Having pets can be very rewarding; for owners, the affection and companionship pets provide is priceless.
But you can put a price on caring for your pet. According to a recent report from the website Money under 30:
- the average first year cost for owning a dog is around $1270
- the average first-year cost for owning a cat is around $1070
- after the first year, the cost averages $500
Keeping your pet up-to-date on vaccinations and regular checkups is costly enough. But a single illness or treatment for injuries from a run-in with another animal can cost thousands. No wonder many pet owners find themselves going into sticker shock when they open veterinarian bills.
Pet health insurance offers an affordable way of planning for your dog’s or cat’s medical expenses while freeing you from worry about how to pay large, unexpected medical expenses. Just like health insurance for people, owners pay a premium on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. When an insured pet needs medical treatment, the pet health insurer provides reimbursement.
Many pet owners know about insurance, but fewer take advantage of it–probably because of misconceptions about how insurance plans work and the relief they can provide from worry about providing for a pet’s medical expenses.
Here are 5 of the most common myths about pet health insurance:
Myth 1: It’s enough just to set some money aside for your pet’s medical expenses
Some pet owners set a little bit of money aside on a regular basis for their pets’ medical bills. But the fact is that, when there are other, more pressing bills to pay, there is a strong tendency to scrimp on these kinds of personal health savings accounts and even to raid the account to meet other expenses. There is also the fact that a single illness can wipe out even a large rainy day fund, leaving owners without any protection for the next veterinarian bill.
Of course, you can always put your pet’s medical expenses on a credit card. Then, however, you have to pay the often steep interest on the card, further increasing your costs.
The fact is that pet health insurance plans can be very affordable – premiums often run under $30 per month. And not only will you know that your pet will be provided for, you will also have predictability in budgeting your pet’s medical expenses.
Myth 2: Pet Insurance Costs More than Paying on Your Own
Like health insurance for people, pet health insurance minimizes your risk. By signing up for a plan, you become part of a pool of policy-holders who give money to an insurer. That money is then used to pay medical claims. Sophisticated actuarial tables are used to predict exactly how much each pet owner pays in premiums in order to balance the risk with the vet bills that need to be paid out.
Most pet health insurance premiums work out to only $1 per day, some even less. Many pet owners are finding that this is a small price to pay for not having to worry about getting hit with huge vet bills.
Myth 3: Most Claims Are Denied
Every pet health insurance policy is a contract that spells out exactly what is covered and what is not. Like any contract, it is crucial to read the policy carefully in order to understand what you are paying for. When you take your pet in for treatment that is covered by the policy, the insurer is legally obligated to pay your claim.
Myth 4: My Pet’s Pre-Existing Condition Isn’t Covered
While it’s true that most pet health insurance policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions, you can still get coverage for practically every other type of vet care your pet will need, including illness and injury. And if you purchase insurance when your pet is still a puppy or kitten, pre-existing conditions are much less likely to be an issue.
Myth 5: My Pet Is Too Old for Pet Health Insurance
If you are thinking about getting pet health insurance, then, it’s a good idea to sign your pet up as soon as possible. While older pets can be covered, policies typically cost more because the risk that an older pet will require some sort of expensive vet treatment is higher. Once you pet is enrolled, however, most insurers won’t cancel or reduce their coverage.
So it’s true that pets can cost a lot of money, though again you can’t put a price on love and companionship. To protect your pets – and yourself – then, consider getting pet health insurance.
Author Bio – This article was written by Tara Nicole for Pet Insurance U, a website that provides independent reviews and comparisons of pet insurance.