My cat, Oli, has been in and out of the vet for the last two months. She lost weight very quickly and had become too weak to use her back legs to jump. I came home from work to find her stumbling through the house, and I rushed her to the vet immediately.
After several rounds of blood tests, biopsies, and IV fluids, they finally were able to put her on some medication that has tremendously improved her condition.
But not before my boyfriend and I spent almost $3,000. Is she worth it? Absolutely. Do I wish that it had cost less? Of course.
Following these massive medical bills, I started looking into pet insurance. It had never seemed like something I would need. All of my cats appeared to be in good health and all are still relatively young, so vet bills had never even crossed my mind.
Now, though, I wish I would have been better prepared.
Pet insurance might not be the best for everyone, and like any decision, it’s important to weigh your options.
The Benefits of Pet Insurance
Lower Deductibles than Human Insurance
Like I said before, one the most appealing things about pet insurance for me was how much money I could have saved on vet bills. With some insurance companies offering deductibles as low as $200 and vet bills that topped out at $3,000, it would have been comforting to know that I could provide the best care for Oli without worrying about the financial repercussions.
Choose Your Own Vet
Because pet insurance works on a reimbursement plan, it doesn’t matter what vet you use. You don’t have to worry about choosing a doctor that’s in your network, and can instead focus on finding a vet that fits best with your family.
If you insurance your pets early, chances are you won’t be paying more than about $30 a month for your pet’s insurance. The company’s base your rate on your pet’s age, so the younger you insure, the cheaper your rates and the more likely your pet is to not have a pre-existing condition.
For many insurance companies, you also have the option of customizing your insurance package. By picking and choosing what you want covered, you could also lower your costs.
The Disadvantages of Pet Insurance
All pet insurance works as a reimbursement, unlike human insurance. This means that you will always have to pay for your bill in full upfront before your insurance company can reimburse you for a percentage.
No Pre-Existing Conditions
No pet insurance will cover a pre-existing condition. You are required to provide your most recent vet records when applying. This may mean that pet insurance just isn’t worth it for owners who are already paying a lot for vet bills.
You May Never Use It
Though $30 a month feels a lot more manageable than being hit with thousands of dollars in vet bills, there is a chance that you may never have to use the insurance. Many companies are only for emergency vet services, and do not cover your regular vet checkups. This means it may end up being more expensive in the long run. This is a potential risk that you have to decide for yourself
I still haven’t decided whether pet insurance is right for me, but I’m definitely considering it. Do you currently have a pet insurance company that you recommend? Or do you feel like pet insurance is not worth it in the end?