Pets are often thought of as much the same as our own family members. Whether you have a cat, dog, or other pet, making sure they are healthy and happy is of the utmost importance. There are several different ways you can ensure your pet is taken care of, and one of these ways is through pet insurance. As your pet ages, they will most likely need more vet visits and more health care. Getting a pet insurance policy will help put your mind at ease in the event that your beloved pet needs serious medical treatment. It can also help with the high costs of medication and other procedures.

What is Pet Insurance?

Much like health insurance for humans, pet insurance is a premium you pay to help cover costs of different medical needs, tests, and other procedures as directed by your veterinarian. If your pet needs to have an emergency procedure, it can cost several thousand dollars in many cases. With pet insurance, you will pay the deductible, or a portion of the total cost. In addition, many pet insurance companies offer discounts on commonly prescribed medication such as heartworm, flea, and tick medicine. It also can cover tests such as X-rays. Pet insurance helps pet owners save money and gives them peace of mind in the event that their precious pet needs some kind of treatment other than normal check-ups.

The History of Pet Insurance

It might be surprising to know that pet insurance was actually created in 1924 in Sweden. Today, about 50 percent of pets in Sweden have pet insurance. By 1947, pet insurance had swept Britain, but it did not reach the United States until much later, in 1982, when it was given to America's favorite TV dog, Lassie. In 1997, a company called The Hartville Group began offering pet insurance to all U.S. dogs and cats. Soon, the idea of pet insurance was becoming more appealing, and as of 2005, more than a half-million pets were insured. Today, that number has more than doubled, with more than a million pets carrying some form of pet insurance. People are recognizing the importance of having medical insurance for their pets, and many pet owners today have some kind of coverage for their animals to both minimize costs and protect their pet's health.

How Pet Insurance and Policies Work

Pet insurance operates much like health insurance for humans. There are different types of policies that cover everything from medicine to surgery. You can choose from a variety of companies and policies that offer different levels of coverage. For people with older pets, this option is even more important: Be sure to find out which policies have good rates for older pets. There are usually deductibles that apply to pet insurance, which means that the pet owner is responsible for paying that deductible first before the remaining coverage kicks in. You can opt to change this amount to a higher or lower figure if the policy allows. Be sure to find out if your policy covers pre-existing conditions, as most do not. Some cover routine visits as well, which can help to lower your out-of-pocket costs at the vet's office.

The Benefits of Getting Pet Insurance

Taking care of a pet can be costly. That's why there are many benefits to getting pet insurance. It can help you budget your costs when taking care of a pet and help to save money for other things like food and toys. This type of insurance usually also allows you to choose the vet that you feel most comfortable with, which means there are no restrictions on where you can take your pet for its medical care. You can also get pet insurance for your animal at any age, not just when they are a puppy or kitten. Getting pet insurance will also prevent you from having to take money from other resources, such as savings or other funds delegated for emergencies, if the animal needs care. It will also help to prevent you from using a credit card to pay for surgeries and other care. Overall, pet insurance is a financial choice that can make you feel better about your pet's well-being and your family's financial well-being.