Pet insurance is a growing industry, and for good reason. Veterinary expenses are a large part of the overall costs of owning a pet. This insurance has been around for decades, but many pet owners still don’t understand what it is, what it covers, how to obtain it, and what the importance of having pet insurance is. One of the largest insurance companies in the world is trying to change that.
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. is holding a contest for the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year. Jackie, a Manchester terrier mix is in the running for the top prize. The negative consequences of her breaking and entering habit finally caught up with her after she figured out how to open her family’s junk drawer. She suffered a huge bellyache after eating the contents of the drawer, which included a medicine bottle, a pair of sunglasses, chap stick, lip gloss and a bottle of perfume.
After a lot of x-rays and a heavy dose of laxatives, Jackie was able to pass all of the items without having surgery. The terrier mix will be facing off against a tape-eating cat, a dog that almost died of smoke inhalation, and a boxer who ate a wooden barbecue skewer only to have it disappear in his body and almost kill him one year later.
Nationwide has been giving out the Hambone Award since 2009. After reviewing all of the pet insurance claims over the course of the year, they pick their “Most Unusual Claim” from each moth and allow the public to vote for the claim they think should win the yearly title. You can check out all the nominees and cast your vote at www.hamboneaward.com. Voting ends on September 30th.
Nationwide puts on this competition every year to highlight the risks of unforeseen dangers to all family pets. It’s not just choking hazards and speeding cars that dog owners need to worry about. Most pet insurance claims are for unforeseen accidents like a dog or cat that swallows something they weren’t supposed to or is impaled by a tree branch while playing outside. Animals are unpredictable, and you never know what kind of trouble they are going to get themselves into.
The Hambone Award got its name after a dog in 2009 got himself stuck in the refrigerator and ate an entire ham. One of the award’s previous winners was a Labrador that ate a beehive and hundreds of the bees inside it. It is things like this that pet owners just don’t see coming. Those are the times when pet insurance comes in handy.
After the winner is chosen by public vote, the animal hospital that treated the winner will get a reward of $10,000. Nationwide is one of the 10 largest insurers for auto and home policies in the U.S., and they offer animal policies under the Veterinary Pet Insurance brand. They cover pets including cats, dogs, and birds against accidents, injuries, and illnesses. They insure about 550,000 pets.
Carol McConnell, chief veterinary medical officer for Nationwide, said in a statement:
“These stories exemplify the importance of taking the necessary precautions and seeking veterinary treatment when an animal shows signs of distress. These pets all made remarkable recoveries because of their quick-thinking pet parents and proper treatment by skilled veterinarians.”
Pet insurance offers pet parents the peace of mind of knowing that if something unfortunate happens to their animal they will be able to offer him top-notch care no matter what their financial resources are at the time. Many pets are euthanized each year because their owners can’t afford to treat their medical issues. With pet insurance, owners would have the comfort of knowing that they could get their pet the medical attention that he needed without having to worry about the out-of-pocket costs.