With monthly premiums ranging from as low as $10 to more than $100, many pet owners are left to wonder: is pet insurance worth the cost?
If you ask someone who earns a modest living, they might respond, “meh.” And yet, they might consider enrolling their pups in a long-term insurance plan.
Let’s say you ask the proud owner of a cocker spaniel, a toy poodle and a labrador retriever; how might they respond?
Well, that depends on the health plan itself, which factors-in monthly premiums, high deductibles and confusing co-pays. Also, juggling a bundle price for all three pets is a surefire way to rack up some serious payments (and possibly debt!)
More importantly, keep in mind that all three of the aforementioned breeds are on the list of unhealthiest dog breeds to ever walk on all fours.
Cocker spaniels, for one, are notorious for their epileptic spells, and toy poodles develop their unique afflictions, like bladder stones and Addison’s disease. Not least of all is the joyful labrador retriever, who might succumb to a nasty case of hip dysplasia upon a later stage of his lifespan.
This list of ailments goes on and on and yet we still ask ourselves, is pet insurance worth the cost?
In our search for a comforting answer, let’s explore the ups and downs of pet insurance.
Pros & Cons
If you can find a plan with a low monthly premium, chances are your breed isn’t featured in the list of unhealthiest dogs (congratulations!)
That said, ten dollars a month adds up to $120 a year, which means that if your dog lives a long, healthy life, you’ll be spending upwards of $1,200 — money you could’ve splurged on a trip to Phuket and Koh Phi Phi!
But that’s the thing about insurance: you never know when you’re going to need it.
To figure out if pet insurance is right for you, weigh the pros and cons of coverage based on your dog’s persona.
For example, is your pet a risk-taker?
Imagine that you’ve left the front door open by mistake and dozed off on the couch. While you were snoozing, little Max stepped out of his crate and walked through the front door without a moment’s hesitation.
If he were to arrive at a busy street intersection, would he look both ways before crossing?
Max’s story might sound preposterous, but we can learn something from it: dogs can assess risk as aptly as humans.
And it’s this low-risk/high-risk perspective that can help you decide if pet insurance is worth the cost.
Another way to answer— is pet insurance worth the cost? — is to assess your pet’s personality traits.
Does he or she like to lap around the dog run faster than a speeding bullet?
Does she leap over fences or lunge at oncoming traffic?
Or is she perhaps docile and laid-back?
A pooch who prefers to trot around the dog run rather than sprint like a hungry cheetah in the wild might pose a lesser risk of getting caught in barb wire or ending up with a broken rib.
These are important questions to ascertain your pet’s unique level of risk, just as you would ascertain what health insurance plan is best for you based on your life choices.
If you keep a healthy diet and maintain a consistent workout schedule, you might opt for a low monthly premium despite a high deductible. This plan works for you because you’re actively taking measures to keep your visits to the doctor’s office few and far between.
But who knows?
The unexpected may very well happen, thereby throwing a wrench in your finances and low-risk lifestyle.
With each new claim, your premium skyrockets to outer space like Apollo 13.
So, even with proper assessments, it’s never a guarantee that a low-risk pup will end up saving you some money on monthly premiums in the long-run.
Choosing A Plan (Or Not)
So, back to square one: is pet insurance worth the cost?
In our opinion, yes. But that’s if you can swing it.
Budget yourself accordingly and research which plan might work best for your furry friend.
For starters, check out some of the plans offered by Healthy Paws, Trupanion, Lemonade, and the ASPCA.
Keep in mind that most of these plans won’t cover pre-existing conditions (that’s right, even pets are subject to this medical trend!) and that monthly premiums can rise over time (from $40 or $60 to $80 or $100 a month for the same plan.)
At the end of the day, the best way to care for your pet is to keep them out of harm’s way while still granting them some freedom to kick back with other dogs, whether at the park, the beach, or a random front lawn.
But remember: don’t forget to look both ways before crossing!
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