Is Pet Insurance Worth The Cost
Pet parents know that the cost of pet ownership is not cheap, and its impossible to say whether pet insurance will ever pay for itself simply because no one can predict the future. Ultimately, having pet insurance is worth it for some people, but not for others.
Ideally, your pet will never suffer a major illness or injury that requires extensive veterinary care. But as with all insurance, the idea is that by paying a nominal fee for coverage, youll eliminate the risk of having to pay thousands in the unlikely event that your pet does face a critical emergency. Many pet owners feel that this cost is worth knowing theyll never face a time that they cant afford a life-saving procedure for their beloved 4-legged family members.
Dr. Kenney also noted in his recent interview that “Pet insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of product. A pet insurance company and policy needs to be chosen around the needs of the pet, the wants of the pet owner, and the budget available for the pet’s healthcare expenses.”
For example, lets say your pet is hit by a car and is rushed to the nearest veterinary hospital. After an emergency surgery, the total bill comes to $2,500. Without pet insurance, youd be on the hook for the full amount. However, if you had a mid-tier policy with a $500 deductible and an 80% reimbursement rate, youd only be responsible for $1,000 out of pocket.
What Makes Petplan Different
Over the last 40 years, Petplan has helped millions of pets through illness and injury. Today, weâre still the UKâs favourite pet insurer, insuring over 1.3 million pets.
Hereâs just some of the reasons why 90% of our customers renew each year:
- Thereâs no penalty for claiming. We want you to take your pet to the vet without worrying about the cost of your insurance, so we wonât increase your premium just because you have made a claim
- We pay 97% of claims we receive. Thatâs over Â£5million paid every week to help Petplan pets get the veterinary treatment they need
- We can pay your vet directly so you can concentrate on getting your pet back to the best of health
Petplan is a trading name of Pet Plan Limited and Allianz Insurance plc , Registered office: 57 Ladymead, Guildford, Surrey GU1 1DB. Petplan’s trading address is: Great West House , Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex TW8 9DX.
Pet Plan Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Financial Services Register No. 311969. Allianz Insurance plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Financial Services Register No. 121849. Pet Plan Limited is a subsidiary of Allianz Insurance plc.
Check For Bundling Discounts
If you have car or home insurance, check if the insurance company you insure those with also sells pet insurance. They may offer a discount for enrolling your pet with them. Also, pet insurance is increasingly offered as an employee perk, so you might want to confirm if a subsidized plan might be available through your work.
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All Deductibles Are Not The Same
Depending on the pet insurance company, the deductible will either be annual, per condition/incident, or per visit. The best option is annual once you reach the deductible, you are set for the year, no matter how many times your dog goes to the vet. Per condition/incident means you only pay the deductible once in a calendar year for the same problem.
For instance, if your dog has allergies and goes to the vet four times in a year for his allergies, you only need to reach the deductible once and then all future care is covered. Per visit is your worst option. It means that every time your dog goes to the vet, you must pay the deductible before anything will be covered.
Understanding Pet Insurance Plan Coverage And Policies
Next, you should understand the key phrases and terms used by insurers and their significance for you and your furry best friend. Once you become familiar, you’ll be able to weed out the plans that don’t suit your pet and focus on the plans that give your companion animal the medical benefits he or she really needs.
Pre-Existing Conditions: Universally, pet insurance plans exclude and will not cover pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is an illness or injury that your pet has before the plan gets started . It doesn’t matter that a vet hasn’t diagnosed your companion animal yet. So long as symptoms or the condition started before your plan or waiting period ended, it’s likely not going to be covered. The silver lining is that some plans will treat any healable or curable diseases after a waiting period .
Incident: This is a broad term that means any medical event, and can generally be broken into a vet examination/office visit, the diagnostic materials, treatment plans, medications, hospitalization and follow-up visits as applicable.
Accidents: Generally speaking, accidents are unexpected and unpreventable incidents, and can cover emergencies such as broken bones, burns, swallowed objects, poisonings and broken teeth.
Illness: Any general sickness, disease, infection or medical problem with your pet that isn’t an accident. Examples include allergies, diabetes, heart disease, upset stomachs, skin bites or wounds and cancer.
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Is Pet Insurance Worth It Heres A Veterinarians Perspective
Theres no way to anticipate what will happen in the future you cant predict when or how your pets will get sick, or how much it will cost. Pet insurance protects against unexpected veterinary bills. Many pet owners pay out-of-pocket for their pets’ medical expenses, but most Americans struggle to afford a $1500 emergency vet bill. The right pet insurance can be a lifesaver. Learn the basics.
