Having a new pet in the family can be an exciting time. There are certain expenses that we expect to pay as pet owners, like food, toys, obedience classes, grooming and apparel. Often pet owners don’t think about the unforeseen costs of owning a pet, and that is the expense of unexpected illnesses or accidents. They can be costly and often overwhelming. When you’re not expecting a large vet bill, how do you cope?
Did you know that the average price of owning a dog in its first year can be estimated upwards of $3000, and for a cat almost $2000? It isn’t including illness or unexpected visits to your veterinarian.
What is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance, much like our human insurance, works in the same way. A plan is chosen, you pick a deductible, and each month your premium is paid. Premiums will vary between breed, location and sometimes the age of the pet, remember each company varies. Having pet insurance gives owners peace of mind, knowing there will be some reprieve from expenses. People that have pet insurance also tend to have healthier pets. If something seems off with your pet and you have pet insurance, you’re more likely to bring your pet to the vet sooner rather than later. Which, can prevent further illness and future bills for your animal.
When should you start?
Ideally, you want to start pet insurance as soon as you take your pet home. It avoids having any pre-existing issues on your plan that will not be covered in the future.
Do you really need Pet Insurance?
Often people think putting away a set amount each month into their fund would be more beneficial. That, in theory, is great. However, if you’ve only started putting away a bit of money each month, and your puppy suddenly requires a fracture repair after a fall, you likely won’t have enough money saved to pay for their vet bills. Most of us wouldn’t be able to cover such a huge bill financially for emergency treatment and care.
Other benefits of Pet Insurance.
While peace of mind is one of the biggest benefits, looking ahead to the future and the long term is also a major plus. Some pets may develop health concerns later on in life, such as joint-related issues, potential kidney or thyroid illness, or even cancers. If you have coverage for your pet, it will likely cut down on the costs of routine diagnostics and treatments needed to manage your pet’s health. Did you know that many pet insurance policies now cover alternative therapies as well? If your pet requires acupuncture, chiropractic’s, massage or holistic intervention, it may be covered on your plan. Also, orthopedic braces and pet wheelchairs can be covered with a veterinarian’s referral.
There are many different plans and options available to pet owners out there. The most common insurances we deal with are Trupanion, Petsecure and Pets Plus Us.
Each company has different pros and cons. When preparing for your new family pet, it’s best to do your research and see which plan works best for you. Think about annual coverage amounts and if there are breed or age restrictions, what is, and isn’t covered, and don’t be afraid to ask insurance companies questions, or ask your pets veterinarian staff for help.
Written by: Alana Ritter, CCS