities, many do not, they need to determine if it will cover pre-existing conditions, many do not,” Cavanagh added.

She says providers are mostly willing to help you find some coverage if you want it and pick a deductible you’re comfortable with, but it may be difficult to get coverage at all if you wait for something to happen.

If you are thinking about getting insurance, it’s definitely not a “one size fits all” situation when it comes to the policies. Here’s a look at a comparison chart provided to us by Central Hospital.


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