The pros and cons of pet insurance – is it worth it?

Having a pet is a big responsibility. Your pet is another family member. You need to take him to the vet regularly, feed him on a daily basis. Also, make sure that he is happy and healthy. The same applies whether you have a cat, dog, bird, or snake. They all need special care and love. Since getting insurance for you and any other family members has become a commonly practiced lifestyle choice, why not do the same for your pet. After all, we are talking about another member of your family here, albeit one that walks on all four legs or swims or flies. Consumer Opinion Guide offers its take on the pros and cons of pet insurance.

What is pet insurance exactly?

There are a few different pet insurances but the most common, basic pet insurance is used to pay the veterinary bills in total or partially if something happens to your pet. In case he gets injured, sick, or is in need of some sort of therapy. There are some policies in case your pet gets lost, stolen, or in case your pet dies. Standard insurance is of course similar to a health care program citizens are paying for themself.

Prices of pet insurance

Veterinary bills can be quite expensive.

Of course, the costs vary from plan to plan. They can cost from 10 dollars monthly to a hundred or even more. It depends on what do you want your insurance to cover and how big a premium do you want to get. The most common insurances are somewhere between 30 and 50 dollars monthly for pretty decent coverage. Please note that prices also vary from state to state. For example in states like California and New York are pricier than in Ohio. So where you live can also be a factor. And, there is another important factor when it comes to prices – the age of your pet and his health profile.

Coverage of insurance

In most cases, pet insurance does not cover the regular vaccinations you need to give your pet yearly. Of course, every company is different but for the majority of them, a regular vaccination program is not covered. The drugs  (the ones that the vet prescribed) when your pet is sick are commonly covered. Heartworm preventive care is included in routine care plans. There is a difference between pet wellness care and pet insurance but people usually take both in the same plan. The first one is for those regular checkups and the second one is for when the pet is sick.

Benefits of pet insurance

family with pets
There are a lot of benefits to getting insurance for your pets.

It can save you a lot of money. Just like people’s pets get sick, they also get in accidents. When it happens, the company will reimburse you for all those vet bills you had to pay and they are not cheap. There is common knowledge that mix-breeds are generally healthier pets than “pure-blooded breeds”. This applies to cats and dogs. Also, surgeries are very expensive and it’s not an uncommon thing for a pet to need some so in those cases insurance can come very handy.

The timing

It might be smart to have insurance since your pet is little. You can get insurance as early as six weeks of age. There are pets that don’t really need anything except regular vaccinations until they are old and in those cases insurance is not worth it. Some cats and dogs are simply healthy and don’t need anything. The problem with that is that we can’t foresee the future and we don’t really know what will happen and if your pet going to be a sickly one or a healthy one.

Animals covered by insurance

small pets - roddents
All pets can be insured, but people usually get insurance for cats and dogs. There are no special treatments for fish.

People are usually curious about what types of animals are covered by insurance. The most common insurances are for cats and dogs of course since they are the most common pets. But farmers also get insurance for their horses or cows – those are big and expensive animals. Not to mention useful, so they need to have insurance. Reptiles, ferrets, fish, and other pets are also covered by insurance. Farm animals too. So as you can see this insurance is for all legal animals you are allowed to have. Any smuggled exotic animals are not considered to be a pet but a crime against nature and they can not be insured.

Is it worth it?

For some, this is the only way. Many farmers do this. For the ones with animals with many problems, it’s very worth it. For the ones with happy and healthy pets maybe not but once again we don’t know what the future holds. If you love your pet and don’t like to take risks, you should do some research about pet insurance. If you believe that you have a generally healthy pet and don’t need the insurance that’s ok too. This is optional and you don’t have to start right away. You can get insurance when your pet gets older and when problems start. Talk with other family members and see if you can include this into your monthly budget.

Average veterinary prices

Here is an average pricing list for some of the most basic things so take a look and that might help you in your decision-making process. Of course, prices will vary but this is something to get you started :

  • cat or dog vaccinations ($40 to $55)
  • fecal exam ($15 to $30)
  • teeth cleaning ($70 to $400)
  • heartworm test ($40 to $50)
  • heartworm treatment ($400 to $1000)
  • neuter ($50 to $100)
  • a routine checkup ($40 to $60)
  • spray ($100 to $200)
  • allergy tests ($80 to $200)
  • broken bone treatment ($2000 to $3000)
  • ear infections ($40 to $15o)
  • annual flea or tick control ($40 to $200)

Please note that the size of your pet matters. For example, prices will be lower for smaller dogs than the prices for bigger dogs. Make sure to explore our list of pet insurance companies to learn more about how to prolong the lifespan of your pets!

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