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Pets: To Insure or Not to Insure?

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When I adopted Maybelle from the Connecticut Humane Society I was given a free month of Shelter Care Pet Insurance. When we went to our first visit with the vet she had a scratch on her eyeball — probably from one of the cats — and I ended up actually being able to get reimbursed for some of that visit thanks to the insurance. But when the insurance expired, I didn’t renew it.

And I’m still debating that decision.

If this doesn't make you want pet insurance nothing will.

Here’s the problem for me. When it comes to the dog, in order to feel as though I’m getting my money’s worth, I want the insurance to cover routine care as well as illnesses and accidents. I’m not even sure that’s true, but it’s how I feel. I started thinking about it again, though, when my cat came running inside  today with her tail bleeding. I didn’t think much of it at first. It  wasn’t bleeding profusely and she’s kind of nuts… she gets into all sorts of trouble. I figured she’d caught it on something. She was moving around just fine and didn’t seem completely angry when I tried to wipe it down. As the day went on I noticed how slow she was moving, and since both my cats were going to need some shots soon anyway… I called up the vet. 

I wasn’t expecting to get in right away but apparently it was a slow day and I ended up scrambling to get the gatos into their carriers and  to the vet. And to add to the fun, Ruby — the injured party — throws up in the car. She also haaaaaaaaaaaates the vet, and on a good day she’s terrifying. When her tail is bleeding and she’s limping, it only gets worse. So eventually they decided the best course of action was to knock her out and examine her.

Hundreds of unexpected dollars late, I had a groggy, angry cat with a shaved tail, and a shot of long-lasting antibiotics.

Boy did I wish I had pet insurance for her. A basic plan that covers just accidents would have cost less than half of today’s bill (though, to be fair, some of the visit would not have been covered…like the rabies and feline leukemia vaccine). Getting accident and illness coverage for the cats is starting to make sense. They’re out there on their own, climbing trees and taunting neighborhood dogs.

For now, both the feline member of my family are stuck inside, waiting for that tail to heal. But once this is over — and the bill from today’s vet visit is paid off — I may start thinking about getting everyone insurance coverage.

So we want to know, which side of this debate do you come down on? And what coverage did you go with and why?

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About TheresaMC

Basically, I'm a reader and a writer, just trying to negotiate the changing world of publishing.

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