PRACTICAL MONEY SKILLS: Should you buy pet insurance?

Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 03:17 PM.

•Typically you must pay the vet or hospital bill out of pocket and get reimbursed later.

•Many plans deny or restrict coverage for congenital or hereditary conditions (like hip dysplasia in dogs or kidney failure in cats) and preventable conditions like periodontal disease.

•Along with annual and lifetime maximums on benefits paid out, there may be a limit on how much it will pay for treatment of an individual illness or accident.

•If your pet suffers a particular disorder one year, don’t be surprised if that condition is excluded at renewal – or if you’re required to pay an additional fee for future coverage.

•Pets over certain age limits frequently are denied coverage.

•Certain breeds are often excluded or only eligible for restricted coverage.

•Some carriers let you augment your accident and illness policy with optional “wellness care” coverage for things like spaying and neutering, annual physicals, vaccines and routine tests. Make sure the additional premium is worth the extra cost.

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