5 Considerations to Help You Make a Decision
The cost to adopt a pet can be fairly affordable. Most rescues offer adoption specials and low fees to take a snuggly new friend home.
And often feeding your pet won’t empty your wallet. You can find food, both kibble and canned, to meet your pet’s dietary needs at your local grocery store.
But what about veterinary care? It’s an area in which pet ownership costs continue to rise. Do you need the chance to defray those costs through pet health insurance?
When you ask yourself should you get pet insurance, keep reading to discover five key considerations to guide your decision.
Do You Like the Idea of a Chance to Save Money?
One of the biggest no-brainer reasons that people opt to sign up for pet health insurance is the opportunity to save money on the veterinary care they’re already purchasing for their pets.
With a low deductible on pet health insurance, pet owners can get reimbursed for a portion of almost any care their dog or cat receives at the veterinarian’s office. And some plans even generously include coverage for preventative care, like vaccinations.
If you like the idea of saving money on your vet bills and can think of other ways you could use that cash to live more comfortably and happily, then a pet insurance plan might be a good idea.
Can You Afford a Monthly Premium Payment?
Just like with medical insurance for humans, pet health insurance requires you to pay a monthly premium – the cost of simply having the plan to protect your pet. This monthly premium amount varies based on coverage, pet age and overall health, and more.
In general, pet health insurance plans that cover a wide spectrum of services and care come with a more costly premium than those that only cover emergencies.
Take a look at your monthly budget. If you can afford between $15 and $60 per month for a pet health insurance premium, then it’s probably worth it for you to start looking for a plan.
Is Your Pet’s Health Status Likely to Change in the Next Few Years?
Young pets are more prone to accidents – including eating things they shouldn’t, while older pets tend to develop health conditions associated with advanced age. If your pet is approaching its senior years, you might want to consider purchasing a pet health insurance policy to cover age-related health changes.
For example, older dogs are more likely to develop endocrine disorders, issues affecting their vision and hearing, and joint damage due to arthritis. A pet health insurance plan can defray the costs associated with caring for your aging pet.
Have Your Friends and Family Had Good Experiences with Their Pet Health Insurance Policies?
One of the easiest ways to determine whether pet health insurance is a smart choice for you and your furry friend is to ask your friends, family, or coworkers about their experiences with it.
Talk to them about whether it helped them save money on veterinary bills or provide a higher standard of care they wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise. Ask about their monthly premium, their deductible, their annual limit, and which pet health insurance companies they recommend.
Just like you’d ask the people you know to recommend a good mechanic or plumber, you can crowd-source your knowledge about pet health insurance.
Can You Afford All the Veterinary Bills Without It?
People purchase pet health insurance because they know that without it, they would not be able to come up with the money to pay for emergency care, surgery, or other urgent pet health needs.
Let’s imagine a scenario. Your beloved pet is showing signs of illness, and you make an appointment with your trusted veterinarian. Upon examination, your veterinarian determines that they’ll need to take an x-ray and perform a blood test to get to the bottom of the issue. These two diagnostic tools reveal that your pet needs an abdominal surgery! If you agree to the procedure, you’re now on the hook for paying for the vet exam, the radiology services, the lab work, and the surgery. Do you have as little as $5,000 sitting around for this? And if it’s a more major surgery, you could be looking at $10,000 or more.
With pet health insurance, you’ll need to pay your deductible (the average is about $200) and only a small percentage of the remainder of the vet bill – a percentage you choose when you sign up for pet health insurance. This means that you could save up to 90 percent on your pet’s health care just because you were smart and proactive by purchasing a pet health insurance policy.
In short, if you couldn’t afford to provide your pet with the care you’d want to without pet health insurance, and you don’t have other avenues of getting the funds together, then you should heavily consider getting pet insurance for your dog or cat.
It’s a Personal Decision
Remember that purchasing pet health insurance is a highly personal decision. Only you are intimately aware of all the nuances of your finances and how far you’d go to keep your pet living happily and healthily.
If, as you answer the questions we’ve posed, you determine that pet health insurance is a good idea, rest assured you’ll have plenty of policy options at varying price points that suit your lifestyle.