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Is Pet Insurance Worth It? The Pros and Cons

Leonard is a former teacher and principal who has been a writer for the past three decades. Writing and animals are his true loves.

Is pet insurance worth it?

Is pet insurance worth it?

Pet Insurance: A Good Option?

We live in a risky world. The climate is changing, illness/pandemics are spreading, and political regions are in upheaval. All at a scale never seen before in history. Considering this, people frantically want to protect themselves and their families.

One obvious way they choose to do so is through insurance. Life, house, and automobile insurance are typically the tried-and-true methods of choice. However, many of us have other family members who are frequently overlooked when putting these safeguards in place. Namely… our pets!

Do you have a furry friend at home? If so, you may be wondering if pet insurance is a good option for you. After all, no one wants to think about the possibility of their pet getting sick or injured, but it's important to be prepared for anything that may come along.

There are many things to think about when you're a pet owner. Pets are beloved family members, and we want to do whatever we can to make them happy. One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to the well-being of your pet and the entire family is pet insurance.

Pet insurance can give you peace of mind by knowing that your furry companion will be taken care of financially if they get sick or have an accident.

However, pet insurance is certainly not right for everyone. There are a few things to consider before you decide whether to get it. Below are the top pros and cons of pet insurance, which will hopefully help you to make your own informed decision.

Pet insurance can help you financially if your pet gets sick or injured.

Pet insurance can help you financially if your pet gets sick or injured.

The Pros of Pet Insurance

Financial Protection

One of the biggest pros of pet insurance is that it can help you financially if your pet becomes sick or injured. Veterinary bills can be very expensive, and if you're not prepared for them, they can quickly become overwhelming. Pet insurance can help to ease the financial burden by reimbursing you for some or all of the costs associated with your pet's treatment.

Having pet insurance can provide some peace of mind.

Having pet insurance can provide some peace of mind.

Peace of Mind

Another benefit of pet insurance is that it can give you peace of mind. Knowing that you have a safety net in place in case something happens to your pet can be very reassuring. It can also give you peace of mind knowing that you won't have to make difficult decisions about whether or not to pursue treatment for your pet if they become ill or injured.

In my personal life, I have pursued emergency treatment for a number of my pets. Each time the costs ran into the thousands as operations were required. I was in a fortunate position as I had the money to fund the procedures. But what if I didn't?

Pet insurance can take away that fear of the unknown. Further, a joint study by VetSuccess and Nationwide revealed that pet owners who had insurance were much more likely to seek medical care for their pets. A sobering fact indeed! (1)

Pet insurance companies allow you to choose your own veternarian.

Pet insurance companies allow you to choose your own veternarian.

Choose Your Own Vet

A common complaint with personal healthcare insurance is the fact that we are often forced to see a provider of the insurance company’s choosing. That does not always work out so well!

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However, this is not the case when it comes to pet insurance. In fact, veterinarians are not even part of the financial dealings. Everything is done through the owner and the pet insurance company. This, in turn, provides far more selection and control over what happens with our beloved pets.

Pet insurance is affordable for young, healthy pets.

Pet insurance is affordable for young, healthy pets.

Affordable for Young, Healthy Pets

Many pet owners are surprised to learn that pet insurance is quite affordable, especially for young and healthy pets. Several factors determine pet insurance premiums, and age is one of them.

In general, younger pets are less likely to experience serious health problems than older pets, so their premiums tend to be lower. Pet insurance companies also consider the breed of the pet when setting rates, as some breeds are more prone to certain health conditions than others.

I adopted one of my dogs when she was seven years old. I did not even try to get pet insurance for her as I knew that her age would make it an unattractive option. However, regardless of the age or breed of your pet, there are a variety of pet insurance plans that can fit your budget.

Limited coverage is a disadvantage of pet insurance.

Limited coverage is a disadvantage of pet insurance.

The Cons of Pet Insurance

Limited Coverage

One of the potential cons of pet insurance is limited coverage.

While it does cover some of your pet’s medical expenses, it doesn't cover everything. For example, pet insurance typically doesn't cover routine or preventive care, such as vaccinations or routine check-ups. Additionally, pet insurance may have exclusions for certain conditions or treatments, such as pre-existing conditions or experimental therapies.

All of this can add up quickly for the pet owner. On top of the limited coverage, you will still need to pay the monthly premiums. A double hit!

As a result, pet owners should know what their policy does and doesn't cover before signing up for coverage. By understanding the limitations of pet insurance, pet owners can be better prepared to handle the costs of their pet's care.

Pet insurance rates can fluctuate for a variety of reasons.

Pet insurance rates can fluctuate for a variety of reasons.

Fluctuating Rates

Pet insurance rates can fluctuate for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is actual changes in the pet insurance market. Some pet insurance companies may raise their rates to stay afloat, while others may lower their rates in order to attract new customers.

In addition, pet insurance rates can also be affected by changes in the pet population. For example, if there are more cats than dogs in a particular area, cat insurance rates may rise.

Finally, pet insurance rates may also change based on the claims history or age of a particular pet. If a pet is older or has a history of expensive medical bills, its insurance rates will likely be higher than those with no such history.

Pet insurance can be costly for older pets.

Pet insurance can be costly for older pets.

Expensive For Older Pets

Pet insurance premiums can be expensive, especially for older pets. This is because insurers typically charge more for policies that cover older animals since they are more likely to require medical care. As I previously mentioned, when I adopted an older dog, I did not even attempt to obtain pet insurance. I knew the premiums would be too high.

As a result, pet owners may want to consider other options for financing their pet's health care costs. One option is to set up a savings account specifically for medical expenses. Another option is to purchase a policy with a higher deductible, which can help to reduce the overall cost of the premium.

Whatever option pet owners choose, it is important to make sure that their pet is covered in case of an emergency.

A disadvantage of pet insurance is that you will have to pay the cost up front.

A disadvantage of pet insurance is that you will have to pay the cost up front.

Upfront Treatment Costs

Another potential downside of pet insurance is that you will have to pay the full cost of treatment upfront and then submit a claim to the insurance company for reimbursement. This can be a financial burden if you don't have the cash on hand to cover the cost of treatment.

Let’s be honest, medical care for pets is very expensive. Not everyone has that amount of credit or cash available. Five years ago, my little Yorkshire Terrier broke his leg and had to be operated upon. When it was all said and done, the treatment cost over $6,000! Not everyone has that amount of money to pay upfront. It is a significant sum!

Additionally, pet insurance policies typically have a deductible that you must pay before the policy kicks in. This will also add to the out-of-pocket costs you are going to face.

What's Right For You?

There are pros and cons to virtually anything in life. Pet insurance is no different. Everybody's circumstances are different, and as such, people need to evaluate the topic thoroughly through their own unique lens. Hopefully, this article has provided enough relevant information to help you to make that critical decision!

Resources:

1. https://news.nationwide.com/healthier-pets-happier-vets/

Pet Insurance: Here's what Every Dog Owner Should Know. Jennifer Nelson https://iheartdogs.com/pet-insurance-heres-what-every-dog-owner-should-know/

Should You Buy Pet Insurance? https://www.puplife.com/pages/should-you-buy-pet-insurance

Join the Discussion

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Leonard Tillerman

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