Usually when I get hair extensions, I choose something straight to go with my freshly straightened hair. For me, curly hair styles are a rarity, only reserved for moments when I’m either too lazy to strengthen my hair, or when I want to experiment with a natural look. I was feeling the need for another new hair experiment a few weeks ago, so I decided to get some Brazilian kinky curly hair. I always heard that Brazilian hair was some of the best hair to use for curly styles. After being used to Indian hair, Brazilian hair was quite the new experience for me.
While having a pet is wonderful for you own health, it can also be expensive for pet owners. The joy of sharing your home with your pet can often unexpectedly through accidents or illness be a very trying and difficult time. According to some statistics our pet health bills are as high as our own, and we visit the vet more than our own family doctor, and rightly so, since our pets are part of the family.
The costs are high, for instance a cat with a broken leg, or a dog hit by a car, cancer, allergies, arthritis, diabetes, thyroid illness or a dog with kennel cough where treatments can cost upwards to $ 3,000.00. These are all diseases and accidents which our pets are exposed to in our world.
The top ten claims paid out for the month of July, 2007 from of one Insurance Company are ranging from $ 1,200.00 to $ 6,000.00. As you can see the results of one or more of these diseases can be astronomical in expensive health care for your pet.
Deciding on a Policy:
Most insurance premiums we have checked out take into consideration and there tables are all formulated as to certain criteria such as:
1) You dogs age
2) Your dog’s breed or pedigree
3) Your location or where you live.
When applying for pet insurance it is extremely important to provide all medical records and history of your dog or cat, as pre-existing conditions are most often not covered by pet medical insurance.
Your Veterinarian is important as he will be providing medical reports to the plan, and providing you with the first check up of your pet’s life. It is most important to look for hereditary factors of the breed, and if there are any congenital defects present from birth. Actually you should do this within 24 hours of getting a pet home. Unless you have received proof of vaccinations, worming and all the other medical tests done on your puppy, its best to clear this up immediately before you purchase a pet. Vets can also be a big help when submitting a claim to the insurer.
While this article deals with cats and dogs primarily you are not limited as to the type of pet you can insure for medical costs. Exotic pets can also be covered with insurance companies. Pets such as: Parrots, Rabbits, Snakes, Lizards, Turtles, Pygmy Goats Llamas, Chinchillas, Skunks, Possums and Pot Bellied Pigs. George Clooney’s pot belly pig died last year of natural causes. These polices cover Birds, Mammals and Reptiles for those with more exotic tastes in pets.
Changing Insurance Companies after Making a Claim:
Once you have decided on a pet health insurance company it is basically yours for life of the pet if you submit a claim, therefore make good choices in the beginning of the process. If you terminate a pet insurance policy with one provider for not covering an illness, another insurance plan may not cover the pre-existing condition you had with the other insurer you just left.
Key Parts of a Pet Insurance Policy:
These are set forth in the terms of the policy and this should be carefully screened.
Check to see if you can live with the yearly dollar amount limits for every year and the figure should be on the front page of the policy.
Some policies have a limit per illness or condition or illness. Policies with a yearly limit are preferred since, they pay out each year, for the lifetime of the pet. A ” Per Condition Limit ” if your pet develops an ongoing condition such as: Diabetes, cancer, liver disease the insurer can stop paying for the medical care once you reach the limit set out in your policy.
The best of all possibilities is to get a plan that gives you a:
” Yearly Limit for each condition, but no time limits on how long you can claim for one ailment”.
Life Does Not Always Mean Life:
True “Life” means a lifetime which we all understand when we get a pet its for life. True Life means lifetime coverage and the Insurer promises NOT to increase the price with age, of the policy or your dog, and guarantees conditions are covered for life. This is true life. Some policies cover for life, many do not, but its best to read the contract before signing. In some cases you may have to contact the underwriter of the policy, that is the company that actually carries the expenses, for greater details and explanations. The underwriter should be disclosed to you at anytime.
If you are willing to agree to this, this is a form of a deductible amount that you co-pay to reduce the cost of the overall pet plan insurance policy.
