If you’re a pet owner, then chances are good you see your pet as part of the family. Pets are companions and friends; in some cases, they even have a function to perform, such as guarding your home or escorting the blind.
Part of owning a pet is taking care of their medical needs. Animals can get sick or injured just like humans. The cost of your pet’s medical care often includes shots, deworming, or other preventative measures, but sometimes your pet might contract a disease or get seriously hurt.
Those emergencies, illnesses, and even age-related issues may lead to thousands of dollars in additional costs. Getting a pet insurance policy is one way to help offset those costs.
Who is pet insurance ideal for?
There are several scenarios where pet care could become very costly. For those instances, an insurance policy might be an excellent way to ensure that their pet always has the care they need. Here are a few scenarios.
Older pets often have issues that require special care at a veterinarian’s office. They can have bone and joint issues or arthritis, sensory problems such as blindness or deafness, or diseases like cancer. A pet insurance policy can cover the cost of extended treatment and medications; if you own a pet that is reaching their senior years, you may want to look into a policy to help with those costs.
Pet insurance can also come in handy for those with animals that have jobs. For example, livestock guardian dogs spend their time guarding livestock from predators and can be injured in the course of their work. Additionally, a service or guide dog is a valuable helping hand and could warrant insurance as a safeguard.
Even if your pet’s main function is to lie at your feet in the evenings or play fetch with you after work, they may require veterinary care to stay healthy. Some animals can get weight issues from too many treats, and obesity can lead to other medical problems that can be costly. Pet insurance can come in handy for all of these situations.
What are the pros of pet insurance?
Some might see an insurance policy as something that’s only used by those in the upper income brackets, or they might think the best pet insurance is reserved for the highest paying customers. However, an effective pet insurance policy can still be purchased at a reasonable cost and for good reason.
Humans purchase health insurance to have a financial safety net in the case of unexpected medical costs, and pet insurance can provide the same for you and your furry companion. Depending on the level of your coverage, your monthly premiums can be very low—in some cases, under $20 per month. With that premium comes the assurance that if your animal gets sick, needs surgery, or needs emergency care, that the cost will be covered—in many cases up to 80%.
This is especially helpful with animals that are predisposed to certain problems. Some pet breeds, such as the large and giant dog breeds, often have hip and joint issues that can require surgery, physical rehabilitation, and other long-term solutions that add up to excessive amounts of money. With cats can come hairball problems or other medical needs. Whatever kind of pet you have, insurance can help pay for the big—and little—things that can pop up during their lives.
What are the cons of pet insurance?
Not everything about pet insurance is perfect. Depending on what kind of coverage you have, your premiums could be fairly expensive. It could also include a deductible that you’ll have to pay before any of your expenses are covered. That deductible could be small, or it could be over $1,000.
The flip side of that is you could pay monthly premiums for years and never need to use the insurance if your pet never gets sick or injured. Like health insurance for people, if it’s never used, you’re simply paying for something you’ll never collect on.
Pet insurance can be a great idea for someone with an animal who can expect to need medical attention due to its job, age, or condition. For those owners, the monthly premiums will be well worth it when they don’t need to pay full price for expensive surgeries, medications, or continued care.
For those pet owners with young, healthy dogs who aren’t in a working-type situation, however, insurance may not be necessary or worth the cost. The best way to know if it will work for you is to think about your animal, your financial situation, and decide if the cost is an investment well spent.
By Andrew, a Content Associate from LendEDU – a consumer education website and resource.