Pet insurance helps cover the cost of veterinary care if your pet is injured or ill. A once-obscure insurance product has seen a surge in sales. Pet insurance purchases have climbed for both dog and cat owners (and nearly doubled for cat owners).
The cost of pet insurance for accidents and illnesses is roughly $57 for dogs and $28 for cats per month, based on $5,000 in yearly coverage with a $250 deductible and 90% reimbursement level.
It’s natural to ask if pet insurance is really worth the cost if you’re considering getting on board the pet insurance bandwagon. Consider the following suggestions.
Before finalizing about purchasing pet insurance, it’s important to know how much it will cost. For starters, the ASPCA estimates that annual expenses for dogs are $465 and for cats are $501, respectively, for things like food, toys, treats, licensing, and grooming supplies.
Vaccinations, flea and tick treatments, regular examinations, and other preventative pet care are not included in this estimate. For dogs, that’s an additional $410 per year, and for cats, it’s $300 per year.
Although these fees might quickly build-up, they don’t have the same impact as unforeseen medical emergencies. The cost of surgery might go into the hundreds of dollars; for example, if your dog tears its ACL chasing a ball around the yard.
This may be out of reach for many pet owners who can’t afford these expenses. According to a Federal Reserve study of household well-being conducted in 2021, 36% of Americans are unable to fund a $400 liquidity emergency.
And if you can’t afford to care for your pet properly, your long-term costs could skyrocket. As an example, let’s say your pug has a persistent dislocation of the hip. Even if you don’t have the money to get treatment for this medical condition, you could end up with chronic pain and reoccurring drug costs if you wait and see how it goes away on its own.
For some pets, hereditary conditions might raise the cost of their care, which should be taken into consideration. Hip dysplasia in large dogs, such as border collies, Labrador retrievers, Great Danes, and German Shepherds, can cost between $3,500 and $7,000 to treat, depending on the scenario.
There is no economic model for insurance firms that involves their paying out more in claims than they collect from customers in premiums. Paying premiums can be more expensive than receiving reimbursement if an unexpectedly high vet cost arises. Having a safety net in place in the event of major catastrophes is the whole point of having insurance.
You may already have a certain estimate about how much you’re willing to spend in the event of an unexpected vet visit. However, if your pet is in danger of losing his or her life, you might be more prepared to go over your budget than you expected it to be.