Wednesday, November 3, 2004
Protecting Your Pet: Pet Insurance
In today's "Protecting your Pet," more people are buying health insurance for their animals. But not everybody's convinced it's a wise investment. Health Specialist Marilyn Mitzel shows us what to be on the look out for.
WSVN -- There's no escaping it - sooner or later all pets need medical care.
Pet owner Mona Ferguson: "Frank gets a pill for epilepsy and Evie's getting pills for her skin."
With six cats and five dogs mona's vet bills are high.
Mona Ferguson: "They are as much as people drugs. This little bottle right here, $94 dollars."
But insurance saves her thousands - especially in emergencies.
Mona Ferguson: "You don't have to think twice about going to the emergency clinic. You just pick them up and go."
For that you pay a monthly premium.
Veterinarian Dr. Michael Rumore: "While paying $15 to $20 dollars a month may seem like a lot, it's nothing compared to that $2,000 dollar bill when your dog has a broken leg."
Many policies claim to pay up to 90 percent of vet bills.
But that's not always the case.
Pet owner Judy Abrams: "They think she may have picked up a virus from the groomers."
When judy submitted mandy's $376 dollar vet bill - the insurance company only agreed to pay $10 bucks.
Judy Abrams: "According to the brochure that I got -- It said that it would cover 90 percent. I feel like I've been ripped off."
So buyer beware. If you're going to purchase insurance the florida veterinary medical association says make sure the company is licensed and regulated by the state.
Read the fine print. What's the deductable. How much does it pay per illness. Often pre-exisiting conditions or breed-based genetic problems aren't covered.
Rates may go up as pets age. Buy when they're young and healthy.
Veterinarian Dr. Michael Rumore: "The problem is most people think about getting pet insurance after their dog gets a diagnosis. Your dog has a broken leg and they say can we get pet insurance for him. Well, you can, but it's not going to cover the broken leg."
Mona is a big believer in pet insurance - it buys her peace of mind.
Mona Ferguson: "I think it removes a lot of the stress. It's the same stress you would have by not having health insurance."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Florida Veterinary Association