Experts explain if pet insurance is right for you - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Experts explain if pet insurance is right for you

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For some pet owners, insurance can be helpful (WFSB) For some pet owners, insurance can be helpful (WFSB)

They are man’s best friend, but sometimes taking care of a dog, or any other pet, can break the bank.

In response, more companies are offering pet insurance to help alleviate the pain at the veterinarian’s office.

Pam Cole is facing a decision many pet owners grapple with…whether or not to buy pet insurance.

“Denom is 10 weeks old. She's a blue bulldog. She came for her first shots,” Cole said at a recent visit to the veterinarian.

The North American Pet Insurance Association said there are now 1.4 million pets insured in the United States, which is almost an 11 percent jump from two years ago.

“There are now a lot of companies out there now that are starting to offer pet insurance as well as your normal family life insurance and health insurance,” said Veterinarian Dr. Ashley Virgilio.

Some of those companies include Chipotle, Delta Airlines, Microsoft, UPS, and T-Mobile, according to the association.

“There's everything from plans that cover emergency situations to plans that cover puppy visits and vaccinations,” Virgilio said.

Some plans cover surgeries, x-rays or even if a pet has to go to the emergency room.

Many of the plans usually cover 80 to 90 percent of regular vet visits, and you can get reimbursed within one week.

“Make sure you're asking questions about what they cover, what they don't cover, whether they will take care of pre-existing conditions or congenital problems,” Virgilio said.

Meanwhile, Cole had to pay for her recent visit to the Animal Hospital of Rocky Hill out of pocket, as she isn’t sure she will get pet insurance because of what happened to her with another one of her pets.

“She was three months old and she had seizures. We had to go on medication for it and they wouldn't allow me to get pet insurance because she a pre-existing condition,” Cole said.

“They normally do not take pre-existing conditions unless they're resolved within six months,” said Silvia Dessert, of the Animal Hospital of Rocky Hill.

The average plan can range from as little as $20, or as much as $80 per month.

The best thing to do is discuss it with your veterinarian.

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