Pet insurance covers expensive medical procedures, allowing you to focus on your pet’s recovery.
the main points
- It can cost over $22,000 over the life of a pet to keep them healthy.
- Pet insurance allows a pet owner to reduce the cost of pet care.
If you own a pet, you have probably noticed how expensive veterinary care can be. Depending on the costs of the vet in your area, the cost of health care for a dog can range between $700 and $1,500 per year. If the dog lives for 15 years, this means that between $10,500 and $22,500 is spent on veterinary care alone.
And it’s the cost of veterinary care that helps explain why my dog is covered by pet insurance. When I first bought coverage, pet insurance was a niche product. There were a few companies to choose from, and frankly, coverage was spotty at best. Today, as soon as I get my $500 deductible, 90% of my pet’s care is paid for by insurance.
I also carry health coverage for both dogs, mostly because of the speed with which they add things like dental cleanings, heartworm tests, and flea and tick prevention. Insurance allows me to budget for everyday expenses and avoid costly surprises.
Why choose insurance
When my husband and I were young, in college, and they died penniless, we adopted a dog. We fell in love with her but had no idea how much it would cost to take care of her. We found a low-cost vaccination clinic to update the vaccines, but I had a nagging concern. What if she becomes seriously ill or injured? How do we pay for it?
Later, when we were out of school, I found pet insurance. As mentioned, those early policies were not as comprehensive as they are today, but having one still provides me with a measure of peace. She might only start if she was sick or seriously injured, but it was better than nothing.
Today, pet insurance covers everything from vaccines to stem cell treatments. Having coverage in place not only relaxes my mind but also saves a lot of money.
How pet insurance saves money (and anxiety)
I am a pet hover mother. I care for puppies in a way that upsets non-pet lovers. How do I know? I’ve been told that – more than once. However, my pets are part of the family, and I want to make sure they are taken care of. Pet insurance allows me to do this without breaking the bank.
In our area, annual treatments such as vaccinations, boosters, heartworm tests, deworming, dental cleanings, and office visits cost about $1,100 per dog.
The cost of health coverage per pet is $64 per month or $768 per year. This is an annual saving of over $330 per dog. Most importantly, insurance makes it easy to stay on top of the checks and treatments dogs need to live long, healthy lives.
The puppies rarely saw the vet due to illness, but I’m still glad I bought comprehensive coverage once I brought them home. Because they were still relatively young, I only pay $27 a month per dog. Even better, the price is fixed. This means that the premium will not increase as they get older. That way, if either of them develop a health problem when they get older, there’s coverage in place.
In the meantime, both dogs have anxiety issues that require regular veterinary care. We adopted one after it had been abandoned twice and she is still nervous any time we leave the room. The other could be a meteorologist, shaking like a leaf as storms approach.
Because our vet understands their history and quirks, he is able to provide advice (and sometimes medication) to improve dogs’ lives. It is important to be able to take regular trips to the vet without taking out a second mortgage. Not having to pay for office calls also makes it easy to pick them up when one has a problem.
A lifetime of savings
Veterinary care in our area is a little more expensive than it might be in other parts of the country. If my dogs live to age 15, healthcare alone would add at least $16,500 each. If either of them is sick or injured, that number is likely to be $20,000 to $25,000. By paying a monthly insurance premium, the amount I am charged for any care they need is reduced.
One of the great things about pet insurance is that the owner can customize it to fit their budget. By comparing pet insurance companies, they can determine which coverage is best for their pet’s needs and which company offers the most affordable policies.
Having watched coverage evolve over the years, I can tell you that pet insurance has been more than worth the price to me.