It is advisable to use a fixed dollar amount such as $ 50.00, which means you pay the first $ 50.00 and the Insurer picks up the rest. Do not use percentages, this can cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. If you use a percentage such as 10 percent and your dog’s vet bill is $ 3,000.00 you can see that your out of pocket expense is $ 300.00 instead of $50.00, you saved $ 250.00.
If you have to agree to this I would stipulate that it only applies to a major claim such as a diabetic diagnosis, or cancer, but not for regular vet visits like shots, teeth cleanings, and regular medications which are considered routine medical maintenance, or you will end up paying for most of the bill.
Watch this clause especially if you own a pedigree dog or cat, or an expensive dog breed, as they are more likely to develop hereditary conditions which some insurers will exclude for coverage for certain breeds. Also check for coverage for congenital conditions, those that the pup or kitten are born with and again you can see the reasons behind getting a vet check within 24 hours of getting a pet. This confirms what the pet may and your vet’s report confirms this and more vital information.
Policies that include dental treatments will usually ask you to get regular vet dental check -ups, like cleaning, and tooth repairs. Dental bills can be very high depending on the severity.
You can determine your own needs better than an insurer, but if your pet is stolen for instance, or if your dog bites someone, or you had to cancel a vacation because your dog is sick, or if you get sick and have to kennel your dog, these are considered miscellaneous coverage’s and occurrences.
As Pet Insurance requires a lot of research we will be speaking to the major pet insurance companies and offering recommendations based on our criteria as outlined above. We will be reporting our findings so don’t miss the next article!
This will be a short, but important, article if you are thinking about buying pet insurance. We’ll hit the highlights of some of the most important considerations you need to take into account when making a decision whether to purchase pet insurance or not. So let’s get going and look at five major areas you should consider regarding pet health insurance.
1. What is Pet Insurance For? If you are not careful, you’ll price yourself right out of the market by trying to insure too much. Pet medical insurance becomes pretty expensive if you try to insure all the little things that you could afford to pay out of your pocket. The real purpose of pet health insurance is to protect you from the catastrophic veterinary bills that could result from your pet being seriously injured or getting a serious illness. It can cost over $2,000 to repair a fracture if you dog is hit by a car. That’s the kind of thing you need pet insurance for, not for the routine visit to the vet.
2. Why Do You Need Pet Health Insurance? I’ll give your three good reasons:
It keeps you from having to decide on treatment for your pet under stress. If your pet is suddenly injured or falls seriously ill, you don’t want to be confronted with having to decide on the treatment your pet gets based upon what you can afford.
Veterinary treatments are becoming more and more sophisticated and remarkable things can be done to save your pet from serious illness or injury. It’s no surprise, however, that the cost of these treatments is skyrocketing. Again, pet medical insurance is a hedge against staggering costs of veterinary care for you pet which you might not otherwise be able to afford. A simple fracture could cost you $2,000 to $3,000. Could you afford that financial surprise if your pet were suddenly injured?
Your pet will not time his medical emergency to suit your financial circumstances. It will arise unexpectedly – perhaps at a time when you are under financial strain from other causes. There’s peace of mind in knowing you won’t be caught unprepared for such an unexpected emergency.
3. How are Pet Health Insurance Premiums Calculated? Your pet medical insurance premiums will be based upon risk factors that affect the likelihood of your pet needing treatment, and how much the anticipated treatment is expected to cost. These are the most common risk factors:
Whether your pet is a cat or a dog
The breed of your pet
Your pet’s sex
The age of your pet
Whether your pet has been spayed or neutered
4. What Should You Know About the Proposed Policy? Here’s the short list:
Does it cover “pre-existing conditions?” Most affordable pet health insurance policies do not, and you probably shouldn’t try to get pre-existing condition coverage. It’s not financially feasible in most cases. But, there is an important “Catch 22” for you to be aware of. Some companies consider each renewal of your pet’s medical insurance policy as a new application. Therefore, if your pet develops a medical problem this year, it may only be covered for the balance of the current policy year. When you re-apply on the renewal date, the insurance company could consider this new condition a “pre-existing” condition for the new policy being issued. Ouch! Buyer beware.
How does it handle “chronic conditions?” If your pet develops a chronic condition such as arthritis, diabetes, or Addison’s Disease, how will your pet insurance policy provide coverage. As mentioned, many policies will exclude coverage beginning in the next policy year based upon the pre-existing condition limitation. It’s also common for policies to have a benefit limitation which caps the amount the company will pay for a single condition over the life of the policy.
