Getting a new pet is a big financial decision that many people take much too lightly. Pet care is more than buying supplies and feeding your pet. Unexpected health costs are enough to cause some families to give up their new family members and even euthanize them. Getting pet insurance protects you from going into extreme debt should an accident or chronic illness occur.
1. To Insure or Not to Insure?
A sick animal is a huge financial burden. My brother-in-law had to pay over $10,000 in vet bills for his dog that was born with a highly aggressive mast cell tumor. Soon after, the same dog developed skin cancer from basking its thin-coated pink-bellied body out in the California sun. Had the dog had pet insurance, my brother-in-law would have only paid the deductibles for the tests and surgeries, which would have amounted to about $2,000. Instead he was forced to fork over more than $10,000 out of pure devotion to his animal.
2. How Much is Pet Insurance?
Curious as to how much pet insurance would be for my new mastiff mix puppy I just rescued, I checked out the rates at the two most prominent pet insurance companies — ASPCA Pet Insurance and VPI Pet Insurance, which is run by Nationwide. These are not just the best dog insurance agencies, but are also the best cat insurance companies. Here is a comparison of pet insurances.
For $30 a month ($1 a day) I can get 80% of all accidents, hospitalizations, x-rays, surgeries, and illnesses covered with an $8,000 maximum yearly benefit. The deductible is $100.
VPI Pet Insurance:
For $47 a month ($1.50 a day) and a $100 deductible I can get $14,000 of coverage per year that covers everything including chronic diseases and cancer. I can also choose to increase my deductible to $500, which will lower my premium to $33 a month ($1.10 a day).
You can get your own personalized pet insurance quote at ASPCA or VPI by following the links.
3. Choose Insurance Based on Breed and Probability of Disease
My puppy is going to be a big dog one day and I am sure she will have some type of chronic health problems just based on her size. Also, since she is a rescue dog I do not know what her parents’ health backgrounds are. Here is a break down of the most common health expenses for my puppy. You can get a profile for your pet, cat or dog, at VPI Insurance.
1. Ear Infection $150
2. Bladder Infection $310
3. Upset Stomach/Vomiting $430
4. Allergy-Related Skin Problems $220
5. Skin Infection $160
6. Kennel Cough $160
7. Injured Muscles/Soft Tissue $280
8. Inflamed Intestines/Diarrhea $150
9. Laceration or Bite Wound $340
10. Sprain $200
4. Choosing a Deductible for Pet Insurance
Based on the most common illnesses that my dog is prone to, if I choose the $500 deductible, many things will not be covered since the most common illnesses are under $500. This tells me that I might want to lower my deductible to $100, especially If I notice that my dog gets sick a lot. I will have to pay a higher monthly premium, but I will pay less of my own money as a result.
I suggest paying the lowest premium possible to begin with and monitoring your new pup’s health. If you are constantly going in for little things, lower your deductible and increase your premium.
6. Choose Pet Insurance for Peace of Mind and Financial Protection
It might seem like insuring an animal is extreme and a little silly, but it makes sense to do so. You should get pet insurance as soon as you get your new pet. You cannot prevent accidents from happening, but you can mitigate their impact on your life and your pet’s life by being prepared.