Our pets lives come with uncertainties.No matter how careful or responsible we are, our puppies find and devour socks, our kittens climb and stumble off shelves, and we have a responsibility to mend them back to health. We love our pets, and pet insurance is one tool that enables us to care for them without financial burden.
How Much Is Pet Insurance
For dogs aged one-five, the average cost of insurance works out at just £23.33 a month. For cats it’s £10.92.
But cats tend to be cheaper to insure, with older cats costing less than younger dogs cats aged eight and over cost an average £22.92 a month for pet insurance.
As your dog ages, the insurance costs go up, with the biggest increase after the age of eight.
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Best Pet Insurance Companies Of 2021
- Best for Routine Care: PetFirst
- Best for Multiple Pets: ASPCA
- Best for Emergencies: Embrace
- Best for Holistic Care: Figo
- Best for Older Dogs: Hartville
- Best for Chronic Conditions: 24PetWatch
- Best for Servicemembers: USAA
- Best Affordable Pet Insurance: Progressive
- Starting price: $99 per year
- Deductible: $0
While Pet Assure doesnt fall under the standard pet insurance umbrella, its low cost and flexibility make it our top pick for owners of all types of pets.
Covers all types of pets
No annual limits or deductibles
Not subject to waiting periods
Pays for pre-existing conditions
Limited to in-network veterinarians
Covers only 25% of costs
Prescriptions not covered
Pet Assure offers plans for a single cat, a single dog, a family plan for up to four animals of any size, and an unlimited plan for all pets in your household. Best of all, theres no waiting period before you can use your coverage. All of Pet Assures plans come with discounted veterinary services, including treatments related to:
- Pre-existing conditions
Pet Assure insurance is pretty affordable, plus there is no deductible. You can save some money on your policy if you choose the annual billing option. These are the rates for each insurance plan:
- Single cat plan: $9.95 per month
- Single dog plan: $11.95 per month
- Family plan: $16.95 per month
- Unlimited plan: $21.95 per month
- Deductibles: None
What’s Not Covered By Pet Insurance
We’ve already discussed that all pet insurance companies exclude “pre-existing conditions” from coverage that’s ailments that start before you sign up.
Healthy Paws also doesn’t cover routine care like vaccinations, flea or heartworm prevention, dental cleaning, non-emergency neutering, annual checkups, or examination fees. Healthy Paws doesn’t cover these so they can keep premiums low. That way they can afford to give you generous coverage for more expensive treatments.
In my opinion, this is a good trade-off. You pay the vet for routine, small-ticket stuff, but you pay less for your pet insurance. And the pet insurance pays for the big stuff that you really need help with.
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Shop For Affordable Care
Instead of shopping for insurance policies that cover steep vet bills, request quotes from multiple clinics to find the lowest price for the service you need. You can also search for local veterinary schools, which may run low-cost clinics for residents with limited income. Or, get free advice from a vet online, using sites like Ask.VetBabble.
The Kind Of Pet You Have
Most policies are taken out for cats and dogs, and its easy to find insurers for these animals.
You can also get insurance for smaller mammals, such as gerbils, rabbits and hamsters. But their shorter lifespans mean its not necessarily good value.
Exotic pets, such as lizards, snakes and parrots, are harder to insure as there arent many companies offering this service. But its worth shopping around.
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How Pet Emergencies Can Lead To Long
If an emergency is not completely addressed , an issue may be overlooked or neglected which can lead to additional ongoing treatment costs.
Large expenses can also lead to debt, where interest charges will increase overall costs even further. You should avoid this if at all possible, and considering pet insurance is often the best first step.
For example, perhaps Fido suffers a hip dislocation that just won’t stay in place .
If the pet parent does not have the funds to thoroughly investigate or address the issue, the ideal treatment may be put off to “see how it heals – which can lead to chronic pain for the pet and recurring medication expenses for the pet parent.
Or, perhaps a pet has a urinary tract infection and the pet owner didnt want to pay to have a culture analyzed. Instead, they just start antibiotics and create a UTI that is now resistant to antibiotic treatment…Now, much more expensive medications will be required, and potentially even hospitalization or worse .
Sometimes you really need to do that extra test or that extra treatment.
It’s difficult to know when, which is why pet insurance is worth the cost for many pet owners: the protection grants finanacial peace of mind so that treatment conversations can be about whats the right thing to do, instead of how much it will cost.
