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Nevertheless, the marketplace has grown from one pet insurer, Veterinary Pet Insurance (now called N

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Published on 02 Dec 2019 / In Pets & Animals

Nevertheless, the marketplace has grown from one pet insurer, Veterinary Pet Insurance (now called Nationwide), in 1982<br />to at least 11 companies today, including the Hartville Pet Insurance Group, which offers insurance through the A. S.P.<br />“By and large, most pet insurance is primarily there for injury<br />and disease,” not for wellness, said Dr. Christopher Gray, the director of Michigan State University’s Veterinary Medical Center in East Lansing.<br />It’s a side of the insurance industry that is growing rapidly, said Dr. Carol McConnell,<br />chief veterinary medical officer for Nationwide, the nation’s largest pet insurer.<br />Many pet insurance companies charge more for breeds prone to certain medical conditions, like cancers<br />or heart disease; a large dog, like a Great Dane, will cost more to insure than a Chihuahua.<br />But, it concluded, “if you’d like help with unexpected, large vet bills, a plan may be worth considering.”<br />During her veterinary training at Colorado State University, Dr. Christine Hardy remembers, she struggled to pay nearly<br />$5,000 in bills after her golden retriever, Sam, developed elbow problems and tore a cruciate ligament in his knee.<br />“Pet insurance is a game-changer for many pet owners” who otherwise could never afford these procedures, said Dr. Tracey Jensen, a private-practice veterinarian in Wellington, Colo.,<br />and a former president of the American Animal Hospital ****ociation, which accredits animal hospitals in the United States and Canada.<br />“Because we had insurance, I never felt like finances weighed in our decisions,” Dr. Hardy said.

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