Your pet is family, and there’s nothing worse than unexpected medical costs. Having to choose between your dog or cat’s well-being and your wallet is a situation no one wants to be in. So, how can you be prepared for the worst?
Savings account or pet insurance? Which makes more sense?
Many people choose to put the money they would have been spending on insurance into a savings account; however, with the increasing cost of pet health care, that amount is not always enough.
Even small things can cost a lot. One pet’s hairballs cost a whopping $4,306*. That’s almost as hard to swallow as a foreign object, which would have cost one pet owner $16,903*. Luckily, both these pet parents had insurance.
How much does the vet really cost?
When it comes to pet care, the common, outdated advice is to save a small amount of money monthly. Pets used to be cheap to keep, but that is no longer the case. Vet costs can vary wildly, but here are some ballpark figures for common medical events:
- Foreign object removal (e.g., eating a sock): $2,500+
- Cancer treatment: $2,500 – $10,000+
- Cruciate Ligament Tear/Rupture: $2,000 – $5,000+
- Bone Fracture: $1,500+
- Auto accident treatment: $2,000+
If the average monthly premium for insurance is $65 it would take you almost 2 years to save for the lowest cost item on the above list. Unfortunately, when you are faced with one of these situations, time isn’t something you will have. With good pet health insurance, you could be covered for up to 80% of these costs.
How can you get the most for your money?
Mathematically, insurance makes sense, but how can you get the most bang for your buck?
- Don’t wait to get insurance. Insure your pet as soon as you bring them home, before pre-existing conditions arise. The younger they are when you get insurance, the lower your costs.
- Compare pet insurance companies. Get multiple pet insurance quotes and look at the differences in insurance plans to decide what’s best for you.
- Decide what you want to cover. Do you just want to be covered in the most extreme situations? Do you also want preventive care to be covered? This will impact the cost of your pet health insurance.
- Stay loyal. If you get pet insurance right away and stick with the same company, you are less likely to face cost increases.
Yes, it’s worth it. Get ahead of the unexpected.
At the end of the day, you have to decide what makes the most financial sense for your family. For pets that are senior or have pre-existing conditions, an emergency fund may be the better choice.
It sounds dramatic, but pet insurance can save your pet’s life and, in most cases, all it takes is one incident for years of payments to be worth it. That kind of peace of mind is priceless.
*Based on actual claims in 2019 for 24PetWatch Pet Insurance policies. Comparison information provided using publicly available information as of January 2020 for the purpose of summarizing program features, not a specific plan. Questions regarding other providers’ plans should be answered by contacting an agent of that company. It is our intention to reflect accurate comparison information. We attempt to keep information up to date but it may change from time to time. If you are aware of any inaccuracies or changes in the information provided, let us know by emailing Info.Marketing@24PetWatch.com or by mailing PTZ Insurance Agency Ltd. At 3315 Algonquin Road, Suite 310, Rolling Meadows, IL, 60008.