Is pet insurance worth it?
If you’re a pet owner, then you have probably asked that question many times. It’s a very valid question today.
Most people have the wrong ideas about pet insurance, which means they end up making wrong decisions. In the next few minutes you’ll become more enlightened on the subject, so your pets will get the right kind of care that they deserve.
The Cost of Caring for Pets
Caring for pets has become big business.
Back in 2014, pet owners spent a total of $15 billion on veterinary care. That makes up quarter of the $58 billion that was spent on caring for pets. That means people are more willing now to spend money when it comes to caring for their pets.
It is interesting to note that of the billions of dollars spent on caring for pets, a significant portion, $870 million to be exact, was spent on pet insurance.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Before you can decide if getting pet insurance is going to be worth it, you’ll have to get some understanding first on how it works.
One of the more common misunderstandings about pet insurance is that it would just be better to open a savings account dedicated to pet care costs. Most of the people who prefer a pet care savings account believe that pet insurance is just a waste of money.
This belief is based on a misunderstanding of the purpose of getting insurance for pets. The purpose of animal insurance is to help owners to cover large unexpected costs.
It is okay to set up a savings account to cover for the costs of caring for your pets, but that should not be a replacement for pet insurance.
Now, it’s important to know how pet insurance would work when you really have to use it. It’s different from what you were used to with your own health insurance.
Most pet insurance companies today use a reimbursement model. This means that when you take your insured pet to the veterinarian, you will have to cover the expenses. Afterwards, you will file a claim to the company and then you get reimbursed for the amount of the treatment. The deductibles will be taken out of the amount that will be reimbursed to you.
There are some exceptions of course. Some insurance companies will pay the vet directly, especially in cases where the amount is rather large. The problem is that some vets are unwilling to go along with that sort of arrangement.
So, in most cases, you will need to have sufficient money on hand in order to cover for the treatment One of the things that you have to think about is whether you have enough cash to pay for the treatment before you can be reimbursed. If the answer is no, then getting an insurance for your cat or dog might not be the best option.
How Much is Pet Insurance
Most pet owners are asking this question now: Should I get pet insurance?
The main thing that most of them need to know is how much it would cost them.
There are several factors which can have an effect on the cost of pet insurance. These include:
- Type of plan and deductible
If you’re wondering why location will have an effect on the cost of insurance, that’s because the state that you live in is going to be a factor.
Different companies would have different costs for their plans. PetFirst’s average plan costs about $25 a month. For Veterinary Pet Insurance, the average cost of insurance is up to $11 per month when it comes to emergency care and $34 a month for everyday care.
One good way that you can find a plan that matches your budget is to read reviews online. Aside from the cost of a plan, you can find out other useful information when you read a review.
When most people decide to get a puppy or any other kind of pet, they don’t usually think about the costs of treating diseases and medical emergencies. This can be a problem because treating a pet dog or cat can be very costly.
It is also important to note that the decision to get a specific treatment for a pet is usually an emotional decision. That decision however can have a significant effect on your finances.
For example, if a puppy swallows a small object like a toy, the cost of removing that object can go up to $1,300 if you take your pet to a vet or an emergency clinic. That was according to a survey that was done by PetFirst. That’s a common problem, which you might have to deal with if you have a curious puppy.
A common sickness which pets may catch is pneumonia. Should your cat be infected with this disease, the average treatment costs around $960.
These figures just mean that getting medical treatment for your pets is not cheap. Even if you want to get an emergency treatment done on your pet, there is a chance that you might be unable to afford it.
Surveys have been conducted which asked pet owners the amount that they are willing to spend on a pet that is sick or injured. A significant percentage of those surveyed said that they would be willing to spend any amount in order to save the life of their beloved pet.
But when the same pet owners are looking at the actual costs of the treatment, they’re not that sure anymore. Things are different when it’s no longer just a “what if” question and they’re really looking at the possibility of paying a thousand-dollar bill.
Why Pet Treatment is So Expensive
So, is pet insurance worth it?
Before answering the question and finally determine whether the best pet insurance is worth the money that it costs, it is important to mention some of the reasons why medical treatment for animals have gone up.
The technology for treating animal injuries and illnesses have also improved vastly in the past few years. There are more specialists and specialist clinics for animals now.
In more serious cases a vet may refer to a specialist and that costs more. This is a trend that is bound to continue and become the norm in the future.
Should I Get Pet Insurance
So, should you get insurance for your pets?
Here are a few points which you should keep in mind when deciding:
- The main point of getting insurance is to prepare for unplanned large expenses. This is true for any kind of insurance, including pet insurance.
- There are many companies now offering pet insurance and there is also marked improvement in the coverage.
- If you are willing to spend a huge amount for the treatment of your pet, but you don’t know if you can afford then pet insurance is for you.
Pros and Cons of Pet Insurance
Like everything else, animal insurance has its pros and cons.
You just have to decide if the pros or the advantages far outweigh the cons in your case.
Here are some of pros of getting insurance for pets:
- Compared with insurance for humans, the one for pets have lower deductibles. The average deductibles for pet insurance is $150-$200 per year.
- Some plans include a free visit each year.
- There are plans which offer bonus reimbursements. These bonus reimbursements depend on your carrier. Some carriers will reimburse you for costs that are unrelated to your pet’s health. For example, you can get reimbursed if you have to pay to board your pet because of an emergency.
- Serious illnesses are covered by plans for low premiums. If your aim is just to be covered in case your pet gets very sick, then pet insurance cost is going to be worth it.
- You have the freedom to choose the vet where you will be taking your pet. There are exceptions, like private plans but mostly, you are free to choose.
Here are a few of the cons of getting pet insurance which you might encounter:
- You will have to work with a maximum benefit each year. So, if you have an accident prone or a sickly pet, then insurance might not cover everything.
- Injuries related to sports and work for the most part are not covered. You can still ensure pets that are used for work and sports but there would be additional cost.
- It has been mentioned that with pet insurance there would be upfront costs. This means that even if you do have insurance for your pets, you still need cash.
- If your pet has preexisting conditions, then the insurance is not going to cover for it.
- Most plans do not cover routine care. If you have a puppy and you’re getting insurance for it because you think that’s the best way to save money, think again.
These are the things that you ought to know about pet insurance. With the help of what you have learned from this article, you can decide whether it is worth it or not.