Pet Q&A with Veterinarian Dr. Jack Stephens

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Dr. Jack Stephens, the founder of US pet health insurance, sits with his pets.
I just found out my pet has a chronic kidney disease which is very costly to treat and none of the dog or cat insurance companies will cover this condition. Why does pet insurance exclude pre-existing conditions?

Dr. Jack Stephens’ Answer:
Insurance is purchased to protect against future, unknown events. Take car insurance for example. Once you’ve already been in a car accident you can’t call to get insurance coverage for repairs. No insurer would reimburse for damage that’s already occurred. If you think of pre-existing health conditions in these terms, it’s easier to understand why a pet insurance company isn’t able to cover things that exist prior to enrolling in a policy. Insurance transfers financial risk from you to the insurance company for future events in exchange for your monthly premium. If the insurance company covered pre-existing conditions, the premium cost would be much too high for the customers to even afford.

Pet health insurance operates by insuring thousands of pets and then pooling the premiums to pay claims for the insured. Some pets will have no claims, while others will have quite large claims. Being insured may help pet owners afford costly pet care for accidents and illness.

Most pet insurers will cover medical conditions pets had prior to the insurance once the condition is cured. However, if your pet has a medical condition prior to selecting a pet insurer, look at the insurance agency’s definition of “cured” as this can be defined quite differently from company to company.

Some examples of medical conditions which can be cured and commonly reoccur are: ear infections, bladder infections, non specific GI upsets, some skin rashes or dermatitis. Some examples of conditions which cannot be cured and would not ever be eligible for coverage if present prior to coverage would be: diabetes, heart disease, hypothyroid, hyperthyroid and arthritis. These conditions can be treated but not cured.

Pet insurance quote button

Or Call 877-738-7237 to speak with a Pets Best Insurance Agent to Add a Pet to Your Current Policy

Related Article:  Reunited! Mikey’s Adventure

My dog is very healthy. Why would I need dog insurance?

Dr. Jack Stephens’ Answer:
Pet health insurance is about potential risk and because no one can predict the future health of their pets, it’s a good idea to have a pet insurance policy in place, just in case– as accidents and illnesses often cost pet owners thousands of dollars. Another thing to keep in mind is as your pet ages, probability of illnesses also increase. Certain breeds are also more susceptible to some diseases due to genetics or predisposition for certain ailments. If your pet is active and curious the risk factors may increase for accidents as well. Pet Insurance is simply a method to budget for those expenses and to leverage your available funds when an accident, illness or cancer strikes your pet. Peace of mind and leveraging your money are the principal reasons to consider pet health insurance.

My dog likes to chew on things. Is this dangerous?

Dr. Jack Stephens’ Answer:
Chewing is natural for dogs. It helps keep teeth and gums healthy. Chewing can also be a satisfying activity for dogs that calms them and helps relieve boredom. But the wrong objects can be harmful and may result in teeth fractures, lacerated gums and even blockage of the intestinal tract.

Many people don’t know that giving their dog a bone can potentially be very dangerous, as it can fracture teeth. Too much chewing on bones can also wear down tooth enamel exposing the root, which can lead to a painful infection. Excess bone chewing can also lead to constipation or impaction in the colon and bones can easily become lodged in the oral cavity and in the intestinal tract resulting in costly emergency surgery. Other items that dogs should never be allowed to chew on include, rocks, ice, and sticks.

Related Article:  Dog Breed Guide: Bullmastiff

There are a host of approved chewing products available for dogs. These are more flexible and are less likely to damage teeth or cause other problems. After all, chewing does promote healthy gums, so it is important to provide safe chew toys for your dog.

For more information about pet health or to learn more about animal insurance, visit Pets Best Insurance.

Protect your loved ones with Pet Insurance!