When I first started working at Trupanion over a year ago and told people that I worked for a pet insurance company they looked at me with glazed over eyes and asked “Pet insurance? What is that?”
Well, I can’t say that I still never get that same look and question, but the idea of pet insurance has definitely caught on. More commonly I get “Oh yeah, my parents should have gotten that, their cat had to have a $3,000 knee surgery” or “I wish I would have heard about this sooner, I just had to pay $6,000 for my dog’s cancer treatments”.
If you don’t already know, pet insurance is similar to human health insurance, but for your pet. The pet insurance company will cover a portion of your veterinary bill when there is an accident or illness (depending on the company and plan). For those of you with pets who share your bed or have a permanent seat in your car, this might make a lot of sense to you.
We are fortunate these days to have veterinary technology advancing at such a rapid pace, meaning we get to keep our fur children around much longer. However, with these advancements comes a price. A broken leg can run up to $1,000, cancer treatments can run into the thousands, and long-term diabetes treatment can run you up to $10,000 to $12,000. View actual pet insurance claims and associated veterinary costs.
Some people might argue that setting aside a savings account solely for your pet would be a better choice. And for some people, that may be true. But to me, and probably most of you, saving isn’t my forte. Not to mention, any of the conditions I mention above can happen at any time in the pet’s life. It’s possible for someone to set aside money, but what if two months later they discovered their dog had diabetes? There goes their savings, and they’re still stuck with a hefty bill (unless, of course, they were fortunate enough put aside a few thousand dollars).
With pet insurance, all the pet owner has to worry about is being able to cover the premium, the deductible (if they have one), and their portion of the bill (coinsurance). The typical pet insurance plan will require that the pet owner pay 10-20% of the bill themselves, and the insurance company would cover the remaining 80-90% up to any coverage limits.
So, if you’re like me and your dog (or other pet) never leaves your side (my Goldie is fortunate to get to come to work with me every day), it might be time to look into pet insurance.