Medical Insurance has gone to the Dogs (and cats and birds too!)

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Medical Insurance has gone to the Dogs (and cats and birds too!)

We all know how important having adequate affordable medical insurance is to protect your loved ones. But what about those four-legged and feathered members of the family? Veterinary medical bills and veterinary health care can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and many pet lovers are choosing to purchase medical insurance for their furry, feline and feathered friends.

Pet insurance for veterinary care began with policies mainly for dogs and cats, but a recent report released by one of the largest pet insurers in the nation, Veterinary Pet Insurance indicates that birds, reptiles and other "exotics" as a group are now close behind in their owners purchasing medical coverage for them. VPI provide health insurance for over 350,000 dogs, some 60,000 cats, and almost 1200 rabbits, 800 ferrets, over 600 combined species of Parrot, 200 Guinea Pigs, nearly 100 rats 55 Iguana's, and at least 1 Pot-Bellied Pig. Donna Richards of Connecticut owns Mango and Sier two of the 55 insured iguanas "I have just as strong a bond with my two iguanas as I do with my insured chocolate lab," said Richards. "And, considering that veterinary treatment can get just as pricey for them, it brings me comfort knowing that I have something to defray the costs."

VPI began with dog and cat medical insurance policies in 1982. They added "Avian and other Exotics" coverage in 2000, and a year later extended that to policies for rabbits ferrets and just about any other creature that walks, crawls or slithers into a pet owners heart. Dr. Carol McConnell, director of veterinary education for VPI said, "We responded to a portion of the pet-owning public that maintain special relationships with their feathered family members, pocket pets and scaled sidekicks." She ads, "This recent overview of all pets insured by VPI underscores that the human-animal bond has transcended beyond our nation's puppies and kittens."

Pet "parents" are seeking out and obtaining medical coverage for everything from iguanas to emus, but whether you will soon actually be able to purchase a policy for an 8-foot invisible rabbit named "Harvey" remains to be seen. Still, obtaining pet health insurance is a good way to control the costs of vet bills, which any pet owner knows can considerably add up. Basic coverage for cats and dogs usually runs about 150.00 to 300.00 a year, for a healthy young dog. The cost for other species varies. Like their human counterparts policies for vet care usually have a deductible after which full benefits kick in.

You can find out more about pet insurance by logging on to http://www.petinsurance.com oh yes and here for a free quote on medical insurance of the human variety.