This article will explore:
- Is pet insurance right for you?
- Our experience with pet insurance
- How to pick the right plan
Is Pet Insurance Right For You and Your Furry Friend?
As moms, we are in charge of the entire house and this includes our pets. Pet insurance is a great thing to have, but it is not for everyone. How do you know if pet insurance is right for you? Well, this is how I like to think of it. If your pet was to become sick, cut them or break a bone and need surgery, could you afford it? Let’s look at when you should and should not purchase pet insurance.
If you have five or ten thousand dollars extra in your savings (outside of your emergency fund), it probably would not be in your best interest to purchase pet insurance. This is because you would be putting a portion of your monthly budget towards coverage when you have the emergency funds. You are putting money towards protection when you have that money. What I recommend is if you want to increase that amount, allow a particular portion of your budget to go toward pets. Therefore, when your pet has an accident and needs emergency care, you have built your pet savings up to cover the expense.
However, what happens if you don’t have the extra money?
Well, this is where pet insurance comes in handy. I love my dogs and would never want to be put in the position to have to figure out how to find the money for their care. This is why we have pet insurance. We have been through mysterious illnesses, an ACL tear, and needing stitches. All these items are very costly, and our pet insurance has been excellent!
Our Experience With Pet Insurance
Our last experience was in fall 2018. Our Belle was five and is a Weimaraner. This breed is prone to different ailments from bloat to ear infections. Belle was playing like normal and somehow torn her ACL. This is a muscle in the knee joint and according to our vet feels the same pain as you or I would feel. I had a co-worker who tore his and he said it was the worst pain. The surgery was not something we could wait for or she would have had permanent damage.
Within a week Belle was in for surgery and we had a six-week recovery period. This included a couple visits to the vet and medicine from the vet and pharmacy. Total the bill was around $2300. With the plan we have through Petplan we have a $500 deductible and then they cover 70%. We ended up getting back around $1300. If we did not have insurance, the out of pocket cost would have taken a toll on our family budget.
How to pick the right plan:
- Ask your vet whom they recommend. Your vet may have pamphlets in the office they can provide.
- Google to find different providers and compare several different providers.
- Compare deductibles, what is covered, monthly cost, and the percentage you will be responsible for after meeting the deductible. Pay close attention to what is included. Some plans include dental, shots, while others exclude routine care.
- Pricing increases – Our costs go up each year, as our pets get older. It is not much but you want to be careful and ensure you can afford the same insurance company for the life of your pet. Once you have an insurance company it is hard to switch because existing conditions will not be included and you probably will pay more.
- Eligibility rules
- Payout limits
- Pre-existing conditions – I found most will not cover these costs.
- Once you have narrowed down your choices, look at the company reviews.
- Ask friends if they have insurance and what their experience has been.
Based on my research and our breed, we selected Petplan. They have different levels of plans that fit different budgets. I know that I can pay so much in a deductible plus the additional 20% insurance portion that would be our responsibility and this is how I selected our plan. We have had this plan for almost eight years, and I love their customer service.
Please note that I am not an insurance expert. I am writing this post based on my knowledge of researching many pet insurance companies. Please seek the guidance of a professional if you have specific insurance questions.