Despite the availability of numerous innovative treatments for pets, the cost of veterinary care continues to skyrocket. Many people who own pets are investigating the possibility of purchasing pet insurance. However, do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
Over the course of a typical pet’s lifetime, the cost of insurance can range anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000. It is important for owners to consider whether or not they could afford to pay such a large sum all at once for treatment, or whether they would be better off investing the funds in pet insurance premiums.
If you are the type of person who would do anything to save their pet, including spending thousands of dollars on medical treatments, then purchasing pet insurance could be an excellent alternative to going into debt in order to cover the costs of those treatments.
Better care, higher costs
The field of veterinary science has undergone significant development in recent years. Radiation, chemotherapy, and kidney transplants are just some of the treatments that were once only available for humans but are now also available for animals. Conditions that were once fatal can now be treated, although the associated costs can range anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 or even higher.
The general cost of veterinary care in the United States has gone up significantly as a result of the advancements in veterinary science. Because of inflation, the industry that provides insurance for pets is experiencing significant growth. According to estimates provided by American Demographics magazine, only one percent of pet owners had insurance coverage for their animals in 1995, but today that number has increased to five percent.
Things to consider
If you believe that purchasing pet insurance is the best option, pay close attention to the deductibles, coverage limits, and additional fees associated with each carrier as you compare policies. The annual amount that will be paid out is typically limited by deductibles, co-pays, and caps that are included in most policies. It’s possible that dogs like German Shepherds and Retrievers won’t be accepted if they have pre-existing conditions or hereditary diseases like hip dysplasia.
However, this does not imply that the other benefits will not be extremely beneficial in their own right. For instance, the cost of wellness visits and even dental cleanings is typically covered, at least in part, by the majority of policies. In addition, accidents are difficult to predict, do take place, and can be very expensive. A dog that is injured and needs surgery costing $5,000 could potentially cost you only $500, with the monthly premium coming in somewhere around $39.
The older your animal is when it is insured, the higher the premiums will be. Some insurers will not begin new policies on pets older than 9 years old, while others may tack on a significant premium supplement. However, purchasing insurance for your pet when they are still young will result in lower premiums when they are older.
Choose the right carrier, plan
Compare your options. There is a lot of variety in both plans and premiums. The annual premiums, co-pays, deductibles, caps (either annually or over the lifetime of the pet), and exclusions are some of the things that should be compared. Always make sure to ask about discounts when purchasing multiple pet insurance policies. Verify this information with the state insurance department as well, as pet insurers are required to be registered with state regulators. Examine the policy thoroughly, paying particular attention to the exceptions.
Some well known companies include:
PetCare Pet Insurance,(866) 373-7387
Petshealth Care Plan,(800) 807-6724
Premier Pet Insurance,(877) 774-2273
Veterinary Pet Insurance,(800) 872-7387
Premiums and coverage for pet insurance – Item/ Standard plan/Superior plan
Deductible / $50 / $50
Co-pay* / 10% to 50% / 10% to 50%
Cap per accident/illness / $2,500 / $4,500
Annual cap / $9,000 / $14,000
Kitten premium** / $93 / $162
Mature dog premium*** / $254 / $471
Adult cat**** / $94 / $164
Adult dog***** / $134 / $239
*The co-pay varies depending on the condition, the level of coverage, and the costs of veterinary care in your region. The superior plan pays $1,363 for the removal of a foreign object from an animal’s intestines, whereas the standard plan pays only $780 for the procedure. * Premium paid annually for a domestic shorthair kitten that is younger than one year old and lives in the city of Los Angeles. Annual premium for a Labrador Retriever that is 8 years old and lives in Los Angeles and qualifies for the mature dog premium. ****An adult cat in Seattle who is 3 years old. ****An adult dog in Seattle who is 3 years old and a mix of breeds.