Pet Insurnace.... it seems to be something of a dirty word to many pet owners, I'm guessing that is why only about 1% of pet owners actually have pet insurance.
At the time of getting a new furry friend insurance can seem like just another cost to add to the list... vaccinations, flea treatment, worming, microchipping, desexing, puppy school. cat carriers, collars, leads, bedding, food, food and water bowls, toys... the list is seemingly endless. Why would you insure a young, healthy pet?
Well the truth is, young, healthy pets are just as likely to end up with a cancerous lump, a disease requiring on going medication, an injury from a bite wound from another animal, hit by a car or even a freak accident.
Most vets, us included requrie payment on the day of surgery, do you have the cash to pay these bills up front?
Yes it is true, some insurance companies are hard to get money out of (no surprise there...) but they sure do open up a whole lot of options for you and your sick or injured pet.
X-rays, CT scans, MRI's and a whole host of surgeries are all common place in the pet industry these days, however they are expensive if you do not have the help of pet insurance.
Many times I hear people say that they are just going to put a some cash aside each week or month and save themselves the fees and mess around of pet insuranace. This is great in theory and to be honest I had thought about doing it myself... then everything changed... read on to hear a very sad story about an adorable 20 week old puppy.
Poppy is a 20 week old Bichon Frise x Toy Poodle. She is a very sweet little puppy, she was just finding her feet in her new home. Her owners had done the right thing and taken her to puppy school when she was only about 10 weeks old, where they were learning how to help her along to becoming a well mannered member of the doggy community.
Just as I was shutting the clinic on a Thursday night I got a rather distressed phone call from a woman saying that her puppy had a broken leg. I advised them to go straight to the emergeny centre as our hospital was moments away from closing and I no longer had the staff available to treat the injury.
Poppy was seen at the emergency centre where she was given some pain relief and her leg was put in to a splint, the following afternoon she was brought into our clinic for a follow up and some x-rays.
The x-rays revealed a terrible break in her femur which needed prompt surgery to repair it. We endevoured to find the client the cheapest way to do the surgery as we knew cost was an issue. The client was worried about money and really felt like they would rather just leave the leg to heal in the splint.
After a long discussion we highlighted that it was actually an RSPCA reportable offence not to have the leg fixed.
After what must have been a few sleepless nights and lots of heart break the client did the right thing by surrendering their puppy to a shelter with a hospital capable of repairing the break. The puppy will be rehomed with the new owners and the shelter sharing the cost of the surgery.
If only they had pet insurance so much pain and stress for this poor little puppy could have been avoided.
Perhaps this is sounds like something that would never happen to you, and perhaps it never will, but do you really want to take that chance?
We regularly get questions about which insurance company to go to and to be honest, it doesn't really matter, so long as you are insured. There are product compare websites available and all of the companies will happily send you information on their product. Simply decide decide what you want to be covered for be it accident and emergency only, routine surgery, vaccinations etc and then go from there finding out who will be the best option for you and your furry friend.