12 On Your Side: Pet insurance gone to the dogs?

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. -- There is nothing Kailin Goike adores more than her dogs.

"They're my kids," she said.

Kali is one of three dogs she owns. She also has the most medical problems.

"She has chronic lung problems and she also has an enlarged heart," Goike said.

Goike spends a lot of time at the vet's office. Not just because she works in one but also because Kali needs constant medical attention.

Goike has considered getting pet insurance to help with the expenses.

"I have researched it a little bit. What I found is that nothing quite fits what my circumstances are," she said.

Heartsong Animal Rescue director Loretta Emmons says most pet insurances do not cover pre-existing conditions or genetic disorders.

"It will cover an injury. If a dog breaks its leg. Some cover cancer. Some cover liver disease. Some do not," Emmons said.

Prices vary depending on the type of pet insurance an owner chooses. Emmons says the monthly cost can range from $75 to $200. Deductibles can range anywhere from $50 to $1,000.

"Is it really worth it to put pet insurance on your pet? I would say it depends on the breed that you have. What type of lifestyle you have," Emmons said.

She recommends it for owners of search and rescue dogs as well as for folks that like to hike or travel with the dogs.

However, Emmons says there's a simpler and more economic way for owners of basic pets.

"Take the exact same amount you would put for a premium and put it into a savings account," she said.

If you do believe pet insurance is for you, remember to do your research, understand what you're paying for and read the fine print.

Most of the dogs in the video are available for adoption. If you are interested, call Heartsong Animal Rescue at (706) 860-9300.

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