Many pet owners will encounter an animal emergency at some stage during their life. Perhaps your dog or cat ate something they shouldn’t have, they have a tick, or they’ve been hit by a car. Even if your pet doesn’t need emergency care, pet owners know that routine care like vaccinations, worming and teeth cleaning can really add up.
Pet medical care has been advancing and our furry friends can have many of the same procedures that humans have, such as MRIs, cat scans, organ transplants and cancer treatments. However, these procedures can be extremely costly – up to thousands of dollars – and leave pet owners with debt or simply unable to pay.
Dr Mark Lawrie from Murdoch University’s Vet Hospital said that one of the biggest vet bills he’s ever seen was from a cat that was bitten by a snake. It took between two and three weeks of intensive care, the use of a ventilator and multiple anti-venines to get the cat back on its feet and safely home to its owners – but it also left the owners with a vet bill for around $40,000. Unfortunately the owners didn’t have the available funds or pet insurance, Dr Lawrie explained, and they had to take out a mortgage on their house.
While pet insurance cover generally has a cap of between $10,000 and $15,000, having a large portion of the bill reimbursed can be the difference between paying from your savings and having to take out a loan.
“Nowadays people see their dogs and cats as part of the family it’s like they’re children”, Dr Lawrie said, “when they’re confronted with the need to pay a large sum of money they’re torn apart emotionally and sometimes their desire is to do whatever it takes.”
Pet insurance takes away this stress by covering costs so that you won’t be suddenly out of pocket or find yourself unable to pay a large bill if your pet requires care at a time when you don’t have the full payment readily available.
About 30% of Australian pet owners have recognised the benefit of pet insurance and jumped on board. Just as you should thoroughly research and compare your health insurance providers, you should do the same for pet insurance.
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