Pet Insurance Today and Why It’s Critical for Dogs and Cats

May 25, 2021

Four Pet Parents Share Personal Stories of Saving Lives

“Sometimes it’s a matter of life and death,” says pet owner Lorraine Gacitua, as she explains the difficult decision many pet owners make, when their pet requires specialized or emergency care and they can’t afford it. “I’ve read about people having to put their pet down, if they don’t have the money,” she adds. Luckily for Lorraine, when her Bull Terrier mix got bit by another dog, and required more than $5,000 of veterinary care, Lorraine had pet insurance. “My husband had passed away unexpectedly and money was tight. Having pet insurance was a lifesaver.”

“Insurance is the best investment I have ever spent for my little man,” says Keisha Kirschner of Mulah, her English Bulldog (pictured above). Mulah was rushed to the ER after becoming unresponsive. It took a few weeks in the hospital for Mulah to recover, which amounted to more than $23,000 in veterinary bills. “Pet insurance saved the day,” says Keisha, “and the process was so seamless. I don’t know how anyone can live without it.”

In 2020, $103.6 billion was spent on our pets in the U.S., according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA).  That amount includes costs for routine veterinary care, emergency care and specialty care.  Veterinary medicine today is comparable to human medicine. The cost for veterinary expertise and experience of the doctors, nurses and staff, along with state-of-the-art diagnostics and technology can add up. The same holds true for human medical care. So, for a pet owner without insurance, it could mean having to make a devastating choice. “Having pet insurance is a very real necessity,” says Dr. Jon Rappaport, Co-Medical Director of Advanced Veterinary Care Center in Davie. “For many pet owners, having proper insurance with a plan that covers 80-90% or more, can all too often make the difference between life and death when a serious illness or accident arrives,” adds Dr. Rappaport.

Buffy and Penny Payne

Nearly 40 years ago, in 1980, you could only find one pet insurance company available in the U.S. Today, just a quick search online will pull up many reputable companies that offer very reasonable rates. “I think for all three of our cats, it’s $43 per month,” says Wendy Payne. “Our insurance saved us from having to come up with $9,000 so far. There are different levels of insurance. We don’t have the highest level. You can pick a level that you can afford,” she adds. “It was such a relief to have pet insurance. And, the earlier you get it for your pet, the less expensive it is.”

“My previous cats had serious illnesses and we didn’t have insurance,” says Jill Goldstein. So, after that experience, Jill made sure any future pets were covered. Just two months after Jill adopted her new cat Max, it was discovered he had a rare liver disease. Max accumulated $50,000 in pet healthcare costs. But, this time, Jill was fortunate to have pet insurance. She urges all pet owners without insurance to, “get it….definitely get it!”

To learn more about your pet insurance options, you can explore a variety of plans here!

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