I always get pet insurance. My dog is one of the most important beings in my life. Therefore, I want to know that I’m doing all that I can to keep her healthy. Knowing I can access pet insurance to help cover her bills gives me peace of mind.
However, this isn’t the right option for everyone. The cost-benefit ratio is something each pet owner must figure out for themselves.
Benefits of Pet Insurance
As I said, the peace of mind is the biggest benefit of pet insurance. In most cases, your pet won’t need expensive emergency health care. However, if they do, it’s nice to know insurance covers it. Nobody wants to have to make the tough decision about whether or not they can afford to pay for an ailing pet.
Get Pet Insurance When They’re Young
One option, of course, is to wait until your pet is older and more likely to need a lot of medical care. However, there are benefits to starting insurance when your animal is young. These include:
- It covers unexpected emergencies; puppies, in particular, tend to get themselves in trouble that requires care.
- Insurance is relatively cheap when animals are young. The fees go up as the animal ages. However, if you’ve started young, the fees aren’t as much as if you don’t start until the animal is older.
- You get covered before there is a pre-existing condition, which likely wouldn’t be covered.
Benefits for Pets of All Ages
Therefore, I personally got insurance for my dog as soon as I got her. Plus I pay to renew it each year. Here are some more benefits of pet insurance:
- Sometimes it pays for itself. In my case, it covers her heartworm and flea preventives. Therefore, even though we shell out a lot of money for the insurance, we recoup a lot just on basic expenses. We would pay for these things anyway, so why not get the money back.
- I’m quick to say yes to getting things checked out. When my dog gets scratched by another dog, I take her in. We do an annual wellness exam where we have her blood checked. If I had to pay out of pocket, I might think twice about these things. They aren’t exactly necessary. However, insurance covers them, so I go ahead and get her the care.
Drawbacks of Pet Insurance
On the other hand, it’s not a black-and-white decision. I think pet insurance is always worth it. However, here are some things that you want to consider:
- There’s a monthly cost. Actually, I pay mine annually to get a slight discount. Either way, you shell out a big chunk of money each year. You may or may not regularly spend that on your pet. You won’t know until the end of the year if it was a savings or not.
- Each pet needs its own insurance. Therefore, if you have a whole household of animals, it might not be cost effective.
- You might need to pay first then get reimbursed. That’s how it works with my pet insurance company. It takes about a month for most claims to process through. Therefore, if you don’t have the money upfront, then pet insurance won’t help you.
- Pet insurance doesn’t cover everything. Some conditions and services aren’t covered in my plan. Therefore, there’s the stress of paying for insurance but potentially still needing to pay for other services.
- As an adjunct to that, pet insurance often doesn’t cover the best care. For example, there are some cutting edge cancer treatments available to dogs. However, most insurance will only cover basic treatments. Therefore, you don’t always have the choice to get the exact treatment you want if you’re using pet insurance.
Save Up Money for your Pet
If you aren’t sure whether or not to get pet insurance, then a pet savings account is another option. Create a savings account that is just for your pet. Deposit a set amount of money into it each month. That way, you will have the money available if an emergency or illness occurs.
Do you buy pet insurance? Why or why not?
- Preventative Pet Care Can Help You Avoid High Costs
- Cost of Having a Pet
- What Owning a Dog Teaches You About Life, Balance, and Happiness
Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer with more than a decade of experience writing about healthy living and personal finance. She lives in San Francisco, where she has learned to maximize frugal living tips in order to thrive as a freelancer in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring the city on foot with her rescue dog. Learn more about her at www.kathrynvercillo.com.
Kathryn also writes about saving money with coupons over at GroceryCouponGuide.com