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Buying Pet Insurance

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(credit:  Yoshikazu Tsuno/Getty Images)

(credit: Yoshikazu Tsuno/Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Should you get pet insurance?

Among the most popular names of dogs and cats in 2013 were Bella, Molly, Sophie, and Max. Those also happened to be among the most popular baby names, and it’s no wonder. Pets are potty trained sooner and almost never talk back and are loved like family members.

Because keeping a pet healthy can be as expensive as person healthcare, people consider buying pet insurance. But here’s what you need to know: pet insurance is an option to protect owners against unforeseen vet bills. Most don’t cover routine pet health care like vet visits unless you pay an extra premium.

Additionally, it generally doesn’t cover elective procedures like neutering, nor does it cover preexisting conditions or genetic conditions to which certain breeds are prone. It generally will cover unforeseen illnesses or injuries but often limits coverage to a certain dollar amount per condition or sets a ceiling for annual or lifetime payouts.

Before buying, ask: Are claims subject to an annual limit or based on the condition? Is the pet covered for hereditary conditions? And is there a payout at the animalís death to have a nice burial so your kids, Tiger, Buddy, and Shadow can pay their respects.

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