Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Travel insurance for your pet?

Previously, we've considered both travel insurance, as well as pet owner's insurance as two separate issues, but haven't yet considered them together. If you are a pet owner and you plan to travel with your pet, as opposed to leaving your pet in somebody else's care while you are away, it is of the utmost importance to ascertain beforehand that your pet is as healthy as possible; after all, the strain of a different environment will take its toll even on the healthiest of animals. The effects will be more adverse on an animal whose health is already compromised. However, even after determining that your pet is well enough for travel, your responsibilities don't stop there: despite the best laid plans, there is no way to be sure that your pet will not face injury or illness while traveling, and as such, you need to prepared for that possibility.

Shopping for traveling pet insurance can be tricky: since it is not one of the more commonly sought types of insurance, you may be at a loss when it comes to determining what exactly you need. Here are some starting points. You should ask your provider to explain:
  • what conditions are covered by the policy
  • how long is the period covered by the policy for a given condition
  • what financial limits, if any, are in place for a given condition
  • what options are available for customization to ensure that the plan fits you and your pet specifically

What else can you do to protect your pet from harm while traveling? Given that most (nearly three quarters) of those traveling with pets travel by car, you can ensure that your pet is used to that environment by taking them on shorter trial excursions. Additionally, take your time in determining the safest and most comfortable form of restraint for your pet while on the road. Resist the temptation to let your animal ride in the front with you, as airbags can kill pets. Some animals, dogs in particular, enjoy hanging their heads outside of the window. Since this is dangerous, as the dog may be hit by another vehicle or object outside of your car, only let your windows down partially for fresh air, but not enough for the animal to be physically out of the car. On the actual day of your departure, be sure to feed your pet well in advance (at least two hours) to avoid nausea and vomiting.

In speaking with your insurance provider about traveling pet insurance, be sure to ask about any useful advice they may have about promoting pet wellness on the road—or in the air.


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