The following article has been provided courtesy of Petplan pet insurance, who is also offering an exclusive 10% discount on policies to Adopt-a-Pet.com supporters. To learn more visit Petplan.

One in three pets pays an unexpected visit to the veterinarian each year.* No wonder pet insurance is on the rise! Pet insurance helps pet parents pay their unexpected veterinary bills if a pet gets injured or becomes ill. As veterinary care becomes more advanced, it’s also becoming more expensive, so the need for an affordable alternative is more important than ever.

Some families choose to rely on a savings account, but investing in pet insurance can give pet parents access to tens of thousands of dollars in coverage right away. When you consider that every six seconds a pet parent is faced with a vet bill over $3,000,** the benefit of insurance is clear. By budgeting for a monthly premium, pet parents have the financial security to make health decisions for their pet based on what their veterinarian recommends, rather than what they can afford at that moment.

So what does pet insurance cover?
Depending on the provider, pet parents can get illness-only coverage, injury-only coverage or a comprehensive plan that covers both. A plan that covers both offers peace of mind that any unexpected vet care will be covered by the insurance. Most insurance plans cover the cost to treat unexpected veterinary conditions, like injuries and illnesses. Some also offer wellness plans that cover routine care. Depending on the provider, some pet insurance plans can be bundled with other types of coverage like homeowners or auto.

Some of the veterinary expenses pet insurance can cover are:
Veterinary exam fees (non-routine)
Diagnostic tests, including MRI, CAT scan, ultrasound, X-ray
Prescription medications
Cancer treatment
Dental treatments (non-routine)
Referral + specialist treatment
Alternative + complementary therapies

Will pet insurance cover an illness or injury my pet already has?
In short, no. Pet parents simply can’t receive a cancer diagnosis and then go out and buy a pet insurance policy to pay for the treatments. It would be like getting into a car accident and then signing up for auto insurance to cover the bill. Considering 50% of dogs over the age of 10 will develop some form of cancer, it makes sense to have insurance in place well before there’s ever a problem.

However, some pet insurance providers distinguish between curable and incurable conditions when determining what will be excluded as a “pre-existing” condition. If your pet has experienced a curable condition, like a urinary tract infection or ear infection, coverage may be available after a certain amount of time has passed with no recurrence. Many companies offer medical underwriting so there are no surprises at the time of a claim.

Every pet deserves pet insurance.
These days, there are more lifesaving diagnostics and treatments – like MRIs, hip replacement surgery and chemotherapy – available to our pets than ever. Having insurance can save your pet’s life, increase his quality of life and give you more (healthy!) time together. It’s a simple, predictable expense that can save thousands down the road, give you access to the very best veterinary care and ensure your pet’s health for a lifetime. For all the love and loyalty pets give us, giving them a pet insurance policy to protect them is the least we can do in return!

Adopt-a-Pet.com and Petplan believe pet insurance is important for all furry friends. To give you a leg up on getting a policy, Petplan is offering a 10% online discount to Adopt-a-Pet.com fans. Learn more.

* According to Datamonitor, 2008
** According to Petplan pet insurance, 2014