Pet Insurance: Wall Street Journal

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Pet Insurance: Wall Street Journal

Post  SchnauzkyLVR on Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:19 am

Here is a great article about pet insurance from the Wall Street Journal.

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The cost of medical care for pets is rising as fast as it is for humans, and that's helping to spur sales of pet insurance.
Pet owners are able to choose from a rapidly growing array of policies, featuring everything from high-deductible designs to coverage of alternative-medicine treatments like acupuncture. Some pet policies focus on accidents and illness, while others include wellness checkups and shots. And some things that traditionally weren't included in pet insurance, such as hereditary conditions, are now paid for under many plans.
Consumers need to be careful, since many pet policies can be as confusing as coverage you buy for yourself. Pet insurance often places strict limits on how much it will pay for particular procedures. And policies can have tricky designs that can leave consumers with big out-of-pocket bills for their animals. Premiums vary from around $10 a month to $75 a month, depending on factors including the richness of the plan, your location and your animal's breed and age.

This year, pet owners are expected to spend around $12.2 billion for veterinary care, up from $11.1 billion last year and $8.2 billion five years ago, according to the American Pet Products Association. Complex procedures widely used for people, including chemotherapy and dialysis, are now available for pets, and the potential cost of treating certain illnesses has spiked as a result.
Donna Oliver, in Austin, Texas, has shelled out about $32,600 since 2007 to care for two dogs who passed away earlier this year. Marley, a Labrador, got stem-cell therapy for his arthritis, surgery on his windpipe to deal with a condition that was choking off his breathing, and, at the end, medication to ease the pain of advanced cancer. Maddie, a corgi mix, suffered from Cushing's disease, a hormonal disorder, and got treatment including surgery to heal ulcers on her corneas.
"It does cost a lot if you want to do the right thing by them," says Ms. Oliver, a 38-year-old customer-service manager, who says she is still paying off the credit-card bills. To avoid a similar situation with her three remaining dogs, Chelsea, Jasmine and Runner, she recently bought insurance for them.
One Million Insured

Currently, around a million U.S. pets are insured, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. The number is growing about 10% a year, the group estimates, though that still represents just a tiny fraction of all pets.
Around 90% of the insured are dogs, with about 10% cats and a small number of other animals. The biggest U.S. pet-insurance company, Veterinary Pet Insurance, or VPI, a unit of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., says it has written policies for hedgehogs, snakes, turtles and geckos, among other creatures.


See rest of the great article at:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704825504574583884242775444.html
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Re: Pet Insurance: Wall Street Journal

Post  allaboutourdogs on Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:22 am

Is it practical these days to have a pet insurance? I've been thinking about this for months.
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