While it's wise that pet owners have pet insurance, businesses and policies are not all the same, said veterinarian Jennifer Quammen, chair of the board of directors and Public Relations Chair of the Kentucky Veterinarian Medical Association.

"I usually advise clients to look around them" and make sure they understand the policies covered, such as wellness services, vaccines and treatments. urgency, she said.

Phillip Koenig, co-owner of Silver Spoon Caterers and boxing enthusiast, assured that he ensured the show dogs that he sends on the road with masters. It's reassuring to know that if there is an accident or illness, the manager may have to resort to a veterinarian.

This paid off when one of his boxers sprained his leg and needed steroids and pain medication while he was going to a show in the Chicago area, said Koenig, who insures his insurance with the American Kennel Club.

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Here are some tips from the American Veterinary Medicine Association:

► Talk to your veterinarian and look for your options.

►The insurance provider should clearly explain to you the details, including limitations and exclusions, of coverage for routine care and / or well-being, as well as treatments and emergency conditions requiring extensive care. Find out how your premiums will increase as your pet gets older or if you make claims.

►Check additional options to provide specific coverage, such as dental insurance and travel insurance, that could meet your needs.

►Discover how companies define and treat pre-existing conditions (illnesses or conditions that your pet already has – or has had before – underwriting the insurance plan).

►In some cases, insurance providers do not insure a particular pet or breed of pets, or may limit the number of pets that you can ensure, if pets are considered "high risk".

►All fees, including copays, deductibles, surcharges and other fees, must be clearly explained to you so that you understand the contract and its limitations.

►Animal insurance plans are usually repayment plans. You pay the bills in advance and are reimbursed by the insurance provider. Ask the insurance provider how the claims are processed and the repayment period. If you want to cover the costs right from the start, ask your veterinarian about the payment options that will be right for you in case you need to make arrangements. Understand your options in advance so you do not have the stress of trying to make payment arrangements in case of an emergency.

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Grace Schneider: 502-582-4082; gschneider@courierjournal.com; Twitter: @gesinfk. Support strong local journalism by registering today: courier-journal.com/graces.