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Is Pet Insurance Worth it?

Posted on 2015-10-15 16:44:00

It’s inevitable – no matter how well we take care of our furry friends, our dogs and cats are going to need veterinary treatment during their lifetime. Whether your dog has eaten half a tennis ball, or your kitty decided to munch on a poisonous plant, animals can be unpredictable; in addition, they can also suffer from health issues very similar to our own, like cancer, hormone disorders, diabetes and arthritis. Because we love them, we want the very best of care for our four-legged family members, but since medical care for pets can sometimes reach into the realm of hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars for a major illness or accident, many pet owners are worried about actually being able to pay for the care that their pet needs.

Since preparing for our pet’s future health costs is part of the responsibility of owning a pet, many pet owners consider the option of pet health insurance. But is purchasing pet insurance worth the cost? Which pets benefit from pet insurance more? Are other options better for some pets? Since the world of pet insurance can sometimes be overwhelming, here are five facts to consider when you’re looking into health insurance for Fluffy or Fido.

1) It’s more ideal for younger pets

Most pet insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing health conditions for your cat or dog, which means that if your dog has hypothyroidism or was seen by your vet for an injured knee before you enrolled, the insurance company wouldn’t accept claims to cover treatment costs for that condition. Also, some companies increase premiums or limit claim amounts as pets get older too.

2) Pet insurance can be customized to your specific situation

Do you want full benefits for your furry friend, including coverage for dental cleanings and vaccinations? There’s a plan that should suit your needs. Are you worried about your klutzy puppy, and just want basic, low-cost accident insurance? Most (if not all) pet insurance companies offer basic, no-frills accident coverage. Many insurance companies also offer adjusted monthly premiums depending on what claim limits and deductibles you choose as well.

3) It may have more benefits than a savings account

Although many pet parents like the idea of tucking money away into a dedicated savings for their pet’s care, the costs of a major illness or surgery may quickly exhaust a savings plan, with no contingency fund for a pet if another health issue arises. Pet insurance companies will often cover multiple illnesses or conditions at the same time, as well as eliminating the need for owners to remember to actually put money aside.

4) All pets may not be treated equally

Unfortunately, some breeds of cats and dogs have a higher tendency towards congenital or hereditary health issues, such as English Bulldogs and Persian cats, for example. Some pet insurance companies may require that pet parents pay higher premiums to enroll certain breeds of pets in their programs, or they may not allow claims for certain conditions in these breeds of pets.

5) Pet insurance can provide peace of mind

In the end, what pet insurance actually does is allow owners to seek the needed treatment for their cherished companions, without the anxiety of having to worry about whether or not it’s financially possible. It’s stressful enough to cope with a badly injured or very sick pet, so it’s a relief for many dog and cat lovers to have one less thing to worry about while trying to take care of their pet.