Dog at Doctor

The Pros and Cons of Pet Health Insurance

Pet insurance is something I have contemplated through out the years.  I have had my amazing 13-year-old pit bull since he was 8 weeks old and never got him on a pet insurance plan.  I’ve since lost track on how much I have spent on vet bills (for him and my other pets who came along after him but have now passed).  I recently adopted a new dog and still have opted out on getting pet health insurance. I am neither rich nor poor, so yes it can get expensive – but I knew that when I decided to take responsibility of another living being’s life.

Don’t get me wrong – any surgery or illness that came any of my pets’ ways, I have dished out whatever it cost to get them well again.  Maybe I should have gotten the insurance in the first place, but the following cons outweighed the pros in my opinion.   If you are wondering whether or not to get pet insurance for your pet, take a look at the pros and cons here…

PROS

Saves you money in emergencies…

The best benefit to pet health insurance is if your pet is hit with a large, expensive health problem. All it takes is one emergency, such a being accidentally poisoned or a caner diagnosis, to rack up thousands of dollars in vet bills. Trust me, I’ve been through it all – with out pet insurance!

Routine check-ups and care…

Plans that cover routine care, such as yearly shots and physicals, and medications are sometimes a better deal.

Age…

The younger your pet, the cheaper the insurance will be.  However, it’s when our beloved pets grow old is most likely when they will need coverage most.

CONS

The plan may cost more than it’s worth…

Pet health insurance is a business. It assumes that more money will be paid in insurance premiums than will be paid out for benefits. This means that most likely you’ll pay more in the long run, especially if your pet lives a long and healthy life with few to no problems. It is up to you whether you take that risk or not.

Limitations and restrictions…

Just like human health insurance, pet insurance plans have limitations.  Some of them are – not covering pre-existing conditions, hereditary defects, or older animals.

Out-of-pocket costs…

Most pet insurance plans requires have you pay costs upfront and then file a claim to get reimbursed.

Some companies set age limits…

Pet insurance may sound good when your pet is young, but some companies have reduced coverage or won’t even cover your pet as they become a senior.

Here are some questions you should ask when considering pet health insurance:

  • “Can I choose my own vet or do they have to be part of your in-plan network?”
  • “Do you cover:”
  • Genetic conditions (hereditary/congenital)?
  • Alternative therapies (chiropractic, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, etc.)?
  • Pre-existing conditions?
  • Breeding, whelping, pregnancy?
  • Prescription drugs or food?
  • “How is reimbursement calculated?” (Actual vet bill vs. average rate for service)
  • “Can I customize my plan such as choosing my own deductible or adding/removing benefits?”
  • “Are there policy payout limits? If so, what are they and are they based on per incident, annual, or lifetime basis?”
  • “Do you exclude dogs that are fed raw food diets from your coverage?”
  • “Are there any multi-pet rates, military discounts or any other offers available?”

Source: BarfWorld

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