BREA, Calif. (March 26, 2003) -
Whether adopting a new puppy or an older cat, raising a pet in
the new millennium requires more than a little care and love.
It also means having the financial resources for unexpected
medical emergencies. This is why more pet owners are looking
to see if pet insurance is right for them.
Statistics from the American Veterinary Medical
Association show that U.S. consumers spent almost 38 percent
more on their pets in 2001 compared to 1996, and the greatest
percentage of those costs fell under veterinary care.
"As pets have become more integral members of our
families, owners are willing to go to any length to provide
the best for them," says Jack Stephens, DVM, founder and CEO
of Veterinary Pet Insurance. "As veterinary care rises in cost
and sophistication, more pet owners will need to turn to
third-party payment support options such as pet insurance to
take advantage of these advances in care."
According to Dr. Stephens, pet owners who are unsure of
whether pet insurance is right for them should first consider
the type of relationship they have with their pet.
"More people today love their pets like children but don't
always have the funds readily available to support the cost of
many veterinary treatments," Dr. Stephens says. "People who
are devoted to their pets always want to be financially
prepared when an emergency or illness occurs - they make the
best candidates for insurance."
Families with young pets should not be fooled by the
seeming invincibility of youth. Puppies and kittens are more
prone to accidents and require frequent check-ups. Providing
insurance early in a pet's life can start them on the right
path to long-term health as they have more access to
top-of-the-line preventive services.
In addition, all pet owners concerned about budgeting for
both the routine and unexpected medical needs of their pets
should look into purchasing pet insurance. With policies as
low as $7-10 per month, monthly premium payments prove more
predictable than costly accidents and emergencies. The VPI
Standard plan pays out a maximum of $9,000 annually; the VPI
Superior plan pays out a maximum of $14,000 a year. Both
packages cover more than 6,400 conditions and care ranging
from prescriptions and office visits to surgeries and
"Regardless of which plan a pet owner chooses and
regardless of a pet's age and condition, they should be
prepared to face a medical emergency or illness sometime down
the road," Dr. Stephens says. "Our goal is to make it possible
for pets to receive more frequent and thorough care without
having to deny any animal treatment for economic reasons."