Is pet health insurance worth it?

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

The rising cost of healthcare is staggering. Americans spend over $30 billion annually on vet care for their dogs, cats, and other pets. Yearly expenses range from medication and surgical procedures to grooming, vaccines, and general care.

As a pet owner who incurs these expenses, you may be wondering if pet insurance can help you mitigate your pet’s medical costs. The answer is yes, and here’s why:

 

Current Pet Healthcare Costs

What is driving up the cost of animal healthcare? The answer is simple: More owners are taking an interest in their pet’s well-being and are scheduling more checkups, vaccinations, emergency visits, and grooming sessions for their pets.

Some of the most common annual expenses include (national averages):

TreatmentDogCatBirdHorse
Surgery$475$250$45$2,000
Illness$200$250$140$300
Emergencies$350$150$110$475
Heartworms$100$65x$540
Checkups$250$180$100$550
Supplements$60$50$40$150
Insect Control$85$80$50$100

Breaking it down even further, the most common health problems and treatment costs in dogs and cats – the two most common home pets – include:

 

Dogs:

  • Skin allergies: $600 to $1100
  • Ear infections: $10 to $40
  • Urinary tract infections: $300 to $700
  • Skin infections: $15 to $20
  • Arthritis: $200 to $2500
  • More Dog Conditions

Cats:

  • Bladder / Urinary Tract: $150 to $600
  • Dental disease: $300 to $1300
  • Eye Problems: $100 to $1,000
  • Tapeworms: $50 to $100
  • Excessive Thyroid Hormone: $700
  • More Cat Conditions

 

Can Pet Insurance Save You Money on Pet Healthcare Costs?

How much you can save on healthcare costs with pet insurance depends on how much medical coverage you need and how much you plan to spend on your pet’s medical needs every year.

According to The North American Pet Health Insurance Association, owners who carry pet insurance are more likely to seek medical care for their pet. NAPHIA suggests that the reason for this is that insurance prevents owners from amassing a huge debt from a surprise medical procedure.

Pet insurance premiums are surprisingly low and may stay well within your budget. A survey of some top insurance providers reveals the following introductory monthly premiums for cats or dogs:

  • Embrace: $13
  • Nationwide: $12
  • Healthy Paws: $15
  • ASPCA: $16
  • Pet Best: $6

A monthly premium of $12 per month combined with a small copay of only 20 percent on most policies can save you a considerable amount of money. If your dog or cat is suffering from a terminal condition or you need emergency surgery for your pet, a policy that may cost you $100 to $150 annually could save you two to three times that in surgical procedure expenses.

Most insurance providers also allow you to choose your own vet, saving you from out of network headaches. With no network rules in place, you can shop around for vets that charge lower rates, giving you even more savings.

So, the bottom line is this: If you take an active interest in your pet’s well-being but don’t want to get hit with large medical bills with every visit to the vet, then you will find that pet insurance is valuable.

 

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