Thinking about Buying Health Insurance for your Pet?

By Joan Eve Quinn, Communications Specialist

Guardian Veterinary Specialists urges pet owners to consider purchasing health insurance for their furry family members. Having a pet health insurance policy in place to cover visits to your family veterinarian’s practice—and at advanced 24-hour specialty and emergency hospitals—can help tremendously in times of financial and emotional stress.   

A pet health insurance plan can be especially valuable in multi-pet households. Certain specialized procedures and therapies, such as orthopedic surgeries and chemotherapy treatments to fight cancer, tend to be quite expensive. In many cases, the insurance company reimburses you for a large percentage of the costs as determined by your plan’s coverage allowances. Usually, pet owners pay the veterinary practice first and subsequently receive reimbursement from the insurance company.     

We recommend buying a policy early in your pet’s life to maximize the benefits you’ll receive. As pets age, benefits often decrease and pre-existing conditions may be excluded. A good approach would be to discuss the topic with your primary care veterinarian during your new pet’s first wellness visit.

Bernadette Vinci, Guardian Veterinary Specialists’ Chief Operating Officer, and Vice President, often urges pet owners to buy insurance, but she offers an alternative. “If you don’t believe in insurance or don’t want to pay the premiums, you can start a pet savings account with automatic deductions from your pay. But that can be risky since you never know when a pet will become ill or injured. Insurance gives you better peace of mind,” she added.   

The marketplace offers a broad array of pet health insurance policies. Quite a few websites allow you to compare coverage and pricing across a wide range of plans. Research and compare carefully; coverage options and out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles, premiums, and co-pays, vary greatly and exclusions may apply.  

Guardian Veterinary Specialists provides the very best and most progressive care to our patients. We want to help as many pets as possible receive the professional medical and surgical services they need to live a good quality life. Pet health insurance can make it possible for pets to receive appropriate treatments and supportive care, which many owners may not otherwise be able to afford.  

Many of our clients utilize pet health insurance to help cover costs at our facility. If you have any questions call us at (914) 704-3400 or email us at We’re open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

To help you decide whether pet health insurance is right for you—and for buying advice—here’s an article from Consumer Reports:

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