Do you really need one for your pet? Is it worth the time and money to cover your pet’s healthcare needs when situations arise? Here, we take a look at whether it’s better to get your pet insured or just save your money for emergency situations.
Emergency situations where you don’t have that much cash in hand is what pet insurance intends to shield you from. Most insurance policies cover expenses from emergency situations, including accidental injuries and sudden illnesses. Some may offer coverage for wellness care, introducing preventive measures like regular vaccination and inhibition of parasitic infections. However, many of these extra care call for additional payment and budget allocation.
Below are the most important things you need to consider in getting your pet insured:
- Most insurance companies cover up to 80% of total claims
- Many policies accommodate excess claims, varying up to $500
- Application of excess may vary per claim per condition or per annum
- Vets may need to be paid up front and then you just get reimbursed by your insurer. Basically, you still need to have cash on hand to cover medical services, unless you’ve arranged something with your vet.
- Policies may have breed exclusions in their fine print. They may exclude breeds with hip dysplasia or those prone to get heart disease.
- Pets previously treated for a condition may be counted as a case with a pre-existing condition. This may make it difficult for owners to get them insured.
- Pets with age above 8 years may be ineligible for insurance or really costly to get insured.
- Some insurers may offer discounts if you have existing policies enrolled with them.
- Policies may get cheaper for each additional pet you insure.
- Some insurers cover legal costs in case your pets accidentally injure someone else, e.g. they bit another human or caused property damage in a road accident.
- Some policies may offer a reward to the finder of your stolen or lost a pet.
- If you get hospitalized, some insurers may pay for your pet’s boarding costs.
Reasons to consider pet insurance
Getting your pet insured will surely incur another cost to your existing household bills. It’s best to get your pets insured while they’re still young. Older pets are way harder to insure because they may have developed pre-existing conditions that discount them from getting insured, aside from the age limit most policies take into account. You might think spending around $200 to $500 a year for your policy may be a waste, especially when your pets are still young and healthy.
However, you can’t prevent them from getting hit by sudden illnesses, eating something not meant for the stomach (Labrador owners, beware!), or accidentally breaking their toes and legs when playing chase. These are unpredictable circumstances and the best way to prepare is to have them insured.
Get Insurance or Just Save Cash for expensive VET bills?
If getting pet insurance is expensive, just try saving $200 per year, and put it in a bank to accumulate interest. This way, you’ll have the necessary cash on hand in case something happens. However, if your cat gets hit by a car (knock on wood) during the first year, you’ll only have $200 at hand.
This won’t be enough for the damages that may reach up to $5000. You’re good, though, if you have a credit line; a diminutive difference paying for a policy. We all just wish this kind of situation doesn’t happen in the first place.