If you looking at your fur babies, wondering if you need to add pet health insurance to your insurance portfolio — while simultaneously asking yourself, “is pet insurance really worth it?” — don’t feel bad, you’re not alone. According to a recent Google search, more than 26 million articles have been gathered by the search engine giant to address that very query.
That’s a lot of animal lovers balancing their love of Fluffy against the bottom line. We can’t answer the question for you, but we can provide a little food for thought. We’ll leave the kitty treats and rawhide chews up to you.
Veterinary Medicine is More Technologically Advanced Than Ever
Those advancements come at a cost, however. As veterinary medicine becomes more sophisticated, the costs associated with lengthy medical training, high-tech equipment, equipment maintenance, and surgical facilities have also increased dramatically.
Pets Get Sick & Pets Get Hurt
Cats are curious and dogs are, well, dogs. Did you know that every year more than 1 in 3 pets becomes ill or is injured? Angie’s List recently conducted a poll that found that 34% of respondents reported paying between $251-$500 for an emergency visit. However, 16% reported spending over $1000.
Honestly, in our experience, we thought that seemed a little low; so we dug a little deeper. The University of Illinois’ College of Veterinary Medicine states that a feline tooth cleaning and extraction can cost up to $2000 (who among us hasn’t been there?) and a fracture repair can cost upwards of $3000.
Consumers Reports encourages owners to shop around for a policy but writes that “A serious illness or injury can take a financial toll, even when the patient is a pet. Cancer treatments can easily run $5,000; surgery to fix a torn ACL from, say, a poorly executed jump off the sofa can cost about $3,300. Pet insurance is sold with the promise that by helping to cover some of your pet’s medical bills, you won’t be forced to consider “economic euthanasia” in the most dire circumstances.”
A leading provider of pet insurance, American Modern, notes that “On average, pet parent will have at least one significant claim each year, meaning they are guaranteed to use pet insurance. It’s not a matter of if, but when. The average claim amount is about $600.”
What Does Pet Health Insurance Cover?
American Modern Pet Health Insurance covers a wide range of accidents, illnesses, and diseases. It also covers:
- Allergy treatments
- Cancer and chemotherapy treatments
- Surgery, hospitalization, and nursing care
- Laboratory and diagnostic tests including X-rays and MRI scans
- Treatment of genetic conditions (hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, or cardiomyopathy, for example)
- Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, holistic and homeopathic veterinary medicine
- Chronic and recurring conditions that last more than one policy period (allergies, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism)
Are Pre-Existing Conditions Covered?
Pet insurance is sounding more and more like human health insurance, isn’t it? Unfortunately, however, pre-existing conditions (that is, a condition that your pet has had or has been diagnosed with before enrolling in the plan) are not covered.
Am I Limited to a Network of Veterinarians?
Most policies do not limit owners to certain veterinarians. You are free to visit any general, specialist, or emergency vet in the United States.
How and When Do Premiums Increase?
As with any other form of insurance, the premium is the amount you pay each month, biannually, or annually to maintain your pet’s coverage. This amount may change over time depending on where you live, your pet’s age, the copay or deductible you’ve opted for, your pet’s breed or the amount of coverage you’ve chosen. Emergency-only policies may also be available. As with any insurance policy, the higher your copay and deductible, the lower your premium. Speak with your insurance representative for more information.
Pet Health Insurance Pays for Itself
In many instances, pet insurance can dramatically reduce the costs associated with emergency veterinary services or costly scheduled surgeries. Not only that but for many pet owners, it brings tremendous peace of mind.
If you happen to be sitting on the sofa reading this post and there’s a cat purring on your lap or pooch puddled at your feet (or both), you may want to consider pet health insurance. Contact Royce Williams Insurance, we’re pet lovers too and we can help.