Should You Get Insurance for Your Pet?
Article by Coleen Bennett
Even just a few years ago your pet might have died from an injury or illness that medicine for humans could have solved. But veterinary medicine is quickly catching up. These days your vet has access to a whole range of sophisticated equipment, like MRI machines. Dogs and cats can get blood transfusions and ultrasounds. There are veterinary specialists that your vet might send you to if your pet requires specialized knowledge and equipment.
While this is great news to those of us who adore our pets, it comes with a price tag. Literally. Many pet owners say that they would pay whatever it takes to provide medical care for their beloved friend. But what if that’s a completely unexpected bill in the thousands of dollars? Enter pet health insurance. But is it worth the cost?
Consumer Reports says no – that pet insurance will probably cost you more than it would save you. That’s probably true for all insurance products. Insurance companies collect premiums from all of their customers, pay out claims from those funds and keep enough to make a profit and stay in business. By definition, they must collect more in premiums than they pay out in claims. So why do we buy insurance if the average person will spend more to do so? It’s about predictability. Would you spend a small amount each month to avoid the possibility of a large surprise expense? Would you spend a little more each month for VIP Pet Insurance that covers more?
Actually, if your pet gets sick or injured you will have to pay whether or not you have insurance. All policies have co-pays, deductibles and/or caps. With insurance, though, you would be reimbursed for a big chunk.
The best answer for most of us is to put money aside for pet emergencies. Then if our pet doesn’t have more medical bills than the average, we get to keep the money. It also avoids the issues of exclusions.
The questions you need to ask yourself are:
1) Would I set money aside regularly for pet medical bills that might arise?2) What would I do if my pet needed medical care and I didn’t have sufficient funds available? If the answer is borrow the money or put the pet to sleep, is that an acceptable situation for you?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll know whether you should start your pet insurance comparison.
About the Author
Coleen Bennett is a pet lover in California. She has one dog, two tortoises, a lizard, and a wonderful veterinarian in Newport Beach.