November 27, 2012

The Best Pet Insurance: A ‘Think Different’ Approach

When you love your pet, you want them to receive medical care when they are in pain or injured. Unfortunately, many illnesses and most injuries can cause you a pretty penny between surgeries and medication costs.

Like health insurance for humans, pet insurance has a monthly premium that you must pay in order for your pet to receive coverage. When an illness or accident happens, the pet insurance will pay for a portion of the veterinary costs if it is covered in your pet insurance plan.

Depending on the plan, you may have to pay a deductible for each claim. You may also still be liable for a percentage of the costs which typically could be anywhere from 0%-20%.

If your pet is chronically sick or seriously injured, pet insurance could save you thousands of dollars.

But if your pet is relatively healthy, the money you paid into the premiums could be going down the drain. The question is whether simply starting a savings fund for your pet’s veterinary care is the better option as opposed to the cost of pet insurance.

 

Pros and Cons of Pet Insurance

The biggest pro is the reduced cost in out-of-pocket vet expenses. When you consider that an injury such as a broken bone requiring surgery could run up to $3,500, your pet insurance plan could save you thousands of dollars in one shot.

Another pro is that you will have peace of mind knowing that if something happens to your dog, you won’t have to scramble to come up with the money for their care. As your dog ages, their likelihood of being diagnosed with a chronic disease is significantly increased.

Pet insurance is beneficial in offsetting these costs, but will the amount saved at this late stage in your dog’s life equal more than the cost of pet insurance?

This brings us to the cons of pet insurance; primarily, will you ever recoup all the money paid into the premiums?

In addition, depending on the plan you choose, you may still be on the hook to pay for injuries or illnesses if they aren’t covered and even with the best pet insurance the covered incidents may still require you to pay a deductible and co-pay.

 

The Best Pet Insurance Could Be a Savings Account

When thinking about the best pet insurance option for your cat or dog, a savings account could be for you.

Just like pet insurance, the pros include having money available for your pet’s healthcare. You also get the peace of mind knowing that you can cover such expenses.

Perhaps the biggest pro here is that you won’t lose any unused money like you would if you were paying premiums. If your dog never requires major care, you still have the money in your account to keep. Even better, you can earn interest on the money.

However, the biggest con is that it will take time for you to build up your savings account. An injury or sudden illness could leave you short when it comes to having the cash to pay for their care.

Even if you spend years saving up, you still may not have enough if a really serious incident arises. And there’s always the temptation to use that money sitting in the savings account for something other than your pet’s care.

To figure out what is best, compare the pros and cons of both pet insurance and savings accounts to see what makes the most sense for you and your pet.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.