Should I buy health insurance for my dog? Is it worth getting health insurance for my cat? You may have found yourself wondering the questions above. Insurance for pets is just as important as it is for humans, for your car, your home and your beloved prized possessions.
Nearly 68% of households own pets in the US but only 1% of them have health insurance for their pets. (According to North American Pet Health Insurance Association). An emergency visit to the vet can set us back a lot of money. In this article we will discuss how pet insurance works, and if you need to get insurance for your dog or cat.
So what does pet health insurance look like?
Getting pet insurance can reduce the amount of money you may need to spend on your pet when you visit the vet. Just like health insurance for people, insurance for your dog or cat has different levels, with different cost and coverage.
Pet insurance also follows the same principals such as premiums, deductibles etc. However, most pet insurances will not be a co-pay. So this means you will always need to pay for the treatment first and then get it reimbursed.
What is the cost of getting pet health insurance?
Insurance for your pets, including your cats or dogs can vary depending on many factors. These include the breed, age and pre-existing conditions your pet may have. According to consumer reports, the average cost of health insurance for your dog can cost around $22 per month whereas for cats it can cost $16 per month.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of pet insurance? Let’s look at that below.
Advantages of pet health insurance
- Simplicity – Unlike human health insurance, pet health insurance is simple to navigate. Policies are straightforward, easy to compare and getting no-commitment quotes is easy.
- Low premiums – Especially for healthy, young pets, insurance costs can be less than a daily meal. The peace of mind with this kind of cost to benefit ratio can be great.
- Reasonable Deductibles – Unlike human health insurance, the deductibles are usually reasonable with pet insurance.
- Better Health Care – Because having insurance means you do not have to pay out of pocket for your pet’s health care, it is likely your pet will now get better healthcare in the longer term and not make difficult decisions to choose between your wallet & your pet’s life.
Disadvantages of pet health insurance
- High premiums for Older Pets – If your pet is on the older side, you could be looking at much higher premiums. This is where the annual cost vs benefit balances out
- Pay Upfront – Because pet insurance does not work with copays, you will need to pay upfront for fees, and then get them reimbursed. So you will have to pay out of pocket first.
- Coverage has limitations – Many plans are limited in how much you can claim, and there are usually annual limits. (smaller than human health insurance)
- Routine Care – If your pet only needs routine care, having insurance vs not having it ends up being the same cost. Pet insurance is highly valuable for emergency cases, which happen more often than not.
Should I get pet health insurance?
So is pet insurance worth it? Look, like any other insurance, you may or may not save money depending on how much you actually use it. Getting insurance is more of a peace of mind thing. Are you willing to spend upfront, a little bit, to give you and your love for your pet, a good night’s sleep.
For most people, the answer is YES!
If you do decide to get pet insurance, get it while they are young, to get the maximum benefits and savings from getting it. And if you decide not to get health insurance, then the least you can do is have an emergency fund for your pet’s health in case something does happen.