A few years ago, we looked at ‘Term Life vs. Whole Life Insurance’ and described life insurance as smart financial protection to have. This is something more and more people seem to be realizing. But even beyond common protections like this, a lot of people today are also recognizing that getting pet insurance, too, can be a wise financial move. Pet owners in the past have often questioned whether it’s really worthwhile or necessary to ensure their furry friends. After all, it can be expensive, especially if there’s more than one pet involved. Spoiler alert though: With the insurance options available today, it’s worth it, both financially and for your own peace of mind!
Let’s take a look at some of the specific reasons why.
The Cost of a Pet
Pet ownership isn’t cheap. A piece at The Spruce Pets looked into some numbers and estimated that it can cost between $1,500 and $9,900 a year to own a dog, for instance. These estimations considered expenses such as grooming and toys, boarding costs, and more –– but also some more expensive things like preventative medications and supplements, as well as veterinary costs.
Other pets have different costs, but this is a general indicator of how much a beloved pet can add up to, and a lot of the biggest price tags have to do with health. Insurance adds a cost upfront, but it can make some of those medication and care costs far less burdensome over the course of a given year.
How Pet Insurance Works
Pet insurance can seem complicated at first, but it’s actually pretty similar to insurance for humans. It’s essentially a matter of choice. A pet insurance overview at Sound Dollar explains that there are different types of pet insurance plans, and they vary in what they cover. Some policies have full coverage (for vet visits, medications, procedures, etc.) while others cover portions of certain vet bills. More specifically, there are essentially three main types of plans:
- Wellness plans (which cover checkups, dental work, and preventative care)
- Accident plans (which cover accidents only, without preventative care)
- Comprehensive plans (which cover accidents and illnesses, but don’t include preventative care)
There are also different packages for different types of pets –– such as exotic pet insurance for those who have rabbits, reptiles, hedgehogs, or other less conventional animals. But all in all, the process of securing pet insurance is simply about assessing your budget and the needs (or potential needs) of your animal based on these types of coverage options.
The Pros & Cons
As discussed above, pets are expensive; altogether, preventative medicine, accidents, and emergencies can deal a significant blow to your finances. Pet insurance protects you from these types of hits, ensuring that you can afford your dog’s sudden urge to kiss a porcupine or your cat’s accidental brush with a hot iron –– or, God forbid, the onset of a serious disease in a beloved pet. Insurance also gives you peace of mind: Not only can you afford what you need to, but you won’t have to keep the stress of a potential financial burden in the back of your mind.
The “con” is that it is possible that you end up spending money on the insurance and never need it. Indeed, in a strange way, this is what you hope for! However, it’s important to keep in mind that even if more serious matters never arise, procedures such as tooth extractions, digestive interventions, and minor surgeries are extremely common in pets.
Chances are, you’ll have to end up paying for some type of care down the line, and you’ll be glad not to have to do so entirely out of pocket. PetGuide states that a simple tooth extraction can cost somewhere between $500 and $800, and that doesn’t include post-op care, medications, or additional charges if the tooth is considered a complex extraction.
The Bottom Line
Pet insurance is an extra monthly or quarterly cost that some pet owners scoff at, but financially speaking, it’s usually worth it. From preventative medicine and checkups to emergencies and accidents, pet care tends to add up whether or not anything particularly serious happens. Having costs covered eases the burden –– and makes it that much easier to take the best possible care of your beloved pet.