Pet insurance is a type of insurance that typically helps consumers pay for their pet’s emergency medical expenses. While pet insurance is similar to human health insurance, it actually works somewhat differently. With pet insurance, consumers are required to pay for their pet’s care and then submit a claim to their insurance provider. After the provider reviews the claim, they will reimburse the policy holder for the appropriate amount.
Due to the rising costs of veterinary care, many pet owners are realizing the importance of pet insurance. Pet insurance is especially important for consumers who have very expensive pets, like horses. Purchasing pet insurance for one’s horse is the best way to ensure that the animal’s medical needs will always be taken care of.
The Costs Associated with Owning a Horse
A horse is a huge investment. In addition to the original price of the horse, owners can expect to pay certain expenses, including:
- Boarding – Between $100 and $1,000 a month
- Feed – Between $700 and $1,300 a year when including hay, grain, minerals and salts
- Vaccines, De-worming and Veterinary Checkups – $200 to $300 per year
- Bedding – Approximately $150 a year
- Farrier Services – Between $180 and $645 a year depending on whether the owners decide to shoe the horse
- Equipment – Riding clothes, rugs, tack and saddle average around $2,000
- Miscellaneous Expenses – Toys, cleaning solutions, horse sprays and fly sheets cost between $200 and $300 a year
- Emergency Medical Care – Anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the condition
The exact annual cost of ownership will depend on the age, size and condition of the horse. It will also depend on the horse’s location. While costs do vary, almost every owner can expect to pay thousands each year to care for their horse.
Unfortunately, if the horse falls ill or has an accident, the cost to care for the animal will skyrocket. For instance, the average cost of colic surgery is between $5,000 and $10,000. On average, 10 to 11 percent of the horse population suffers from colic each year. While not every case requires surgery, it is still important for horse owners to understand how expensive veterinary care can be. If a horse owner cannot afford the best care for their pet, the effects can be devastating.
What Pet Insurance Covers
Pet insurance policies cover a wide range of expenses. Depending on the specific policy, pet insurance will cover expenses like:
- Prescription medications
- Diagnostic treatments
- Cancer treatment
- Treatment administered by a specialist
- Alternative medical treatments
- Loss due to theft
Many policies also cover losses caused by disability, stallion infertility, damaged equipment and stolen equipment. Some policies will even cover a person’s medical bills if the insured horse caused the injury. Similar to human health insurance, policy holders will be expected to pay a deductible before the company will begin reimbursing these costs.
The price of pet insurance will depend on the age, value, physical condition and regular activities of the horse. The deductible and amount of coverage will also affect the price of the policy. The greater the coverage, the more consumers can expect to pay for insurance.
Is Pet Insurance Really Necessary for Your Horse?
In the great majority of cases, pet insurance is a necessary thing for horse owners to have. Unless a person can afford the cost of an expensive emergency surgery, insurance is the best way to protect against unexpected expenses. Even if a consumer can afford large veterinary bills, it’s still a good idea to purchase insurance, since many policies will cover losses due to death, disability and infertility.
Horses are very expensive animals to care for. It’s not uncommon for horse owners to pay thousands of dollars to treat a very sick or injured horse. While most people don’t want to think about the negative things that can happen to their pet, it is important to plan for these situations. The best way to ensure that a horse receives the highest standard of veterinary care is to purchase pet insurance.
How to Get Affordable Pet Insurance for Your Horse
Many pet insurance policies will not cover costs caused by preexisting conditions, elective procedures or birth defects. Those that do cover these costs will charge more for a policy. One of the best ways to save money on pet insurance is purchase a policy while the horse is still young and healthy. Older horses and those with health problems are more expensive to insure.
Comparing various policies and levels of coverage is also important. There are several companies that offer pet insurance for horses. As with other types of insurance, it is possible to request quotes before purchasing a policy. Before settling on a policy, compare the different prices and policies offered by various companies. This is the best way for consumers to get a competitive price on a policy that might, one day, make it possible to provide their horse with the medical care it needs.
Article by guest author: Susan
- Vet fee inflation hitting pet owners (money.marksandspencer.com)
- Report: 13.7 million pet owners are without pet insurance (money.marksandspencer.com)
- Why get pet insurance? (newsguy.co.uk)
- ConsumerMan: Is pet insurance worth it? (msnbc.msn.com)