Trying to decide which pet insurance is best? The answer may be a savings account.
Companies offering pet medical insurance plans have become a well-established part of the pet care industry. These companies give dog, cat, bird and even exotic pet owners the option to purchase health insurance for each of their beloved pets helping to ensure they get the best of care. But with the cost of monthly premiums that increase with the more coverage options in the plan, is health insurance for your pet really going to save you money? And how do you decide which pet insurance is best? The answer to these questions requires that pet owners take a close look at veterinary expenses and confront the health risks of their pet.
Calculate Yearly Veterinary Costs
To determine if you should purchase pet health insurance you need to first look at the basic veterinary care and costs you incur, or an estimation of these costs, on a yearly basis. This includes adding up yearly exams, vaccines and flea treatments. Ask your veterinarian's office for a price list to use to calculate your yearly veterinary expenses.
Read the Fine Print
Every pet medical insurance plan is different. Even the basic plans vary in exam coverage or what vaccines will be reimbursed. Some plans cover 100% of your veterinary expenses, others only 80%. All have pre-existing conditions that are not covered at all. Read the fine print of the plan you are considering to include reimbursement limits and exclusions as part of your calculations.
Compare the Costs
Add up the monthly plan premiums to get a yearly total. This gives you an overall idea when compared to your calculated yearly veterinary costs if the pet insurance plan will benefit you. But before signing on the dotted line, recheck your figures. If the plan only reimburses you for 80%, or does not cover procedures such as dental cleanings that you normally have done, is it still a good deal?
Life Threatening Conditions
Any number of misfortunes can put a pet owner in debt, including heartworm issues, cancer and even a serious accident. Even worse, this can force a pet owner to make a medical decision for their beloved pet based on cost. This is where pet health insurance can prove to be invaluable, if you have the right plan. Plans that cover these expensive procedures also cost significantly more each month. Take into consideration your pet's risk of such a life threatening condition when evaluating the cost benefits of pet insurance. For example, outdoor cats are much more at risk for being hit by a car or needing medical care to treat catfight wounds. Also, take into consideration if you would be likely to treat a serious illness such as cancer or give your pet a hip replacement, even if cost was not an issue.
Deciding which pet insurances is best and choosing to purchase a pet medical insurance plan for a cat, dog, rabbit or exotic pet can give you piece of mind and give a pet medical care it needs despite limited finances. However, without carefully evaluating just what the pet insurance plan covers and how much it costs, these plans can have the unfortunate drawback of costing more than paying for veterinary bills out of pocket. By estimating what regular veterinary costs will be for a pet and factoring a pet's risk for serious illness or injury, pet owners may find purchasing a pet health plan to be a smart financial decision. For some owners however, opening a savings account for their pet to put a monthly deposit into may be a better plan when budgeting for veterinary costs.