When I saw a headline stating that one of the hottest new benefits some of America’s largest companies are offering to employees is pet insurance, I thought it was a great idea.
Of course, initially I thought it was casualty insurance. How appropriate, I thought, to finally recognize the obvious catastrophic loss potential found in every otherwise innocent looking dog. Whether it’s chewing through an expensive handbag and countless pairs of shoes, or knocking over a bottle of dye that leaves an indelible stain on brand-new Berber carpeting, or experiencing gastric or intestinal incidents that permanently ruin fancy throw rugs after eating an entire wheel of brie or trying to consume an “action figure,” the misadventures of our pooches can have a profound impact on the pocketbook. Why not offer insurance that properly recognizes that dogs are an awesomely destructive natural force, like hurricanes or tornadoes?
But the insurance that’s being offered is pet health insurance — and that’s an even better idea. Under the options offered by the plans, the cost per pet ranges between $10 and $57 a month, depending on the coverage and deductible.
Having such coverage surely would help when pet owners have to make decisions about costly medical care for their companions. It’s an awful, wracking process when a family on a budget has to decide whether to to spend thousands of dollars on surgery and medication on a beloved family pet whose remaining life expectancy would be short under even ideal conditions. No one wants to try to put a dollar value on the life of a pet that has become a member of the family, and having some help in paying the bills that would allow that life to continue would make the decision so much easier.