IS IT WORTH IT?
We are asked this question regularly and believe pet insurance IS worth it. We frequently see cases where clients and patients would have greatly benefited from having insurance to take away not only the choices of what can be done with their pet but also the financial anxiety of the bill.
Think of pet insurance as being like car insurance; it works much the same way. Pet insurance covers those medical issues with pets that are “out of the ordinary” or emergent. Just like car insurance, your insurance company does not cover your oil change or tire rotation, but if you get into an accident and need to have your car repaired, the insurance allows you to do so. This is how pet insurance works, it is there for the emergent medical needs of your pet, and depending what company and what plan your pet is on, they will even cover the routine care (vaccines, flea preventatives, and routine blood work). Awesome, right?!
Pet insurance has been around for nearly a decade and helps provide peace of mind to many pets’ owners in case anything should happen. Its purpose is to help cover the costs of unexpected accidents and illnesses that may occur in the future. Some examples of where we often see pet insurance applied OR could have been applied if the pet was insured are:
- Puppies & Mischievous Dogs: Is your dog or puppy getting into things (garbage, compost pile, toys, socks, etc.)? The likelihood of them needing surgery to remove a blockage (or ‘foreign body’ as we call it) can easily cost an owner $3500-5000 for surgery and aftercare. With insurance, the cost to the owner could only be around $500.
- Large Breed Dogs: Do you own a large breed dog? The likelihood of them tearing their cruciate ligaments ($2500 to surgically fix one with the knowledge the opposite ligament will likely tear as well down the road as well) and needing pain medications for the impending arthritic pain, or getting bloated and having their stomach flip ($2-3000 for life-saving surgery) are very common incidences.
- Cats: Do you have a cat? Commonly seen emergencies with our feline friends are blocked urinary tracts (especially in overweight male cats on a poor diet) can easily reach $1200 in cost after surgery, medication, and hospitalization).
- Breed Specific Illnesses: Many breeds have a higher predisposition to certain diseases and illnesses. ‘Westies’ often get skin issues that need ongoing medications to keep them comfortable, and the diagnostic test to pinpoint the cause. German Shepherds commonly get perianal fistulas, and small breed dogs commonly need a dental cleaning performed yearly (covered under some plans), and surgery to remove bladder stones (cystotomy).
Unfortunately, pet insurance will not cover any current conditions your pet may have which are known as pre-existing conditions. This means that the ideal is to get your pet insured is as early as possible (during their first few vet visits), so that anything that happens in the future will be covered.
Pet insurance is for those who want to provide their pet the best medical care possible with less worry about cost. When your insured pet becomes sick or injured, you take him to the veterinary hospital for treatment. You then submit your invoice along with the pet health insurance claim form to be reimbursed at a percentage, less your chosen deductible. It helps provide financial peace of mind and can help pet owners with the difficult decision of treatment versus due to their financial restrictions.
Policies keep getting better and better, allowing for more thorough coverage. Even routine care coverage is now offered in some plans. One of the best we have seen thus far is Trupanion. It covers 90% of medical expenses after a deductible (that you choose) has been met. It has a fee you pay monthly based on criteria for your pet. Another great plan is from the company Petsecure where they will even cover annual wellness visits, vaccines, urinalysis, flea preventions, and routine blood work up to $350.
If you are considering pet insurance feel free to call the clinic with any inquiry you may have. Free trials are offered from some companies and we can help you fill out the forms in the clinic during your pet’s wellness visit, you may also register online and receive a free estimate from the company online based on your pet’s species, breed, reproductive status (intact vs. fixed), etc.