Pet insurance may seem like the perfect solution to costly vet bills. You pay a monthly premium that is often very low, and in return the pet insurance company pays part of your vet bills. It sounds simple, but its worth is questionable. There are varying opinions regarding this relatively recent concept of pet insurance. Here are some of the pros and cons.
* For significant expenses, such as surgery or chemotherapy, pet insurance may help relieve you of crushing vet bills. For unexpected, catastrophic, medical emergencies, pet insurance can easily pay for itself.
* Pet owners who own very old or sick animals may benefit from pet insurance. Owners of “risky” pets may also benefit, such as cats who like to hang out in the middle of the road or dogs that like to swallow every object within reach.
* You can still choose your own vet regardless of the insurance.
* There are options you can add on to your pet’s policy, such as coverage for wellness visits and/or teeth cleaning.
* Most pet insurance policies offer discounts for multiple pets.
* Generally speaking, pet insurance tends to cost more money than it saves. However, this is true of nearly all insurance of any sort.
* If you pay premiums and then do not have any claims (or few claims), the insurance company has your money. If you put the same premium amount into a savings account, the unused portion belongs to you.
* Studies show that the overall cost of veterinary care increases with insurance, particularly for common medical problems such as skin allergies. For example, the pet owner pays for deductibles, co-pays, costs that aren’t covered by the policy, and various procedures that aren’t covered by the policy. This can add up to a lot more out of your pocket than if you just paid up front for the vet care.
* Studies show that pet owners who have pet insurance will ultimately pay more for common ailments and routine care.
The basic dilemma with pet insurance is that it costs or saves based on possible circumstances, which you can’t predict. However, if you have a high-risk pet or many pets, having pet insurance might be an asset to you. If you have only one or two pets that are healthy and in mid-life, pet insurance will probably end up not being cost effective.