Is pet insurance worth it?

PETS look after your health, whether you realise it or not, and it is important to return the favour.

But is pet insurance worth it?

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) thinks so and even established a pet insurance taskforce in 2013 to deal with the issue.

Galaxy Research commissioned by AVA in 2013 found only 12% of cat owners and 18% of dog owners had pet insurance.

Half of those who did not have insurance said they did not feel it was worth it, more than one-third considered it too expensive and one-quarter had not looked into it.

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The taskforce planned to speak with insurance companies about cooling off periods, clearer terms and conditions and removing clauses for pre-existing conditions.

AVA expects more pet owners will consider insurance if changes are made, meaning more pet treatment options for ill animals.

The association does not suggest any particular insurer, but financial data provider Canstar has compared 81 policies from 19 providers and determined the best insurers for dogs and cats of all ages and sizes.

View its findings at http://www.canstar.com.au.

A bonus of keeping your pet around as long as possible is that they act as human health insurers, providing emotional, psychological and even physical benefits.

Not only are they great stress busters, but research has shown pet owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol and visit the doctor less.

Non-profit organisation Australian Companion Animal Council's 2009 report stated pets also teach children empathy and responsibility, improved feelings of safety and helped create social bridges in communities. - APN NEWSDESK



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