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Thinking of buying pet insurance? Read the fine print

animals
Experts say pet insurance could make sense for some owners  
November 7, 1998
Web posted at: 3:24 p.m. EST (2024 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- As medical care for humans has improved, so has medical care for pets. It is no longer unusual for owners to prolong the lives of their ailing animals by having them undergo everything from chemotherapy to kidney dialysis.

But such health care does not come cheap. Seeing a need to be filled, some enterprising insurance companies have started offering veterinary pet insurance.

Just like human health insurance, it's important to read the fine print of a pet policy, said Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan.

Important considerations when shopping for pet insurance include the following:

  • Some require deductibles and co-payments, others pay only a flat fee per ailment
  • Some policies may cover only cats and dogs
  • Pre-existing conditions, or breed-based genetic ailments, are often excluded
  • Premiums may rise as the pet ages
  • Some policies may have a maximum payout.

Correspondent Donald Van de Mark contributed to this report.

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