For those of you who don’t know it March 23rd is National Puppy Day. I suppose that is further proof that every dog has his day. I apologize, that joke was just too easy. Regardless of my cheap sense of humor, many of us look at our pets as valuable and cherished members of our family. They make us laugh, they make us cry, they make us comfortable when we need it. So if you insure your family shouldn’t that include your pets?
We insure our family with things such as life and health insurance. So if Fido is part of the clan, shouldn’t he or she get the same benefit?
If the answer is yes, you have probably considered pet insurance. What is it? Simply stated it is health insurance for your pet. Just like your health insurance if provides benefits for things like wellness visits, hospitalization or emergency room visits. It has co-pays and of course premiums. Plans will vary by what you can purchase. Some plans only provide coverage for emergencies and some plans will allow you to purchase broader coverage. However, the majority these plans don’t cover congenital issues or pre-existing conditions. While I have addressed the concerns of cats and dogs, some carriers also insure birds, rabbits, snakes, and turtles.
According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, about 1.4 million pets in the U.S. and Canada were covered by a plan at the end of 2014. That is less than 1 percent of the total number of pet cats and dogs. It is interesting to note that one of the fastest growing employee benefits is pet insurance so those numbers are continuing to grow.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
But is pet insurance really worth it? Consider the cost of a torn ACL. That’s $3,500. Cancer treatments can run up to $5,000. You would need to balance the cost of the policy versus the potential medical costs. Those costs can vary depending upon the coverage purchased. In some cases, pet policies can run you thousands of dollars annually. You could reduce the cost by forgoing wellness coverage and pay that out of pocket as needed. For some of you, it won’t matter the cost. You’ll do whatever it takes to help your pet because you believe that is the humane thing to do.
What Are My Other Options?
Many of you will come to a different conclusion. You might not be able to justify the cost with limited budgets, or you consider euthanasia is a more humane option in the most extreme cases. If that is the case, perhaps starting a savings account for potential medical emergencies is a more practical option. This option will require discipline so ask yourself if you can really commit to this type of savings. There is no right or wrong answer here. It is what’s best for you and your family.
The most important thing is knowing what your options are and what works best for you and your loved ones. If you would like to learn more or discuss your options please feel free to contact me or call our office at (513) 280-8428. By the way, since it is National Puppy Day, consider visiting a local shelter and adopting a puppy or dog. There are many out there that need a good home.
Photo courtesy: foto.DANE, Flickr