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Pet health insurance not worth the added cost

Monday - 8/1/2011, 7:42am  ET

AP: 87fe69c8-976e-49a8-b24b-588c252d8d81
Consumer Reports finds that pet health insurance is only worth it when it comes to expensive pet care. (AP)

WASHINGTON - For many, pets are part of the family.

And, while pet health insurance may seem like a good idea, it may not be in the long run.

In its most recent analysis, Consumer Reports finds that pet insurance policies generally cost more than they pay out.

The magazine found that coverage would more than pay for itself only when a pet needed very expensive care.

Pet insurance policies typically cost between $3,200 a and $6,400.

If you are still considering buying pet health insurance, Consumer Reports suggests the following:

  • Read the company's sample policy, including its terms and conditions. Watch for limitations, cost-sharing, and service fees.
  • Watch for what's excluded. No pet insurance covers pre-existing conditions.
  • Avoid riders for wellness care.
  • If you plan to use the coverage for catastrophic coverage, go for the highest deductible you can afford.
  • Don't be caught off guard by premium increases.

WTOP's Brennan Haselton contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)