Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pet Insurance: Pre-existing Conditions, Congenital Defects

"Pre-existing Conditions" is a term that you have heard referred to for human health insurance. But did you realize that this is a major issue with pet insurance?

And what about this term, "congenital defects and diseases"?  Many people don't even know what "congenital" means!

What do you know about the congenital defects of your darling new family member?

"Congenital" means that it comes with birth. The term "hereditary" also works.

Let's look at the human disease, Cystic Fibrosis. This disease is most common among Causasians in the United States  In the United States, this disease occurs more frequently among Caucasians than among any other ethnic or racial group.  If we took the same situation with a chocolate Lab who developed hip dysplasia, this would be considered, by most pet insurance companies to be a "congenital defect" and would NOT be covered! So you could be paying premiums and your dog could have many healthy years,  and then your dog develops hip dysplasia and you will not be reimbursed.

You may be able to find some pet insurance companies that say that they will cover congenital defects and diseases, but you need to do your homework. Which are they?  Read the fine print.

More than 400 diseases are considered to be congenital in dogs, and over 150 diseases are considered to be congenital in cats. More and more diseases are added each year to this list, as inbreeding continues. We do want our purebreds, right? And if your dog is a mix, do the pet health insurance companies refuse to pay based on both breeds in the mix? 
So before you purchase or consider purchasing pet health insurance, look at the list of congenital defects for your breed of dog. (And this goes for mixed breeds, too!)  Talk to your vet or do some online research.

So much to think about.... So much to learn!  Your dog is your best friend, and you are his.... But make smart decisions.

Our next installment is called "Do the Math".  

>The pet insurance companies are telling you one thing; sure they are!  They are in business. In their advertisements, they are presenting  the side of the story so that you cannot refuse taking out that policy.  You love your pet and want to be a good owner. But you can make a wise decision, if you learn to do the math!

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