pet insurancePet insurance can help lower high costs when treating a beloved pet due to a medical emergency.

Last year, an article in Slate magazine posed the question, "How much would you spend to save your pet's life?" Medical science has allowed veterinary specialists to perform some extraordinary feats, including renal (kidney) treatment and open heart surgery.

But there's a price.

Pet owners who find themselves faced with a critical care situation are shocked to learn most of these expensive treatments often cost more than $5,000; and are shell-shocked when it sinks-in that the choice is between saving the family pet and the family's nest egg.

In 2014, pet owners spent over $15 billion on veterinary services, a 17% increase from 2010. One woman Slate interviewed spent $17,000 on chemotherapy for her dog.

According to VPI, the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, in 2010, the top 5 medical conditions-ranked by frequency-that cost pet owners more than $1,000, and the average cost-per-claim, were:

  • Torn Knee Ligament/Cartilage $1,578
  • Intestinal - Foreign Object $1,967
  • Stomach - Foreign Object $1,502
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease $3,282
  • Stomach Torsion/Bloat $2,509

Pets are living longer these days, which means that your chances of having to pay for catastrophic care for your animal pretty strong.
In the case of pet insurance, the right coverage can mean the difference between having to euthanize a beloved pet and paying for its treatment. It can also be an asset to the health care of your pet and can soften the blow of bills arising from emergency situations.

The core purpose of any insurance policy is to you from catastrophic financial loss. Pet insurance is no different. Yet, choosing to purchase pet insurance is a decision that should be made based on your individual economic and personal circumstances, including how much you can afford for a "peace of mind" expense.

As with all issues involving the health care of a loved one-including ones with paws or whiskers, Dunham Insurance believes it's important to know if you will have the financial means to cover an emergency medical situation costing thousands of dollars. If the answer is "no;' it might be time to consider pet insurance.