GLEN ROCK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Many pet owners have turned to pet insurance to help pay for rising costs in medical care for their beloved animals. But, according to one congressman in New Jersey, companies are taking advantage of owners by rising their rates along the way.
Eileen Hillock lost two dogs to severe illness, accruing major vet bills before she adopted her new babies, Kodi and Kali.
"We got insurance on them because of what we learned with the others," she told Eyewitness News. "So much is covered, and so many people cannot afford it."
But New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer says pet insurance companies have submitted applications to raise their rates significantly.
"Many families across New Jersey, including mine, recently received a letter that our pet insurance rates were set to increase 44% this year alone," said Gottheimer on Monday.
The congressman says the three major pet insurance companies in New Jersey are asking for hikes of 33%, 44% and 56% - doubling the costs for some people while he says veterinarian bills are up only about 10% on average.
"There's a line between reasonable and unreasonable, and these rate increases in one year crosses that line," said Gotteheimer.
Gotteheimer is asking the state's Department of Banking and Insurance to reject the companies' applications for the increases.
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