Is Pet Insurance Worth it?
Should we find Cheap Pet Insurance for our pets is it worth the money? Like any other type of insurance, we should hope that the cost of the premiums we pay over the life of our pets outweighs the potential use of those bills. I’ve had several cats over the last 25 years, and one Yellow Labrador dog that lived a pretty good life of 15 years. All of my cats, except for one that was struck down by a car, lived very long lives. I’ve never had pet insurance of any type. Perhaps, I was lucky, but I’ve never been in a situation where I felt I really needed it. I guess the questions should be, “what does pet insurance cover and if there ever was a catastrophic medical event suffered by my cat or dog, would my insurer cover it?”
I looked at a few of the pet insurance policies. My conclusion was that like any other type of insurance, there is no such thing as a cheap pet insurance policy. You will not find one that is going to save you money on the normal maintenance over the entire lifetime of your pet. If that were true, pet insurance companies could not possibly hope to stay in business by offering cheap pet insurance. They are banking on your pet’s health and premiums outliving the risk of some type of catastrophic health expense. You cannot possibly hope to pay for an insurance policy over the life of a healthy pet that will save you money long-term. The math simply does not add – up. On the other hand, our beloved pets can sometimes be stricken with emergencies that require extremely expensive medical bills. Do we want to take the chance on having to make a very painful decision on the life or death of a young pet whose medical bills we cannot afford? This is why we should consider some form of pet insurance, but only if this type of insurance will cover those types of costly risks. For this reason, you have to wonder if there is really any such thing as cheap insurance. Some quick research has revealed what your typical pet insurance plan covers:
Where to Find Pet Insurance?
Typical Pet Insurance Plan
- Pets Best Insurance
Covers Illnesses accidents and injuries. X-Rays, MRIs and Cat Scans. Surgeries. Cancer Treatments. Prescription Medications. After Hour Emergency Visits. Specialists. Acupuncture. Chiropractic Therapy and Hosptilization. Costs start at $22.00 per month and cover 80%, after deductible ranging from $100 to $500. After Deductible is met, the really expensive things are 80% covered: Vet and Emergency Visits, Lab and Diagnostics, Surgery, Prescriptions, Treatments, Hospitalization and outpatient care. The lifetime limit ranges from $42,500 to $100,000, depending on your deductible. Ouch, can you imagine ever having costs that exceed $42,500 for just one pet? I would guess none of us have ever come close to that (knock on wood) Aside from deductible coverage, routine care is provided: $50 for annual exams, $100 for spaying/neutering, teeth cleaning; $60 for blood tests, $25 for heartworm tests, $15.00 for stool testing, $25.00 for urinalysis. This is a plan that really could provide you some peace of mind. If a $5,000 surgery is needed, your portion of the cost would be $1,000 plus your deductible. At $22.00 per pet, though, You’re going to pay a minimum of $22.00 per month or $264.00 per year to get this coverage (and that doesn’t include your deductible) to get 80% coverage. I’ve been lucky with my pets, but I can’t see this type of medical insurance being worth the cost for me, personally.
- Trupaninon Petco Pet Insurance
- This one truly looks like nothing more than a disaster insurance plan. I got a price quote for my 8 year old male cat online. The monthly premiums are $22.00 and the deductible is $500. What is covered: In case of sickness or injury? Surgeries, diagnostics, Lab work medications. What is not covered? routine care, exam fees and pre-existing conditions. Coverage is 90%. In other words: In summary, unless your cat or dog has an unusual or emergency illness, you’re going to pay at least $264 per year to prepare your pet for an emergency surgery or medical condition. In addition that, you will still pay for the cost of routine care, such as regular vaccinations and check-ups. Let’s say your pet requires an emergency surgery that costs $1,200. You’re still going to have to pay the $500 deductible, plus 10% of the surgery: $620.00. Add the cost of the $264.00 in premiums for just one year, and you’re already up to 74% of the surgery. Unless, you are the type who is obsessed over things you have no control over, I’d look for a cheaper plan.
- Pet Assure
- Pet Assure is basically a discount membership card for pets. The discount is normally 25% for medical and up to 50% off of other things such as pet supplies and pharmaceuticals. The cost is $59.00 per year for cats and $99.00 per year for dogs. What is covered? Routine care, exams, surgeries, speying, shots, neutering, hospitalization. There are some exclusions on things you take home such as medications, boarding and lab work done outside of the vet’s care. While this is basically a cheaper form of pet insurance, Pet Assure considers their program a more cost effective alternative. Using some quick math based on the 25% savings, I estimated that I would have to spend about $472 a year per cat in medical bills to save the $59.00 per year spent on the Pet Assure membership. In a normal year, shots and occasional exams needed for my cats usually only cost me $180-$220.00. It’s hard to say if the savings on pet supplies, medicines and other products would make this membership worthwhile. At 25%, it certainly doesn’t take the place of catastrophic pet insurance if that’s what you want.
Saving Money on Pet Insurance
It’s difficult to assess how much money you can or will save on an insurance plan you hope to never use. The value of true pet insurance is peace of mind. Don’t expect to come out ahead dollars-and-cents-wise on a Petco Trupanion plan if your pet never encounters an emergency need. Cheaper insurance plans don’t give you that same peace of mind, but if you’re thrifty, like to shop for savings, and your cat or dog seems to need frequent trips to the vet for routine care and procedures, you might look for one of the discount card plans like Pet Assure. The bottom line, though, is that there is no such thing as cheap pet insurance.