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I highly recommend medical insurance for pets.

But be warned- not all pet insurance companies are created equal. It is important to choose a pet insurance company that really will be there for you when you need it.

Pet insurance helps cover the cost of medical care for your pet. It’s crucial in emergency situations when saving your pet’s life could require emergency surgery or hospitalization. Just like human hospital bills, the costs can add up quickly.

People in BC are lucky to have MSP cover their medical bills in emergencies. Unfortunately, our pets aren’t as lucky. I’ve seen concerns about money play a deciding role in whether or not a pet receives treatment. Sometimes, this means deciding between life or death, even if the medical problem is curable!

TRUPANION IS THE BEST IN MY OPINON.

Some pet insurance plans are ideal for covering emergencies. For example, Trupanion Pet Insurance will cover 90% of the veterinary costs associated with treating your pet’s illness or injury, with no limit! Bonus: Trupanion will even cover medical treatments and surgery for some congenital disorders, such as hip dysplasia, which can be debilitating without surgery.

“Pet insurance is highly recommended, and can be life-saving in catastrophic situations of illness or injury. In my experience, Trupanion offers the best coverage (90% coverage for accident and illness with no limit or cap on the coverage). You can choose your own deductible.”

Trupanion doesn’t cover routine wellness services such as dental cleanings and yearly checkups (like your car insurance won’t cover routine oil changes and tire rotation). In my opinion, the purpose of insurance is to have a safety net in case something catastrophic happens.

In my experience, Trupanion is an excellent option for this. Just a note: We don’t work for Trupanion and have no conflict of interests to disclose. But we do see how many furry lives are saved when pets are insured by Trupanion, and the claims submission process is generally very easy and painless. The staff are also very caring. It is a good company.

Other pet insurance plans (Pet Secure, 24 Pet Watch, etc.) may offer more coverage for routine wellness services but will limit how much they will cover per medical problem (typically $5K per medical problem per year). This may come as a surprise to you, but treatment for serious conditions like trauma (being hit by a car, attacked by another dog), septic shock, cancer, or autoimmune disorders (meningitis, encephalitis, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia) can cost much more than $10K in the first year.

PETSECURE: NOT THE BEST, IN MY EXPERIENCE.

PetSecure is very popular in Whistler because it is a Canadian company (so people trust them) and they have excellent marketing. All of the pets that are adopted from the animal shelter in Whistler come with a free 60 day trial of PetSecure, because PetSecure gives the animal shelter money. Although PetSecure is a very popular company in this area, to be honest, I haven’t had the best experience with them. I have had several clients receive letters from PetSecure stating that they would no longer provide coverage for certain medical problems, basically changing the terms and rates of their insurance agreement. I have seen so many tearful and frustrated clients with PetSecure, that I honestly do not recommend them at all any more.

Just like with any insurance, it’s best to sign up before there’s a problem. Securing a monthly premium when your pet is a young, healthy kitten or puppy is always cheaper than waiting until your pet is older.

When it comes to medical insurance for pets, do your research and definitely read the fine print. If you have more questions about pet insurance, talk to your emergency veterinarian (these are the people who see the really serious and catastrophic illness and injuries),

What do you think about pet insurance? Do you have any recommendations for plans or insurers? Share your tips with fellow pet owners in the comments!