Japanese pet insurance covers MRI, surgery costs for dogs, cats and flying squirrels

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In Japan, household pets are being treated more like members of the family with a number of pet insurance policies now covering MRI, surgery, inpatient care and funeral costs.  

According to a recent article from Nikkei Asian Review, the pet insurance market is growing by 20 percent a year in Japan. The island nation has also expanded the list of animals its pet insurance policies cover, so hedgehogs and flying squirrels can get coverage alongside cats and dogs.   

"Hospitals operated by the Japan Animal Referral Medical Center are equipped with many of the same types of high-tech gear found in good hospitals for people, including MRI machines and CT scanners," according to the article. "The animal patients at the center are sent to various specialized departments, depending on their symptoms." 

The Japan Animal Referral Medical Center will open up its Tokyo branch this year and another in Osaka in 2019, according to the article, due to a growing demand for owners to have their animals receiving treatment similar to humans.  

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