When You Should Get Pet Insurance
The younger your pet is when you enroll them, the more valuable insurance will bebut that doesnt mean you shouldnt enroll an older animal or one with hereditary conditions. Even though wellness visitsthe most common costs for young petsarent covered by most insurance plans, the lower premiums at younger ages likely make starting early worthwhile. Its also good to establish a policy as soon as possible, since establishing new coverage is often far more expensive than continuing an existing plan. Although we no longer can offer picks in this guide, representatives from our former pick Trupanion told us that since 2012, premiums had increased roughly 6% per year across all of the pets the company covers. And they said the company expects rates to climb 5% to 6% per policy year going forward. However, in 2017, our fictitious cat cost an average of $52 per month to insure. In 2021, establishing coverage for a new pet cost $143 a montha 275% increase. Such a jump is a reminder that insuring your pet sooner rather than later will save you money.
An example of lifetime premium costs
|Age at enrollment|
|Yes, with the BestBenefit Accident and Illness Plan|
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We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And while our site doesnt feature every company or financial product available on the market, were proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward and free.
So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about , but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.Here is a list of our partners.
How Pet Insurance Costs Are Determined
In addition to the coverage choices you make, your type of pet will determine the price of pet insurance. For example, cats are generally cheaper to insure than dogs, and birds, ferrets, rabbits and reptiles are cheaper to insure than cats.
A pets breed plays a major role in determining pet insurance costs. Thats because certain breeds are predisposed to illnesses and hereditary problems, which often means more veterinary visits and higher medical expenses.
Dog breeds have the largest variations in pet insurance costs, as opposed to cats. The most expensive dog breeds for pet insurance include:
- Portuguese water dogs
- Shar peis
Older pets are more expensive to insure than younger pets. We found that the best prices were after a pets first birthday until around age six. As the pet gets older, your pet insurance premiums could increase when you renew your policy.
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What Are The Terms Of Your Coverage
Some pet insurance companies have certain requirements to satisfy the coverage rules. Most of the time, this is related to your pets health. Often, if your pet is over a certain age, youll be required to schedule an appointment with your local vet to rule out any pre-existing conditions.
There may also be a waiting period before the policy kicks in . Finally, some pet insurance companies will not insure pets over a certain age, since they are more likely to have claims. The bottom line? Read the fine print of your policy.
Giving Back To Help Homeless Pets
Healthy Paws began not just to help pet parents handle the expense of pets medical treatments, but also to help animal rescue organizations care for the many sick pets that come into their care. Thats why we started our foundation in 2009, to fulfill this promise.
- Over $1 million donated so far to homeless pets as of April 15, 2020
- With every pet insurance quote, we make a donation
- Donated to over 300 non-profit pet organizations
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Best Pet Insurance In Canada: Trupanion Canada
For determining the best pet insurance company in Canada, we looked for an insurance company that would offer the best coverage for the average Canadian pet owner. We avoided companies with excessive coverage options that are usually unnecessary, as well as companies with confusing maximum coverage and enrollment rules. We also wanted comprehensive coverage with no lifetime limit and clear deductibles. For this reason, Trupanion Canada stands out as a winner.
Trupanion Canada is one of the largest providers of pet insurance in Canada, and our top pick for the best pet insurance in Canada. We like Trupanion because it offers a single and very good pet insurance plan that will cover the needs of most Canadian per owners.
This company has an excellent reimbursement rate of 90% and can even bill your veterinarian directly. Trupanion does not penalize you for making claims on your policy, and they have an excellent customer service track record.
What We Liked:
- Offers direct payment to your veterinarian
- Reimbursement is 90% of your actual bill
- There is no lifetime cap on accidents and illness coverage
What We Didnt Like:
- One plan means no customization options or wellness add-ons
- Maximum enrollment age is 14 years
- Preventative treatments are not covered, and there is no option to add it
What Does Pet Insurance Cost
The precise premium youll pay to insure your pet varies by a host of factors. Those begin with the animals species, with dogs pricier to insure than cats, as a rule. Within species, mixed breed animals are typically the least expensive to insure, although some larger animals of unclear lineage may be costly to insure — since vet bills tend to rise with the size of the pet. Among purebreds, certain breeds are pricier to insure because of a genetic propensity to certain conditions or to such costly behaviors as swallowing foreign objects.
The pets age also factors into costs, with premiums steadily rising with age. Some companies are notably cheaper than others. Indeed, when we surveyed costs for pets of the same age and breed in the same places from multiple insurers, we found premiums ranged by up to 100% — that is, some companies charged double the price of some competitors.
As a rule, though, you can expect insurance against accidents and illness for a middle-aged pet to cost around $35 to $70 a month for a dog, and $20 to $35 or so for a cat.
Insurance is available, too, for almost the full range of other potential household pets, from reptiles and snakes through birds, rodents, and horses.
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