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Q&A: In case of fire


Veterinary practices should have enough coverage to replace all pets in the hospital.

Q: In the event of a fire or disaster, what do I need to know about pet replacement coverage when selecting an insurance policy for my practice?

Dr. Karl Salzsieder

A: From a legal standpoint, you need to make sure you have enough coverage to replace any and all pets in the hospital, says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Karl Salzsieder, JD, of Salzsieder Consulting and Legal Services in Kelso, Wash. Standard coverage for small animal hospitals usually pays $2,500 per pet. Of course, no matter what your coverage, there's still the risk of a lawsuit for non-economic damages, although no state has definitively determined what these damages might amount to. In this case, you'd have to go to court, and the insurance company would require the client to prove a greater loss of value before it would pay liability damages.

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