Pets are a part of the family. They’re loyal, friendly and lovable. They’re with you in tough times and in good times. There’s a bond that’s instantaneous and lasts a lifetime. But the best friends in life don’t come cheap. The average lifetime cost of owning a dog varies from around $13,000 to $23,000. For a cat, that cost is around $11,000. That’s why most vets recommend their clients get pet health insurance; so they never have to compromise on quality health care.
Besides simply relieving the financial burden of expensive veterinary treatments, there are plenty of reasons vets agree on the importance of pet insurance.
1. Preventative Care
You never have to question whether your pet’s unusual behavior warrants a visit to the vet. Early diagnosis is critical. And with health insurance you have the freedom to seek an expert opinion whenever any little issue comes up, without having to consider the cost. This way, you can catch a small problem before it turns into a major problem.
A recent study by Pets Best Insurance found that 64.5% of customers visit the vet at least 2-3 times a year. Compare that to the national average of 1.6 visits a year for dogs and 0.76 annual visits for cats annually and it's obvious that insurance gives owners the added value of not having to wait to seek a diagnosis or treatment.
2. It’s Inexpensive.
Most policies run $30 per month or less. A simple tooth extraction for your dog can cost up to $1,000 and cataract surgery - the most common type of surgery performed on older dogs - will cost anywhere from $1,500 up to $3,000. The low monthly price of insurance will save you big when you’re eventually handed that expensive bill.
Jed Rogers, chief medical officer with Firehouse Animal Health Centers in Denver, agrees. “When people are paying their bill is when it usually occurs to them that insurance would be a good thing to have.”
3. Customized Coverage.
Whether you want to opt for a full coverage plan that includes vet visits, wellness treatments, surgeries and all types of medication or if you want a basic plan that covers only emergency visits - the choice is yours.
There are policies for every breed, age and type of pet. These days some insurers cover almost every type of pet - birds, horses, reptiles, rabbits and more. Once your pet is covered, that coverage lasts a lifetime. No need to worry about your pets getting dropped as they age or if they develop a chronic illness.
4. Save Your Pet’s Life.
Emergency visits cost around 15-25% more than regular vet visits. So for those critical moments when you can’t wait until morning to seek help, you’ll be happy you have the coverage. Kathleen, whose puppy was covered by Pets Best insurance, found herself in that exact kind of terrifying situation. “My puppy ate an AA battery and needed emergency care due to ingestion of battery acid,” she said. “I don't know if I would have been able to afford the cost of his care without Pets Best.”
5. More Treatment Options.
You won’t be in a situation where your pet has a life-threatening condition and you have to make the heartbreaking decision to not pursue complicated treatments because of cost. “Nothing is sadder than seeing a client who can’t afford to pay for a pet’s treatment,” says Dr. David Wright, DVM, of Collierville Pet Hospital, in Tennessee.
6. It’s Simple.
Many pet owners are wary to even approach the subject of insurance. But the pet insurance model looks a lot more like car insurance than the health insurance you’re used to dealing with, because the costs are reimbursed and don’t depend on using specific medical professionals.
7. No Network.
Vets don’t need to be ‘in network,’ like with people’s health insurance for you to be reimbursed. No arguing with insurance agents who refuse to reimburse your medical bills.
Your pet is going to be part of the family for a long time. And with the best pet insurance company you’ll never have to compromise on any kind of care for the furriest member of your family.