With Rising Veterinary costs, is Pet Insurance Right For You?
Even the best pet-parents can’t prevent every illness or accident. And many people are not prepared for the high cost of veterinary care required to save their animals. This is why every pet owner should consider pet insurance.
If your dog or cat has a medical emergency or develops a critical illness such as cancer, your bill could quickly hit the thousands of dollars. Options such as saving ahead of time, credit cards, or care credit can help to defray the cost, but are not available options for everyone. More and more of my clients are looking to pet insurance as a viable option.
What is pet insurance? True pet insurance is provided by a third-party and can be used either at any vet or one within a participating network of providers. Like human health insurance plans, there may be a deductible, co-payments and exclusions. Premiums typically vary depending on your pet’s species, breed and age, and whether you buy comprehensive or catastrophic coverage. This works just like your human medical insurance. However, pet insurance based on a 2012 estimate, usually runs about $30 a month per pet. Over ten years time this is around $3600 dollars per pet.
As an emergency veterinarian, I see many cases that require advanced care in the first few days that easily approach thousands of dollars. My own Akita has suffered from hemorrhagic gastroenteritis which was one thousand dollar stay at the vet. She then tore her cranial cruciate ligament which required a surgery performed by a board certified surgeon to correct. With those two events alone, her pet insurance would have paid for itself.
When considering pet insurance, there are important questions to ask the provider. Pre-existing conditions, coverage for accidents, and how are the claims handled. Is there a co-pay per visit? Research different companies to see which one meets your needs.
Every family’s situation is different. Pet insurance is not right for everyone. In my opinion, it can help to ensure that your pet receives the best possible care available. It is worth serious consideration in our era of rising health care crosses.
For more information, contact our team at VETSS, a Charlottesville VA urgent care animal hospital!