When it comes to health care and your money, a good insurance policy can make or break your bank account. But what about medical care for your four legged friends? Is a good pet insurance plan worth the costs? One of the intentions behind having an insurance policy for your fur baby is to avoid the heartbreaking decision of “economic euthanasia”— letting a loved family pet go because vet costs aren’t affordable. While pet insurance may seem like a no-brainer, there are many factors to consider when deciding if the costs outweigh the benefits.
- Coverage limitations and exclusions
Similar to human health insurers, pet insurers often exclude pre-existing or chronic conditions. Chronic (and expensive) diseases, like hip dysplasia, may be not be eligible for coverage. Check policies carefully for what is and isn’t paid for by your carrier.
Also like human insurance plans, you’ll pay either a deductible, a co-pay or both with most insurers.
- Partial plans
Some companies offer “emergency” coverage for accidents so you can plan for annual visits, but get help when the unexpected happens.
Bottom line? Consider the age and current health of your pet. If your pet is young and healthy and the premium is low, insurance could be worth the small monthly fee. If you have a senior or ailing pet that routinely needs medical attention that is not covered, you may be better off opening a high interest savings account to save for your pet’s veterinarian care.
When you’re considering pet insurance, shop around and read the fine print. Download a sample policy and review it thoroughly for limitations, exceptions and co-payments. Sites such Consumers Advocate and Pet Insurance Review are great resources to research all you pet care options. Plan in advance, and you’ll have the resources to make a clear headed decision when and if you need to make tough calls surrounding your pet’s health.