With the advancements of veterinary medicine and the changing role of pets in our lives, many people are asking us what we think about pet insurance. Should you get a policy or just pay as you go? If you do get insurance, which policy do you choose? If you choose a policy, what plan is right? With so many questions out there, we have decided to weigh in on the subject. First, know this; like most of the clinics on the Olympic Peninsula, we do not process claims for you. Payment is expected at the time of service and you submit the required forms to the insurance company for reimbursement. We will be glad to help you fill out the forms and submit records, but the submission of said forms is up to you. Insurance is an individual decision and depends largely on the type of pet, the age of that pet, and whether or not that pet has had problems in the past. Just like with human insurance, pre-existing conditions can create disappointment when hunting a policy. In addition, many plans are breed specific, because certain breeds come with predispositions towards certain diseases and disorders. There are plans that cover wellness visits such as vaccines and spaying or neutering and there are plans that only cover major medical. Again, your circumstances and pet will dictate what you need. Policies can be as unique as your pet. Our stance on insurance is: If you can budget a plan, get one. Ideally, get a plan when your pet is still a baby, before any “conditions” present themselves. If you adopt an adult pet, get a physical done and if the pet is healthy, consider getting a policy. If it is less than healthy, look into policies that may take your pet, even with a “pre-existing” condition. Some plans will drop the condition if the pet is not seen for that particular problem for two years. Having a policy in place prior to any big medical decisions paves the way for easy decision making and peace-of-mind when the unplanned, major medical event does occur. There are a LOT of options for pet insurance and we do not choose one over another. We have clients who have had good luck with several companies. We have brochures for several companies available, and would be happy to share them with you. As always, we encourage you to do your homework on the policies, and decide which may work best for you and your pet.