Pet insurance for your goose, goats, guinea pigs?
Hot on the heels of our recent discussions on pet health insurance comes this post on the question of non-traditional pet insurance. It seems Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the company boasting the largest share of this still small, but growing market, is raising the stakes and reaching out to owners of companion animals outside the dog-cat norm.
How about pet goose insurance, as for Boswell (profiled in the Boston Globe’s recent article titled, How Far Should We Go to Save Our Pets?)?
Clearly Boswell’s owner, an as-dedicated-to-his-goose-as-they-come sort of guy, might have done well to consider a pet insurance policy. But then...would radiation for a leg cancer be covered? Or would that’ve been considered waaay “experimental”?—for a goose, that is.
How about pet policies for the queen does of suburban Miami (my goats Poppy and Tulip)? I have a hard enough time finding them a vet who knows their way around a cloven-hoofed beast (none nearby). So would a pet insurance policy buy me the peace of mind I seek? Honestly, probably not.
But my guinea pigs? Though precious few vets in my area know how to properly treat these so-called “pocket pets,” (who in Miami spends money on these guys?) I’m pretty sure I could manage to take some comfort in a pet health insurance plan for them.
Yet in general, pet health insurance for exotic and non-traditional pets seems (at least for this vet) way behind the curve on what it can yet offer. Much of that is simply the result of my read on the level of care typically available to them (worse in South Florida than elsewhere, I’ll warrant). Unfortunately, veterinary medicine is not so standardized for them relative to the kind of care our dogs and cats (and horses, of course) receive.
Issues like these make me wonder why VPI would go out of its way to offer pet insurance for these species. How can there be enough information out there on pocket pet expenditures for an actuary to determine a fair price for the policy?
Despite my reservations, I applaud VPI for taking the first steps in recognizing the importance of non-dog/cat species to so many pet lovers. Here’s hoping their foray into exotic pet health insurance works out for them…and for their policy holders’ loved ones. If it does, it can only mean good things for the level of non-traditional pet care in this country.
P.S. Any of you considering a policy for your exotic pets? If so, let us know.