Do You Need Veterinary Pet Insurance?

With the increasing ability of veterinarians to diagnose and treat our pets comes increasing costs.

Some pet lovers choose to buy veterinary pet insurance to protect against the risk of financial loss. Does it make sense for you?

There are many things to look at before making this decision. One is the type of pet you live with and the genetics of that pet. For example, the two dogs in our house are of breeds well known to live long and healthy. With this in mind, we decided not to purchase insurance for either one.

Of course, good genes don’t guarantee good health. In our case, one of our dogs has just been diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately it was caught early and is treatable; however, treatment comes at a high financial cost.

Pets are frequently euthanized because owners can’t afford the cost of keeping them well when chronic or expensive-to-treat illnesses occur. If you are in the majority of people who can’t easily afford high pet bills, it probably makes sense to check out veterinary pet insurance. There are some who argue that if your pet remains healthy, purchasing insurance will increase your overall costs. This, of course, is true, but no different from buying health insurance for yourself.

You will find pet insurance in an array of prices. Sometimes the policies are difficult to interpret. Don’t buy a policy unless you understand it. Make sure it covers a variety of illnesses or you may find that your pet isn’t covered just at the time you need it most.

In addition to a variety of illnesses, compare policies for the amount they cover for each type of illness or test. Some also offer only a certain amount per animal for the lifetime of the animal. If you are looking at a policy like this, it makes sense to factor in the age of your pet and the annual premiums to see if it makes sense.

If you’re pretty certain that veterinary pet insurance makes good sense for you, buy it as soon as possible. Policies tend to not cover pre-existing conditions. We are too late to cover the dog with cancer, but are seriously considering coverage for the other dog.

If you are looking purely from a financial view (in other words, whether you will pay more in premiums or in vet care over the life of your pet), purchasing veterinary pet insurance is a gamble. If you know you can’t afford a serious illness with your pet, it’s time to start looking. The peace of mind it can bring is priceless.