To celebrate National Pet Health Insurance Month, Georgia’s Legacy is working with the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) to promote awareness of this important protection for you…and your best friend.
According to NAPHIA, only 1-2% of insurable pets are covered, which means that most people reading this article do not have pet insurance for their companion animals. Why is pet insurance so important? Because cost should not have to be the primary factor in whether or not to treat a pet who has suffered an accident or serious illness. And no matter how vigilant a pet owner may be, accidents, and illnesses, like cancer, do happen and the cost of providing lifesaving treatments can be monumental.
Just like insurance for humans, pet insurance is an investment that you hope you never need, but one that becomes essential in times of crisis, where costs for surgery, chemotherapy or hospital stays can add up to thousands of dollars very quickly. And, pet insurance proves its value throughout a pet’s life as well by saving you money on wellness care, vaccinations and other routine vet visits. Some plans even cover some alternative treatments such as acupuncture.
With half of all dogs being diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes, pet insurance is an especially important topic for Georgia’s Legacy. Too often, pet owners cannot choose lifesaving cancer treatments for their dogs, simply because of money. It is a terrible choice to have to make, but pet owners in this position should never feel guilty. It is one of the harsh realities of life. But, it is something that we can all learn from and try to prevent. Given the rise in cancer rates and greater awareness of the impact of cancer on our pets’ lives, more pet insurance plans are covering conventional cancer care such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. Some plans even offer special cancer riders to increase coverage amounts if you have a breed that is more susceptible to developing cancer. The key is to get pet insurance early in your pet’s life, when they are healthy and have no preexisting conditions. And, to shop around for the plan that’s right for you and your pet.
Two of the most popular pet health insurance companies are Pet’s Best Insurance and Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI). Both provide excellent customer service and substantial coverage for your best friend. When our dog Georgia was diagnosed with lymphoma, we were so grateful to have VPI insurance to help defray some of the costs of chemotherapy. Given such an overwhelming and stressful situation, every little bit of relief helps. As a result of our experience with VPI, we not only made sure that our other pup was covered, but also signed up for the extra cancer rider for him…with the hope that it’s like carrying an umbrella on a rainy day and will never be needed.
To help raise awareness of the importance of pet health insurance, NAPHIA is staging two contests aimed at pet owners in September. The first involves submitting a story on how pet health insurance came to the rescue for their pets in need of medical care. So, if you are among those lucky pet owners who have pet insurance for your pet, this contest is for you! Be sure to submit a digital photo of your pet and send both via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sept. 30. The top entry, as deemed by a panel of NAPHIA board members, will receive $500.
The second September event is a call out to pet owners to nominate their favorite veterinarian. Share your reasons why and be sure to include your veterinarian’s name and clinic address. Deadline is Sept. 30 and entries should be sent via email to email@example.com. The winning veterinarian will receive an educational grant and a plaque of excellence.