Dog Insurance: Protecting Your Dog From The Unforeseen
Updated: Feb 24
DISCLAIMER: This article was not sponsored or commissioned by any person or organizations and the opinions expressed here in are exclusively those of the writer.
We all love our canine friends and want to protect them, but have you ever considered insuring them? Yes, pet Insurance is a real thing and in some cases can make a huge difference. We have insurance for all sorts of things; cars, homes, health, even our lives; but most people don't ever think about insuring there pets till it's too late. The potential high cost of vet bills if little scruffy gets hurt or sick can be shocking and some times force a tough decision. Treatments for poison exposure or injury can be $1000.00 Some types of surgery can run up to $3,000.00 over nights in the Vet clinic are hundreds of dollars a night and chemotherapy treatment for cancer can run up to $5000.00.
When faced with the cost of treatment for illness and injury approaching that of a used car some people chose the option morbidly dubbed “Economic Euthanasia”; this is when a pet is put to sleep, not because the ailment is not survivable (indeed in many cases the dog can make a full recover and live for several more perfectly healthy years), but rather because the cost of the cure is too great. In light of this knowledge you might think that pet insurance is a no brainier. I'd certainly rather pay $200.00 than $5,000.00; but hold on, there are four main factors that go in to deciding if you would benefit from pet insurance in a meaningful way.
If you have a puppy then the premiums for coverage will probably be lower and coverage higher so the benefit over the life time of your dog will be there, but dogs above a certain age (The age threshold varies from company to company) the cots goes up steeply. If you elderly dog gets sick, treating them may only buy a couple more months of life at most, meaning you'll be paying an exorbitant amount for a relatively minor benefit.
As pure breed dogs age, they are more prone to medical conditions such as compromised immune system, hip dysplasia, increased rates of cancer, and organ failure, among other genetic defects that vary from breed to breed. As such they are often much more expensive to insure. If you have a pure breed dog the benefit may be negated by the high premiums and deductibles.
3: Cost of care in your area
Believe it or not, where you live has an impact on the cost of pet care. If you live an area where cost of living is low then veterinary prices in your area will be lower resulting in lower premiums on your insurance. If you live in an affluent area then vet bills will be higher and premiums for pet insurance will be commensurately higher.
4: Type of coverage
There are lots of different special "perks" and "add-ons" you can buy with your coverage; for example most insurance companies require you to pay the vet bill yourself then wait up to 2 weeks for reimbursement but also some times offer a “direct to clinic” same day disbursal of funds which cost extra. Most companies also offer tiered coverage ranging anywhere from $5,000.00 to $15,000.00. How much you pay depends a lot on what types of perks and coverage level you select.
There are number of other smaller factors that can tip the scale one way or another, and while individually they may not be a deal breaker, lots of small things can add up to a wide margin of error. Ultimately weather or not pet insurance coverage is worth it for you is on a case by case basses. We strongly recommend you do research and talk to your veterinarian. It may be the difference between saving Scruffy's life, and saying goodbye to a member of your family too soon.