What are “payout limits?” Payout limits are the maximums your company will pay under the pet insurance policy. The common payout limits are: lifetime limits (the max the company will pay over the lifetime of the policy); annual maximum (the max your company will pay during any one policy year); per incident limit (the max the company will pay for any one injury or illness).
What is the “waiting period?” Most policies have a waiting period following issuance of the pet health insurance policy during which there is no coverage. This is designed to prevent people from purchasing a pet medical insurance policy just for the purpose of making an immediate claim.
5. How Can You Keep Your Premiums Cost Effective? Here are the bare bones tips:
Choose as high a deductible as is reasonable for your financial circumstances. Only insure those costs you could not reasonably afford to pay out of your pocket.
Similarly, choose a higher co-pay, which is the amount of each treatment you pay out of pocket.
Take advantage of any discounts for which you are eligible, such as multiple pets and microchipped dogs.
Choose a lower annual maximum (see above).
Pay your premium annually instead of monthly. Most pet health insurers have lower annual premiums than monthly premiums.
Do not attempt to insure “routine care” as discussed above. The purpose of pet health insurance is to protect you from catastrophic pet medical expenses.
Veterinary bills have risen over 70% in the last five years, to over $19 billion per year! It’s no wonder pet health insurance is becoming such a hot topic. But just as with human medical insurance, there are numerous policy options available, and some major pitfalls to be avoided. Any pet owner considering the purchase of pet health insurance is well advised to take time to educate himself or herself about the various policy options available before making a purchasing decision. The information provided above covers many of the basics and should serve as an excellent primer on the subject for those considering insuring their pet’s health.
Anybody who has a pet is likely to adore it and treat it as a member of their family; they are important and also expensive. Unfortunately medical treatment and also other mishaps can be expensive and for this reason many people choose to take out medical insurance. Pet insurance is actually older than many people may realize, the first policy was actually underwritten in 1980. British people are well known for loving their pets and many households have them, in 2009 Britain became the second highest country to take out pet insurance, behind Sweden. Out of all pet owners in the UK, 23% have pet insurance; this may be due to the worry of vet bills, due to the pet being valuable or rare or for many other reasons.
10 reasons your pet insurance will fail you: When taking out pet insurance you should be aware that there are likely to be some exclusions which are not covered within a policy. These exclusions are the typical ones although each provider’s policy should be checked; the exclusions are likely to include:
* Illness which arises within the first thirty days of a policy being taken out, this often applies to many insurance policies in relation to any claims being made.
* Illnesses or conditions which arise due to pregnancy or the process of giving birth.
* Animals, mainly dogs which are registered under the Dangerous Animals Act 1976 or the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, any policy which is found to breach these acts will be immediately be classed as void and illegal
* Dental treatment, although this is often policy dependent
* Behavioral problems and hereditary conditions
* Pets which are destroyed under the orders of the courts
* Illness associated with the illegal importing or exporting of animals
* Travel outside of the UK, unless stated within the policy, this is a major issue as many claims have been made which are not viable as people have failed to check their policies, individuals intending to take their pets abroad are advised to check all policy details.
* Claims in relation to diseases which should be reported to the correct associations, this includes diseases such as rabies.
* Dogs which are working, racing or guard dogs will not be covered under typical pet insurance although specialist insurance may be available.
People who take out pet insurance should also bare in mind when taking out a policy or when making a claim that there is likely to be a maximum pay out by an insurance company. The policy limits will depend upon each individual policy and also on the reasons for the claim. Some insurance companies stop pay outs for pets at $6000, although as previously stated, each individual policy is likely to be different.
Just like any other insurance policy, individuals taking out the policy will be asked to pay an excess towards any claims made, this happens with both house and vehicle insurance also. Some companies have a set excess fee and some will vary depending on the type of cover.
