If you’re wondering whether pet insurance will be worth the money you spend on it, look no further than the statistics about pets and pet health. As of 2011, over 78 million cats and dogs live in the United States – that’s more than three times the amount of people who live here!
With so many pets in the U.S., there are plenty of potential claims to be filed with your pet insurance company… but are they worth it? If you’re thinking about getting insurance, read on to find out 10 reasons why you should go ahead and get it.
1) The unexpected can happen
If your beloved cat or dog were to suddenly become sick, you would want them to receive treatment as soon as possible. Fortunately, there is pet insurance for that! By signing up for a policy and paying a small monthly fee, you can rest assured that your companion will receive proper medical care if they should ever need it.
Check out our reasons below on why it makes sense to get pet insurance.
2) We don’t always have control over our pet’s health
That old saying dogs are man’s best friend is pretty accurate. Dogs can easily become more than just animals—they can become family members and an integral part of our lives. And like any member of your family, you want to take care of them and make sure they live long and healthy lives.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible. We don’t always have control over our pet’s health. If a dog gets sick or injured, it could be devastating for both owner and pet. While we all love our pets dearly, it doesn’t mean we have thousands of dollars lying around in case one of them gets hurt or falls ill.
That’s where pet insurance comes in handy. While it may seem unnecessary at first glance, there are many benefits to having pet insurance coverage.
3) Long-term, major conditions are more common than you think
Most pets live more than 10 years, and some breeds live 15 or 20. As your dog gets older, he’s statistically likely to develop a chronic condition like diabetes, arthritis, or cancer—all of which are expensive to treat.
A survey conducted by Animal Wellness magazine found that 43 percent of pet owners spend between $1,000 and $2,500 annually on their pet’s medical care. That’s a lot of cash over time!
Plus, because animals can’t talk about how they feel, it can be difficult for pet owners to know when something is wrong; an annual checkup with your vet is crucial in catching any health problems early.
And if you don’t have pet insurance? Those costs will be yours to bear.
4) Your pet can be completely normal and then suddenly ill
A single visit to a vet can cost hundreds of dollars. Dog or cat insurance protects you from these expenses. Not only is pet insurance more convenient than setting aside savings, but you also don’t have to worry about your pet becoming ill when you least expect it.
Think about it as health insurance for your pet! Even if you take good care of your pet and avoid injuries and illnesses, an unexpected accident could still occur that leaves you with an astronomical veterinary bill.
And no one wants to lose their furry friend due to a lack of finances. Most pet insurance plans start at $20 per month for cats and dogs and up to $80 per month for horses and other large animals.
It doesn’t matter how old your pet is when you get coverage; most companies offer coverage for pets until they are 20 years old.
5) Prevention is key
Pet insurance will help ease your financial burden in case of an accident or injury. Accidents happen, and they often cost a fortune to treat.
If you don’t have pet insurance, a serious accident could mean a trip to the poorhouse—but if you do have pet insurance, your expenses may be limited to whatever deductible you choose when you sign up for coverage.
Be sure to ask about any limitations on preexisting conditions; some policies won’t cover health problems that are already present at the time of enrollment.
And make sure you know what kind of care is covered before you enroll: Some plans only cover basic wellness checkups and routine treatments, while others pay for diagnostic procedures such as MRIs.
For instance, if your dog needs emergency surgery after eating something he shouldn’t have eaten (or even just stepped on), he might not get coverage under a plan that doesn’t pay for emergency care.
6) It could help your pet live longer
Pet insurance often pays for unexpected accidents and illnesses that otherwise might have cost you thousands of dollars. For example, if your dog is diagnosed with a cancerous tumor, your pet insurance may help cover some or all of that cost.
This is true for certain conditions, but not others; check with your provider to see what they’ll cover. Also, keep in mind that not every disease or injury will be covered—and some companies will refuse to pay out on pre-existing conditions.
The good news? Pre-existing condition clauses are rare, so they shouldn’t affect most pets (and their owners). Still, make sure you know exactly what’s covered before signing up.
- Improved recovery: Even if your pet doesn’t live longer thanks to his policy, he could get better faster by receiving treatment sooner than he would without coverage. That means less pain and suffering—and more time together as a family.
- Peace of mind: Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of pet insurance is peace of mind. If you have a sick or injured pet, you can focus on getting him well instead of worrying about how you’ll pay for it all.
- Less stress: When unexpected bills start piling up, it can be stressful for both you and your pets. With pet insurance in place, however, you don’t have to worry about paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for surgery or chemotherapy treatments; most policies cover routine care like checkups and vaccinations too.
- More options: While some people may assume that pet insurance covers everything, that’s not always true. Some plans only cover certain procedures (for example, cancer treatments but not blood work), while others might exclude certain breeds from coverage altogether. If you want to give your pet every opportunity for a full recovery—even if he has an unusual condition—make sure you choose a plan that covers all of his needs.
7) Even if they die, it could save money in the long run
In a Harvard Medical School study, less than 1 percent of insured pets died over a 12-month period.
And, although medical bills can be steep—typically in excess of $3,000—they’re still cheaper than pet burial costs: At Houston’s Eternal Slumber Pet Cemetery & Crematory, for example, animal cremation costs $300 to $500. (For comparison, a basic funeral at an American cemetery averages about $7,000.)
Additionally, insurance may cover routine care that could otherwise put you into debt; it also covers things like behavioral therapy and prescription medications that aren’t typically covered by your regular vet.
8) If your pet is insured, you might find it easier to adopt another animal (if you want to!)
As soon as you get your first pet, you’re a responsible pet owner. Getting another pet is easy! However, if you don’t have insurance and something unexpected happens to your new (and healthy) animal, it could put a major dent in your savings.
Depending on what happened (and how expensive it was), you might not be able to adopt again for quite some time. If you do get insurance, however, that second adoption will probably be cheaper than your initial one because most companies offer discounts for multiple animals.
Plus, there are many other benefits to getting pet insurance—even beyond adopting more pets.
9) Some insurance policies cover pre-existing conditions as well
Most pet insurance companies will cover pre-existing conditions if they are diagnosed during a policy’s enrollment period. Be sure to read your policy or speak with an insurance agent to confirm that it covers pre-existing conditions.
The payment limit is $1,000 or $2,000: This should go without saying, but many people end up paying much more than they expected when their pets get sick or injured. Make sure you understand how high your out-of-pocket expenses could be before you purchase pet insurance.
There are deductibles and co-pays involved: Like any other type of health care plan, there are deductibles and co-pays involved in getting coverage for veterinary care through a pet insurance company. Some plans require annual re-enrollment fees as well.
Make sure you understand what you’re agreeing to before purchasing a policy.
10) And finally…it makes you feel good. We promise!
Taking care of our pets is important to us—and we know it’s important to you. And, while pet insurance won’t cover everything that can go wrong with your pet, it can put a dent in some big vet bills.
Also, knowing your furry family member will get proper care is priceless. Do it for yourself and do it for them—get your pet insured today!