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Which is Better--Pet Insurance or a Savings Account?

By Edited Dec 23, 2013 2 2

If you've been doing any research at all on pet insurance online you've probably read some opinions that say opening a dedicated savings account is a better way to manage your pet's medical expenses. While this is definitely an option for those that are dedicated enough to stick with stockpiling money away every month, there's a few things you should know that might make you take a second look at pet insurance.

First, let's take a look at the main benefit of opening a savings account:

1. While you might not be able to afford a sudden and large veterinary bill, putting a specific amount into a dedicated savings account every month for veterinary expenses can seem more manageable. If your pet requires a trip to the emergency room you'll be prepared. If he doesn't--great. Over the years, your savings account collects interest and eventually you'll be able to pay cash for a nice vacation or save the funds for another rainy day.

This certainly sounds appealing but there's a few things about this scenario that you might not consider.

First, let's say you decide to start saving today for your pet's medical expenses. Great!

But what happens if your pet requires an expensive treatment tomorrow, next week, or next month? How much are your going to have saved up? Probably not much. Hardly enough to cover the tab.

One benefit of pet insurance is that once you sign up for a policy, your pet is covered for thousands of dollars almost immediately (the exact time varies depending on which pet insurance company you choose).

Second, how much coverage is that really going to get you? Let's say you decide to put away $30 every month for your pet's medical fund. After five years of socking money away (assuming you remain dedicated) into an account that collects interest, you would have about $2,000.

Now, I'm a licensed veterinary technician and I can you tell you that $2,000 is not going to go very far if you need to make more than one trip to the emergency room or the specialist. Also, if your pet develops a chronic disease or illness, that $2,000 cushion is going to be quickly depleted.

Some pet insurance companies offer annual limits with coverage up to $10,000 or more. That kind of coverage will pay for a lot more x-rays, blood tests, prescription drugs, recheck exams, and other medical procedures. With a savings account, once your funds have depleted, your back to square one.

So, is pet insurance worth the money or not? The fact is, pet insurance is just like any other type of insurance. There are no guarantees you'll ever see a return on your investment. Most people who state that pet insurance is a "scam" or have had a bad experience with a company simply didn't understand the finer details of the plan or policy they signed up for. It definitely pays to do your research when looking at the different options available as not all companies offer the same type of coverage. That way you can avoid getting "burned."

At the end of the day, whether or not you decide to open a savings account or sign up for pet insurance, the important thing is that you do something, anything, to plan ahead. We don't like to think about it, but chances are, your pet is going to require some kind of expensive medical care at some point in his life. And the last thing you need to worry about is,"How am I going to pay for this??"

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Comments

Apr 17, 2010 4:21am
StarriKnytes
It definitely sounds worth it, and I have considered buying pet insurance on more that one occasion. Have a multiple pet household, a serious illness or injury would be a disaster. Great Article! ~ Starri
Dec 14, 2011 6:59pm
KrisSigeti
Wow, right on point. I was just considering getting pet insurance and was wonder if it was worth it. Although, I must say, I like your savings account idea too.
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