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The Irreverent Vet Speaks Out on Pet Insurance

The Irreverent Vet Speaks Out on Pet Insurance

I’m not going to pull any punches on this article. Basically, some pet owners can’t afford a pet. They probably shouldn’t have one. I don’t want to say that only rich people should have pets but everyone that has a pet should have the financial ability to provide reasonable care for their pet. I’m not saying the best care but at least reasonable care.

This is a touchy topic but I’m going to give you my opinion.

PetPlace asked me to write an article about the difficult and controversial topic of pet insurance. In this article, I’d like to address the issues surrounding pet insurance. I’m the Irreverent Veterinarian. I give you my opinion and speak the truth regardless of if pet owners, insurance companies, or other veterinarians like it or not. The question that I’ll address today is…What do veterinarians Think about Pet Insurance?

I’m not saying that everyone should have pet insurance. In fact, pet insurance is NOT for everyone. Of course, most companies won’t insure every pet – just as most human insurance companies won’t insure every single person. Many companies have age cut offs or pre-existing conditions that will exclude the coverage of a pet. It is common for a policy to exclude any problems that occurred or was diagnosed before the date of the policy coverage. Cosmetic procedures, breeding related problems, behavioral problems, parasites, and diseases preventable by vaccines are often not covered.

There are several genetic diseases that some policies won’t cover. For example, many companies have a list by breed of conditions they won’t cover. This varies by company.

I can’t speak for all vets but I did discuss this pet insurance topic with 5 trusted colleagues and I’ll give you my opinion that was also the consensus of the group.

Pet insurance definitely has its place.

Who doesn’t need pet insurance?

Like any insurance – it is a risk management issue. For people with a lot of disposable income – to be honest – you probably don’t need pet insurance. You can afford the care your pet needs when he needs it. If a unexpected $2,000, $6,000 or even $10,000 vet bill is no big deal – then you probably don’t need pet insurance.

Who can benefit from pet insurance? Anyone on a limited budget could benefit from pet insurance. If a $2,000.00 or $4,000.00 expense would be difficult for you – then pet insurance could be beneficial. It will not eliminate your entire vet bill but it will substantially help.

There are several insurance companies. Some have been around a long while and others are newer. At the time of this writing, there are 20 companies offering pet insurance in the United States.

My clients that have pet insurance like it. When their pet has a problem, they have the comfort of knowing they can do the best for their pet without worrying about the financial impact.

My Final Irreverent Thoughts on Pet Insurance

Most pet owners want to do the best for their pets. If you are on a limited budget – consider pet insurance as a part of your pets care.

Pet insurance policies can cover emergency problems as well as the diagnosis and treatment of just about any other health problem. There are also “Wellness Plans” which includes coverage of things that helps keep your pet healthy. Wellness plans may include yearly examinations, vaccinations, prescription foods, heartworm testing, heartworm prevention, flea control medication, spaying and neutering, dental cleanings and more. Find out which is best for your situation.

And…if you are considering pet insurance, the best time to get it is when your pet is young. Older pets with a history of medical problems will not be covered for those problems. The best time to get pet insurance is when your pet is young and before he or she has any medical problems.


The Irreverent Vet is a columnist that regularly contributes to The goal is to add a balanced and alternative view of some controversial pet issues. As happens with all of us, veterinarians can’t say what they really think without offending some clients. This commentary allows vets to say what they think and give you, the pet owner, the opportunity to consider another view. All opinions are those of the Irreverent Veterinarian and not the views of and are not endorsed by