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Our dogs are a big part of our family and we want them to live for a long time and remain healthy. In order to keep up with the high costs of vet care, pet insurance can help save you money on the big, expensive vet bills.
But, many dog owners wonder if pet insurance is really worth the cost for your dog?
Pet insurance defined
Pet insurance is a policy that helps to pay for and cover some of the high costs of the vet bills for your dogs. You are able to choose the type and level of coverage you want. You pay a monthly or annual premium to get coverage.
Each pet insurance company will offer different coverage choices and pricing. Some companies offer comprehensive policies which covers all accident and illnesses while others cover only accidents.
The better and more comprehensive or inclusive that the coverage is, the higher the cost of the policy.
How much does pet insurance cost?
There are many costs associated with each pet insurance policy.
Pet insurance is really for the big accidents or injuries and not preventative care. So, it can be thought of this way:
How often will your dog injure his paw or swallow something toxic? Or what if your dog gets really sick and needs serious medical treatment? It is at times like these when pet insurance can be extremely beneficial.
Every pet insurance plan has a deductible. This is the first payment you make on your fist vet bill. The typical deductible can range from $40 to $750 each policy year and depends on the company you choose and the type of policy.
A co-payment, also called a co-pay, is the amount you pay on each medical bill after you have reach your deductible.
As an example, let’s say your vet bill is $1,000 and you choose a deductible of $100 and a 20% co-pay. You first pay your $100 deductible (if this is your first vet bill). This is a one-time payment.
Your co-pay or 20% of the remaining balance is $180 ($900). You would then be reimbursed $720 by your pet insurance provider to cover the remaining portion of the vet bill.
The best pet insurance plans pay on the vet bill and will let you choose from a 70% to 90% reimbursement. The higher the reimbursement rate that you choose, the more you will get reimbursed on the bill.
The Average Cost of Pet Insurance
The price of pet insurance is determined by many factors including how old your dog is, whether you live in the city or the country (city is more expensive), the breed of your dog and the policy that you have chosen.
The average cost of pet insurance is $75 to $150 a month for dogs.
The Pros of Pet Insurance For Your Dog
The pros of pet insurance are the following:
1. You can price around and budget the premiums according to your budget and your dog’s requirements!
2. Premiums can be very inexpensive to start and probably lower than a good meal in a restaurant.
3. The deductibles are affordable and are a one-time payment.
4. Pet insurance is very important for certain breeds. Labradors, who tend to have hip and elbow issues, are great candidates for dog insurance. Surgery can be very expensive for hip or elbow dysplasia and pet insurance will cover a big portion of the surgery.
5. You can take your dog to any vet that you choose and there aren’t any in-network providers like our health insurance. It can be a relief to know that you can always stay with your vet if choosing a new policy for your dog.
The Cons of Pet Insurance For Your Dogs
1. Premiums can be higher for older dogs, so if you insure your dog later in life, you can expect premiums of at least $500 a month. Of course, this is nothing if your dog gets very sick and you have a huge vet bill. But, something to consider.
2. Preventative care is not paid for by pet insurance. Don’t be surprised if you take your dog for his annual vet visit and the bill is not covered by your pet insurance. Pet insurance is only for the serious illnesses or accidents.
3. You have to pay the bills up front and wait to be reimbursed. You will get paid back but it could take up to 30 days.
4. You could spend more on pet insurance than you pay in medical bills for your dog if he or she stays healthy (we hope so, of course). If your dog never gets sick or hurt, you are paying for something that your dog didn’t need.
Therefore, with pet insurance, you won’t usually save money in an average, healthy year. But, if your dog gets sick or in an accident and the vet bill is $10,000, pet insurance is certainly worth the cost then!
Pet insurance really is about having the peace of mind that if something unexpected happens to your dog, you have the financial ability to get your dog the best care. To learn more about pet insurance, how it works and the best pet insurance companies of 2019, this guide can be a great resource.
Lisa Fimberg is a writer for Consumers Advocate.org which is a site that specializes in reviews for virtually everything from the best car insurance to the best pet insurance. When she is not researching or writing for work or playing with her cat, you can find her hiking, running or anywhere away from the computer!