Pet parents want to do what’s best for their furry friends, and for some, that means purchasing pet health insurance to cover veterinary visits.
Like human health insurance, pet health insurance helps reduce the amount of money you’d spend out of pocket on veterinary expenses for your dog or cat.
But should you get pet insurance? It’s a personal decision that only you can make. Before choosing, carefully consider every aspect of how insurance works and how it could benefit you.
The Health of Your Pet
As pets age, they’re less likely to need veterinary care because they’ve consumed something they shouldn’t or because their antics got them into trouble some other way. However, older pets are more likely to develop conditions related to age – and these tend to require long-term care, such as more frequent visits to the veterinarian, monthly prescriptions, and regular blood work.
If your pet is getting older, then purchasing pet health insurance could provide significant savings on each visit to your pet’s veterinarian.
Remember that younger pets can develop chronic medical conditions, too, so don’t let age be the only factor in your decision.
The Ability to Save Money
Even if your pet doesn’t currently have a chronic health issue, or if you’re not worried about them developing one, having a pet health insurance policy can save you money anyway. You’re already taking your pet to the veterinarian, so why not get reimbursed for some of what you’re spending there?
When you choose a plan with a low deductible, you’ll need only to pay that amount for covered treatment, and nothing more. The average deductible is about $250, but that amount varies depending on the plan you select.
Recommendations from Friends, Family, and Coworkers
If you’re unsure whether pet health insurance is right for you, an easy way to learn more about people’s experiences is to ask those around you about theirs. Inquire with people you trust about whether they were satisfied with their pet health insurance, rather than diving right into online reviews.
Did the policy help them save money on veterinary bills? Were they able to provide better care to their pet as a result? Was it affordable?
The Monthly Premium
Another similarity between human medical insurance and pet health insurance is that you must pay a monthly premium to purchase the plan. The premium amount can vary based on your pet’s age, their overall health, and the amount of coverage you purchase.
If you opt for a plan that covers preventative care, like vaccinations, then your monthly premium will be higher than a plan that only covers emergency vet care. Many pet parents choose a plan somewhere in the middle, that covers unexpected expenses from pet illnesses.
If you have up to about $60 per month in your budget that you can dedicate to a pet health insurance premium, then you may want to start looking for a plan. You may even be surprised to find just how affordable some can be.
And although considering your monthly premium is important, remember also to check for reimbursement percentages, annual limits, and coverage when choosing a plan.
The Ability to Afford Vet Bills
Some people opt for pet health insurance plans because they know that without it, they would be unable to afford veterinary care, especially surgeries, x-rays, and extensive blood work needed to diagnose their pets.If your pet became ill and required multiple diagnostics, including radiology services, would you be able to afford the full price? What if these tools revealed your pet needed life-saving surgery?
With pet health insurance, you’d pay your monthly premium, your deductible, and a small percentage of the final vet bill. You choose this percentage when you sign up for pet health insurance. Some people save up to 90 percent on their pet’s care.
If you know you couldn’t afford the veterinary care your pet needs, then purchasing a pet insurance plan could be the right decision for you.
The Choice is Only Yours
Opting for pet insurance is a choice only you can make. Do not let others pressure you into – or out of it – based solely on their experiences or understanding of how it works.
Take your financial situation into consideration, along with your pet’s health status, and then research policies at a variety of prices to find the one that works best for you and your dog or cat.