Consumer Reports: Best pet insurance for your best friend
Been to the veterinarian lately? You know it’s not cheap. If you’re like a lot of pet owners, you’ve probably asked yourself, “Should I get pet insurance?” As Consumer Reports explains, the answer isn’t always easy.
When asked if he’s a dog or a cat person, a Consumer Reports investigative reporter answered “both.” He’s the proud papa of a dog named Logo and a cat named Phoebe, who recently had an injury.
The reporter said: “We opened the door and Phoebe came in. And she was very timid and stayed low to the ground, and she had a little spot on her hind leg. And we were like, ‘What has happened?’ ”
He didn’t have pet insurance, so getting treatment for Phoebe would be entirely out-of-pocket. But pet insurance was always one of those things on his mind.
So is it something you should consider? For the first time, CR evaluated and rated eight pet insurance providers based on a survey of its members with insured pets.- It looked at such things as premiums, what’s covered, the claims process, and whether people had a choice of which vets to see.
CR found that most people weren’t that satisfied with their pet insurance. Six of the insurance providers earned just a midrange overall satisfaction score, and two bottomed out with unfavorable ratings.
If you’re considering pet insurance, there are some things you should know:
- Preexisting conditions are usually not covered.
- There are usually annual caps. If you hit that limit, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket.
- You may be responsible for paying the provider directly and then filing for reimbursement with the insurance company.
So is pet insurance worth it? If you’re looking for a return on investment, maybe not so much. But if you value peace of mind, it may be something you want to pursue.
Another option is telehealth, or virtual care, which is what the reporter used. He got instructions on how to clean the wound and a prescription for antibiotics that was delivered right to his door.
And Phoebe healed just fine.
Another option is to bring your pet to an accredited veterinary medical college, which may be able to offer discounts on everything from routine care to spaying and neutering.
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