Pets have no national health service, so pet health insurance may be a good investment if you wish to save money while keeping your best friend fit and healthy.

As always when choosing insurance, it is best to shop around. This is particularly important when choosing insurance for your pet’s health, as, with so many different kinds of animals and insurance companies, policies can differ dramatically.

Many pet health insurance polices cover as standard veterinary fees for accidents or illness, advertising and rewards if your pet is lost or stolen, and boarding kennel or cattery fees if you or their primary career is hospitalized. Many pet health insurance policies also cover third party liability if your pet is the cause of accidental injury, damage or loss to a person or property.

If you want more protection for your pet than this, you might also wish to investigate other, more in-depth, pet health policies. Some more specific pet health care insurance policies will also cover fees for correcting behavioral problems and veterinary fees for complimentary medicine. Complementary medicine includes physiotherapy, herbal or homeopathic medicines or veterinary prescribed diets. However, most pet insurance companies do not offer policies which include such things as cover for pre-existing conditions and routine treatments like vaccinations or spaying/castration except for medical reasons.

In America, the leading pet health care insurance provider is Veterinary Pet Insurance, aka VPI, which offers pet insurance for cats and dogs.

Veterinary Pet Insurance offers a number of policies for dogs, including the Veterinary Pet Insurance Superior Plan, and the Veterinary Pet Insurance Standard Plan.

The VPI superior plan covers accidental injuries, emergencies and illnesses suffered by the dog covered, as well as prescriptions, diagnostic tests, x-rays and lab fees, while the VPI standard plan offers the same coverage, but reimburses a lower amount of the fees paid. VPI’s Pet WellCare Protection Rider can be added to both of these policies, and offers benefits to routine procedures and treatments your dog will need throughout his or her life. The Pet WellCare Protection Rider also allows reimbursement for preventative care, such as physical exams, flea and heartworm treatment, vaccinations, medications, spaying/castration, and dental cleaning among other things. For cats, the same insurance policies are available.

In the UK a leading provider of pet health care insurance is Tesco; Tesco allows insurance policies to be set up online, and actually offers a discount for doing so. Tesco offers pet health care insurance policies for both cats and dogs. Their basic pet health care insurance program will cover the cost of any necessary surgery or medical care up to the value of £2500 per condition, and allows a year to claim. They also offer a more comprehensive insurance program, which covers the cost of any medical care up to the value of £4000, and allows claims for an unlimited amount of time. Neither policy changes based upon the age of your pet, and both can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

When choosing any kind of insurance policy, it’s important to shop around, and find one to suit your specific needs, particularly if you own an unusual pet. Finding the best pet insurance isn’t something that should be avoided, and getting quotes from a number of pet health care insurance providers can usually be done online, so inconvenience is not an excuse. Having a good pet health care insurance policy could save you money in the long run, and prevent your pet suffering with an illness you can’t pay to treat. A number of insurance companies offer pet health care insurance policies.

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