Pet Insurance- Does It Add Up?
If you’re like most pet owners, chances are you have been hit with a huge medical bill for your pet somewhere along the way. Wellness visits alone are expensive, but a catastrophic injury such as a torn ACL can cost up to $5,000. No one wants to be in the position of not being able to help or save their pet due to financial restraints, but the high cost of veterinary care can be prohibitive.
Availability and options for pet insurance have increased over the years, making it more accessible for the everyday pet owner. The question is, by the time you pay your premiums and deductibles, it is worth having?
Like health insurance for people, pet plans come with a variety of benefits and costs. Premiums for older pets or purebreds are higher, and a lower deductible means a higher premium. Some policies max out at a certain amount of coverage, such as $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 a year. Most plans require you to pay your vet and then be reimbursed; however, Trupanion is able to pay the vet directly on the day of service.
Choosing the best policy may depend on the age and temperament of your dog. For example, the ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan has three levels. Level One provides coverage for injuries such as broken bones, swallowed objects, car accidents and bite wounds. Level Two adds illness coverage, such as ear infections, stomach issues and cancer to that plan. Level Three covers injuries, illnesses and hereditary and congenital conditions, alternative therapies and behavioral issues. Wellness plans to cover annual exams can also be added for a fee. A young, calm dog may need less coverage than an older, active dog…but, it is a matter of weighing the odds.
The information and choices can be overwhelming. Consumer Reports used the example of a 12-year-old Labrador with skin cancer to see if the plans would add up for pet owners.
|Cost of coverage||$10,260||$6,070||$8,290|
|Amount paid by insurance||$8,450||$7,060||$7,810|
|Net gain or loss with insurance||-$1,810||+$990||-$480|
Healthy Paws was the only policy where the owners would come out ahead, and it was also ranked as the top pet insurance provider by Consumers Advocate. The best bet is to do your research online, and do the math to see if these plans could help you. Your vet may also provide insight into what plans are most efficient and whether your pet would be a good candidate.
[apsp-follow-button name=’pinterest’ button_label=’Follow Us on Pinterest’]