Pet insurance is designed to protect owners from paying exorbitant medical bills when their pet is injured or becomes ill. While practical for your peace of mind, animal care policies can also cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per year. If you are financially secure enough to pay a large sum of money for emergency pet care, you can probably do without insurance. But if you can’t afford thousands of dollars for unexpected treatment, you should consider buying an insurance policy.
Should I buy pet insurance?
What are the costs of pet insurance?
What are pet insurance plans available?
Is it worth paying for pet insurance?
When choosing whether or not to buy a pet insurance plan, there are three questions to consider: how much would you be willing to pay if your pet has a severe emergency, how much could it really pay, and how much tolerance does it have that are at risk. While the cost of repairing something like an ear infection or an upset stomach probably won’t cost you more than a few hundred dollars, the most severe health problems can cost several thousand dollars. If you don’t have insurance, you may need to leave your dog for financial reasons.
If you cannot afford a massive operation, and you do not want financial restrictions to decide the fate of your pet, then you must obtain insurance. For a plan with decent coverage, the average cost of pet insurance is around $ 45 per month for dogs and $ 25 for cats. In most cases, the annual costs of these plans will be significantly lower than those of a massive operation. Consider that surgery to remove a shoe or chew toy from a dog’s stomach can be up to $ 7,000, while insurance will be between $ 300 and $ 600 per year. Assuming a $ 500 deductible and an 80% refund, the following table illustrates the costs versus the benefits of pet insurance.
While some of the treatment costs listed above are for the most severe cases, you can see how much a pet insurance plan will save you in the event of an unexpected event. Although you may end up paying an insurance premium for years and never receive benefits, it is best to consider insurance as an annual cost. If nothing happens to your animal during one year of coverage, you have protected your animal and your wallet for the following year.
It is important to emphasize that insurance is only useful and valid for large and unexpected expenses. Most insurers do not cover pre-existing conditions or routine checks. You will pay for these treatments and wellness exams anyway. As such, the decision to purchase pet insurance comes down to one risk: How financially and emotionally comfortable do you feel at the likelihood that your pet’s life-saving bill is out of your price range?
Pet insurance fees
The cost of pet insurance varies depending on where you live, the age and breed of your pet, and the level of coverage you want. In most cases, you will end up paying between $ 25 and $ 70 to ensure your dog and between $ 10 and $ 40 to insure your cat. These costs can be lower or higher, depending on the amount of coverage you want. For example, you can pay more each month in exchange for a higher payment when your dog or cat receives available treatment.
If you are considering purchasing a policy, you should get an actual quote from an insurer’s website. You can also compare pet insurance plans to find the policy that best suits your budget and the level of coverage you want. The table below shows quotes from two examples of animal profiles: a 4-year-old male Labrador and a four-year-old Bengal cat. For older pets, the costs of pet insurance will likely be much higher and may not be worth it.
Pet insurance plans
If you choose to purchase pet insurance, you should get a policy covering both accident and illness. Because pet health insurance does not cover regular checkups or preventive care, protection from accidents, and disease is the only real benefit of purchasing coverage. Although the illnesses covered can sometimes be limited, the good news is that most pet insurance plans are highly personalized and allow policyholders to choose their deductible, reimbursement level, and maximum annual or incidental amount.
Your deductible is the amount you must pay for treatment before the insurance takes effect. This ranges from $ 0 to $ 1,000 for most plans, with higher costs for a lower deductible. Refund options are generally available from 50% to 100%, which means you can choose to receive a partial or full refund. And the range of annual maximums and incidents goes from $ 1,000 to more than $ 15,000, but you’ll pay much more for a higher maximum.
Finally, it is essential to note that pet insurance works differently from regular health insurance. While companies that cover humans pay medical bills in advance, pet insurance companies require owners to pay medical bills and then request reimbursement. Some owners express their frustration with the repayment process and are surprised to learn that certain conditions are not covered. If you are not sure what is included, be sure to read your specific contract and ask the company questions about your plan.