For people who love their pets, there isnâ€™t much thatâ€™s too extravagantâ€”theyâ€™ll buy new toys and accessories for their pets for the sheer novelty of it. For onlookers who donâ€™t share the same type of relationship with their pets, this kind of spending seems ridiculous. If youâ€™ve ever thought about pet insurance, you can imagine what each group might have to say about the policy.
The truth is, pet insurance can be extremely beneficial â€” pet insurance is like regular medical or life insurance, depending on what kind of policy you get. Youâ€™ll have regular monthly or semi-annual payments, and your petâ€™s veterinary and medical expenses will be partially or fully covered (depending on your policy). Some policies even have variables that pay out if your pet dies, or if itâ€™s stolen.
Do You Need Pet Insurance?
The simplest answer we can give you is no, you donâ€™t â€œneedâ€ pet insurance. You are not required by law to have pet insurance for any of your pets. Basic veterinary services are relatively inexpensive, with more expensive requirements arising in response to rare circumstances and events. However, it could still benefit you to have a policy.
Should You Get Pet Insurance?
Before you get a pet insurance policy, think carefully about why youâ€™re getting it and what you actually need. Take some time to read consumer reviews of pet insurance policies, such as reviews found at My Pet Insurance, or talk to people you know about their pet insurance policies and whether or not they are worth the investment.
Youâ€™ll also want to consider the following factors at a minimum:
Pre-existing conditions. Like with standard human health insurance, your rates may be higher if your pet has a pre-existing condition, or you may be rejected from getting a policy altogether. On the other hand, knowing your dog or cat may be facing expensive treatments in the future may make the increased cost of the policy worth it. Generally, pet insurance is most valuable to get while your pet is in good health, so try not to wait until your pet is actually sick or suffering before you opt for a policy.
Pet age. Your petâ€™s age should also be a considering factor. When you have a young pet, like a puppy or kitten, itâ€™s highly unlikely that theyâ€™ll develop a serious illness or injury; youâ€™ll also be making more payments over time, which means most pet insurance policies will cost you more if you invest in them too early. Older pets are more susceptible to veterinary costs and have also had more time to bond with you and your family, but may come with higher-cost insurance policies.
Pet plans. How do you see your pets? Is your dog an inseparable companion that you canâ€™t imagine living without? Or is your dog one of five, who your family will probably replace, should the worst happen? You can love and appreciate your pet and still have a limit to how much youâ€™re willing to sacrifice for them. Pet insurance policies are more valuable to those who are deeply emotionally invested in their pets. Think carefully about your feelings hereâ€”thereâ€™s no right or wrong answer. Youâ€™ll also need to consider if your pet has some bearing on your lifestyle, such as if you own a show dog responsible for generating part of your household income. Youâ€™ll want to protect yourself in the event that a pet like this passes away unexpectedly.
Budget and financial situation. Of course, you also need to consider your financial situation. If youâ€™re relatively well-off with a suitable emergency fund, a pet insurance policy wonâ€™t give you much extra security. However, if youâ€™re on a limited income, and you wouldnâ€™t be able to afford something like surgery, an insurance policy could help protect your pet.
Total cost of insurance. Finally, youâ€™ll need to consider the total cost of the insurance policy youâ€™re thinking of getting, and shop around for different prices so you can compare. Try to project the costs over the long term, and see how much it could save you in the event of an emergency. Use this information to gauge whether the monthly investment is worth it, and whether it fits into your budget.
Collectively, your personal perspectives, these conditional variables, and your discernment of reviews and other personal experiences should lead you to a conclusion about whether insurance is right for you and your pet. No two pet owners have the same relationship with their animals, and no two pet owners are in the same financial position, so itâ€™s impossible to make a definitive conclusion. Remember, you can always make modifications to your policy at a later date.