**The cost of excesses are listed below:
Direct Line – Fixed Fee
Marks & Spencer Standard – $75 cats, $90 dogs
Marks & Spencer Premier – $50 cats, $70 dogs
More Than – $50 cats, $70 dogs
E & I – Between $66 and $99
Churchill – $55 cats, $65 dogs
There also different types of pet insurance which can be taken out, individuals should select the type which they feel presents the best policy and also the best value for money. Some policies are time limited, meaning that a fee is paid for an agreed contract length, for example a 12 month policy is taken out, similar to car insurance. Although there is also the opportunity to take out pet insurance which will be valued for the lifetime of the animal, in other words the insurance policy is valid for the life of the animal whilst ever the insurance premium is being paid. People must consider that lifetime insurance provides a guarantee which is important.
As animals get older people may struggle to find fixed term insurance policies, for example a very old pet may not be a good opportunity for an insurance company to insure. Similarly if a pet has previously had extensive veterinary work, an insurance company may be reluctant to insure the pet again. These are serious considerations which must be made by all pet owners before agreeing to take a policy out.
People who own pets which are of unusual or rare breeds, whether this be a cat, dog or even snake, are likely to face higher pet insurance costs. This is ultimately due to the pet being valued at a higher price. These animals are also likely to require specialist vets to treat them which will produce higher costs than usual standard vets. Some insurers may avoid insuring such animals at all as the costs associated with these animals are often incalculable. Rare breeds are often expensive and are obviously very hard to come by; this increases the risk of such animals being poached or stolen. This risk has to be calculated into the policy and ultimately passed on to the owner of the pet; this may increase the premium substantially. What must be considered is that if the insurance is not taken out and anything was to happen to the animal, the owner would not have any form of cover at all.
Veterinary care has advanced substantially in recent years which means that pets can be treated with different kinds of treatments which do not include surgery. Such treatments include acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, herbal medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy and osteopathy. Whilst these advances are obviously a great asset to the veterinary world, unfortunately the costs are often very high which are obviously passed on to the pet owners. Due to this insurance policies have now begun to include such treatments up to a certain value. Not all insurance policies do include these treatments and therefore it is important that the policies are checked first. Companies such as Petguard, Direct Line, Argos, Liverpool Victoria, Marks & Spencer and Churchill all offer cover for such treatments up to a certain value. The value which these are covered up to is likely to depend on each individual policy. It can not be stressed enough that all pet owners taking out pet insurance should read all the terms and conditions so that they fully understand the extent of the pet cover taken out.
Many pet owners wish to take their pets abroad with them; legislation now states that insurance must be in place before doing this, the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is the scheme which allows certain animals to enter certain countries without quarantine if certain standards have been met. The travel scheme can only be obtained if pet insurance which covers pets going abroad is taken out. There is often a premium to pay on top of usual policy costs to ensure that a pet is insured whilst abroad, although there is also likely to be a large amount of terms and conditions associated with taking a pet abroad.
People who own exotic pets are likely to want to take out pet insurance, this is normally done so though specialist insurance brokers. The cost of this cover is likely to be dependant on how rare the species is and also how much the pet is worth. Anybody wishing to take out exotic pet insurance may have to gain a vets medical report on the animal before a policy can be taken out. The majority of household names within the insurance market do no offer exotic pet insurance as it is such a specialist area.
Pet lovers will know that it is very important to keep a pets teeth in order, this just like any other pet treatment is expensive. Some pet insurance policies may cover dental treatment, although just like any other matter, it is policy dependent. If the policy does not cover dental care, specialist tailored policies can be taken out relatively cheaply which cover just pet dental care.
Horse riding is very popular within the UK and is also a multi million pound industry. Race horses and regular horses are worth large amounts of money, for this reason insurance will be taken out to cover them. Although insurance is not just taken out to cover the horse, the rider offer takes out insurance to cover them. Serious injury can result from horse riding and this risk must be covered through taking out an insurance policy. Horse insurance is often very expensive due to the value of horses and also the potential for them to be injured when racing or during regular riding. The benefits are clearly that the risk of being injured, whether it is the horse or the rider, is always covered when an insurance policy has been taken out. Fail to take out a policy may mean that any accident will be extremely costly in relation to loss of earnings and also injury.
*Always read the small print within the pet insurance policy, particularly the exclusions as this will tell you what is not covered. You can always discuss with the provider the option of including certain conditions.
** correct at the time of publication – check provider for latest information