Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
If your pet were critically injured tomorrow, and needed to be hospitalized, could you afford the bill?
We all strive to take the very best care of our pets. They’re members of our family, after all! Luckily, we now have access to advanced veterinary care for our pets. From cancer treatment, to life saving critical care, to treatment for hyperthyroidism, we are fortunate to have many choices when it comes to treating major illness and injury. However, that advanced care does not come without cost. According to Canine Journal, the annual cost of pet care is now topping $1800 per pet. So it’s no wonder that veterinary care is becoming a significant financial strain on many families.
That’s where pet insurance comes in. Just as human health insurance is meant to bridge the gap between cost and needed health care, pet insurance can ease the financial burden of unexpected illness or injury in our pets. But is it worth it?
Pet Insurance Basics
There’s a lot of chatter on the internet about whether or not pet insurance is “worth it”. The bottom line is, it’s an individual decision based on your own financial situation, your view on paying for treatment of major illness for your pet, and the value you place on security and peace of mind.
Different from a preventive care plan, pet insurance is really designed to help pet owners meet the cost of unexpected accidents and injuries and major illnesses. There are some plans that also offer coverage for wellness care, such as exams, vaccinations, and dental cleanings. However, the monthly cost of those plans will be higher than an accident and illness plan.
Most pet insurance companies expect pet owners to pay for veterinary services up front and then submit the bills to them for reimbursement. For this reason, many people with pet insurance also choose to have a Care Credit account, which can allow payment up front of large expenses.
Unlike in human health care, there is no preferred network of providers, so you can rest assured that your pet can be seen by any veterinarian she needs – including the emergency clinic.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
There are many factors to consider when answering the question about whether pet insurance is worth it. To start with, you need to compare apples to apples when deciding which pet insurance company deserves your business. Compare these criteria, and you’ll be off to a good start:
- Monthly premiums (costs)
- Add on costs
- Deductible amounts
- Lifetime maximums
- Age limits
- Waiting periods
- Pre existing conditions
- Exclusions, including breed and congenital disorders
You also want to consider online reviews of each company and their customer service. Give your top three companies a call to ask your questions. If the company can’t answer those questions, move on.
The sooner you sign your pet up for pet insurance, the less expensive the monthly premiums will be. No pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions. So it’s cost effective to consider pet insurance for your puppy or kitten, before pre existing conditions can arise.
Peace of Mind
Perhaps the biggest benefit to pet insurance is the peace of mind it can afford you. With pet insurance, you’ll never have to choose between your pet and your wallet. If your pet is critically injured, or is diagnosed with cancer or another major illness, you can focus on what’s important – your pet’s treatment and care – rather than how you will pay for that treatment. This kind of peace of mind can be priceless.
If you have more questions about pet insurance, please give us a call. Many of our staff members have pet insurance for their pets, and we can give you our recommendations, too. The Pet Experts are here to help!