Protecting Your Pet (And Your Wallet) From Abacus Wealth

March 18, 2015

woman-with-dog-640x425This article originically appeared on as This article originically appeared on as Protecting Your Pet (And Your Wallet) From Abacus Wealth 

My dog, Katie, turned 5 this week. Katie is energetic, loving and healthy, but this wasn’t always the case. In 2012, she underwent major surgery for a life-threatening liver condition. The costs were well beyond what I could have ever imagined. All of the appointments, prescriptions, hospital stays and tests leading up to and following her surgery totaled over $13,000.

For anyone who feels that protecting a pet is non-negotiable, pet insurance can save you a lot of money in the long run. If I had purchased pet insurance for Katie when I adopted her as a puppy, the majority of the medical costs related to her liver condition would have been covered by the policy. Instead, I was left wondering where the money had gone so fast at a time when all I wanted to focus on was Katie’s health.

Choosing a Policy

Lifetime maximums, premiums and deductibles, oh my! Figuring out what you should and shouldn’t look for in a pet insurance policy is about as confusing as reading tax code. Thankfully, there are great online resources for comparing policies in an easy-to-understand format. Both Pet Insurance Review and Pet Insurance University provide unbiased information, which means they are not compensated by promoting specific insurance companies. I suggest focusing on policies with no lifetime maximums and choosing coverage levels based on your budget.

Understanding the Fine Print

Be warned: Pet insurance doesn’t cover everything. Some policies will cover illness and injury but not routine care, while others will go as far as to exclude coverage for certain breeds. A pet with a pre-existing condition won’t be covered for anything related to that condition. In Katie’s case, any future issues or illnesses even remotely related to her liver will not be covered by insurance. These are just a few of the many reasons you should take the time to read through the exclusions and the fine print before purchasing pet insurance.

Take it from me and don’t wait until thousands of dollars in medical bills have racked up before taking the necessary steps to protect your pet—and your wallet.

Thank you for reading this article.  Your questions and comments are completely welcome (I’ll respond).
Please feel free to communicate with me through Twitter (@PatrickMahaney) and follow my adventures in veterinary medicine by liking Patrick Mahaney: Veterinarian Acupuncture Pain Management for Your Pets on Facebook.
Copyright of this article (2015) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

TheOldBroad March 19, 2015 at 3:04 PM

I’ve looked into pet insurance several times, but since I take in adults (and have multiple adults), it’s just too expensive on a monthly basis. Luckily, even though I have one right now that takes prescriptions that cost over $200 a month – not to mention the monthly bloodwork and vet visits – I’ve saved and saved, knowing this situation will likely happen.

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