KA-CHING! Pet or family member?

KA-CHING! Pet or family member?

Is your dog worth a $5,000 veterinary bill? The relationship we have with our pets has evolved when it comes to how we view their health and well being – but $5,000!?!?! Well, think about this scenario.

For five years, Buddy, the family dog, has bestowed unrequited love upon all members of your household. One evening, though, he just lies on the floor of the kitchen right through the dinner hour not even asking for the odd table scrap. A pat on the stomach produces a rare twinge and a firmer probe of the fingers on his abdomen gets a slight growl. This pet is in pain!

Off to the vet who suspects an x-ray may confirm his suspicions. KA-CHING! Once confirmed that your beloved Buddy has a spleen that must be removed (KA-CHING! KA-CHING!) it’s now decision time. Surgery, intensive care unit, medications. What do you do?

According PetPlan Pet Insurance, about 73% of U.S.households have a pet. Those pet owners spent an estimated $12.2 billion for veterinary care. Compound those statistics with a survey that revealed households consider their pets to be part of the family and you get a fairly clear picture as to what you’ll do with Buddy. BIG OLD KA-CHING!!!

If you had pet insurance, 80 percent of that $5,000 vet bill would be covered by a basic policy offered by PetPlan for any of the following services according to their web site: The cost (up to this policy’s annual limit of $10,000) resulting from any treatment administered by a licensed veterinarian for illness or injury, including hospitalization, diagnostic testing, surgery, referrals, prescription medications and complementary medicines.

The monthly premium to cover a five year-old standard poodle is $37.32 per month. However, for a larger monthly premium (up to $43.89 per month for $22,000 in coverage), other pet-related expenses also can be covered. For example:

  • some of your kennel or cattery costs from a licensedprovider can be paid if you have to go to the hospital and cannot care for your pet
  • the cost of advertising or a reward if your pet is stolen or strays during the policy period
  • the cost you paid for your pet up to a specified amount incase of loss or death
  • your cost, up to$1,000, to return home from vacation if your pet is stricken with a life-threatening illness for which veterinary care is needed

Prices vary according to the age and kind of pet. For instance, basic insurance for a two year-old mixed breed cat is only $17.35 per month though the “gold” level premium is only an extra $1.07 per month.

If you want to protect yourself from the unexpected cost of veterinary services for your family member, pet insurance may be a good investment.

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