Newsletter Articles  
Pets and Pet Insurance by Java Craig, CFP
Approximately 90% of people who own a cat or dog consider their pet to be a part of the family. But not everyone prepares for the expense of keeping a pet into old age and for final arrangements.

If you own a pet, and you haven't been to an emergency veterinary clinic lately, your biggest shock may be the cost of emergency treatment. In my last experience, the veterinarian was as concerned with my ability to pay as with the condition of my dog. This is because the cost of emergency treatment is easily several hundred to several thousand dollars.

The most horrible predicament I can imagine for a pet owner is to be faced with being unable to afford to save their pet's life.

In cases like these, an emergency fund specifically for your pet could prove to be a lifesaver. If you don't have one, now is the best time to start one. Depending on the current age of your pet and its life expectancy, monthly savings can be calculated so that you are not left with the common alternative of euthanasia.

If you choose pet health insurance as an alternative, there are several factors to consider.

1. Can your cash flow handle an unexpected expense in the range of $1500 - $3500 or more? If it can, then pet insurance is not a necessity.

2. What do you think the chances are that your pet will have an accident or become ill? This involves careful consideration of your pet's lifestyle, does it run out into the street frequently, does it get into garbage or other unknown edible (?) objects, do you know your pet's family history (is hip dysplasia likely).

3. Does the definition of accident in the insurance policy cover what your pet may likely incur? For example Petplan Insurance states that it will not cover injury arising from normal activity, specifically joint injury from playing and poisoning from eating garbage, among others.

4. How old is your pet? The older they are the more costly the insurance, although you have to read the fine print to discover this. The premium will not increase but the deductible when making a claim for an older pet increases considerably.

Once these 4 factors have been considered, a decision to insure or not can be made. Personally, I prefer an emergency pet care fund to deal with unexpected expenses.

Websites for two major pet insurers are www.petplan.com and www.petcareinsurance.com
 
 
 
 
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