Pet Insurance is a pretty hot topic these days. There are a lot of strong opinions for and against it, but how do you decide if it is right for you and your pet? Visits to the vet can really get expensive fast. With the developments in pet care, veterinary care is expanding, and becoming increasingly costly. Let’s look at how we made the decision about health insurance at our house.
Is pet insurance right for me?
What is your relationship with your pet?
Many vet clinics ask pet parents the first time they visit if their pet is a family member or just a pet. Your answer to this question will help you decide about insurance. Typically, if you answer, “just a pet”, it means you are not interested in going in over the top to treat the pet should the need arise. If you are just getting basic care for your furry friend, insurance may not be something you need. On the other paw, if your pet is a family member, and you would go to great lengths to care for any health issues that may occur, insurance might be a good idea. My mom would probably sell the house if needed to get us the care we need. For this reason, we have insurance. We need a home to come back to if we are sick or injured.
How much can you afford to spend on pet care?
Basic check ups and medications can be hundreds of dollars per pet, per year. Most people who have a pet accept, and are prepared for these expenses, but what do you do if your pet becomes seriously ill or injured, and needs expensive, sometimes extended care? Can you afford ten, twenty, thirty, or more thousand dollars at a moments notice? Would you want to be able to provide care for your pet where cost is not a factor, or would you prefer to let your pet go? These are tough questions pet parents need to ask themselves when deciding if pet health insurance is right for them.
How do you choose an insurance company?
The pet health insurance industry is growing like crazy right now, and plans are changing at a rapid rate. Check with people you know who have insurance for their pets to see what they recommend. The internet is also a great tool. There are many websites listing the various companies that offer pet insurance. Many of them offer plan comparisons.
Which plan and coverage do I need?
Each insurance company has their own plans. Plans vary from basic care, to illness and injury, to injury only. Make sure you find out if there is a cap on the amount the company will pay for a pet per year, or in a lifetime. Are preexisting conditions covered? Is coverage limited or is it not covered for certain breed specific ailments? What is the deductible? What percentage of expenses are covered after the deductible is met? With most plans, the best way to insure you get the most coverage is to start your pet when they are young. Some companies will not enroll pets over a certain age.
What is our plan?
Back in 2008, I had a lump, which turned out to be benign. When this happened, Mom realized how expensive my health care could get quickly, and she decided to find health insurance for me and Katie. We didn’t know much about pet insurance plans at the time, and insurance wasn’t as user friendly as it is now. At the time, we enrolled in what we thought was the best policy, but found out later, many things were excluded, or had reimbursement caps.
When Katie was diagnosed with a heart tumor, we cancelled her policy as heart tumors were not covered. So far, my insurance has been quite good. Much of my dental care last fall, and my lip fold surgery several years ago were mostly covered. Bailie has a newer policy which has also covered some of her more serious illnesses, and conditions the past couple years. Madison has the best policy, covering basic care, medications, accidents, and illnesses. With her policy, Mom meets the deductible, and everything else is covered 90% with no yearly or lifetime limit. Just an exam, and some heartworm medication covers the deductible, so it really is a great plan.
My GBGV Life isn’t going to say pet insurance is a must. We will only say, pet parents need to consider it when they adopt a new furry family member. Make sure you are prepared in the event something bad happens. Many people say to put the monthly premiums into a savings account instead of insurance, but even if you put away $1000 a year, it may not be enough should your dog have an accident, or develop a serious disease. Insurance isn’t made to be a money making investment. Insurance provides peace of mind, and one hopes to never need it. Think about your car, home, or health insurance. In most cases, you pay in a whole bunch of money, and never need the coverage. The decision for or against pet insurance is yours, but make it wisely.
This post is the opinion of My GBGV Life in the hope of helping pet parents decide if pet insurance is right for them or not. My GBGV Life does not work with a pet insurance company. Pet parents need to do their own research before making any decisions on pet health care insurance.