- Americans spent approximately $15.9 billion in 2015 on vet care costs.
- When determining if pet insurance is the right choice, pet owners should have a look at multiple plans and their fine print to ensure they are covered in the areas they anticipate spending to occur.
- Purchasing the right pet insurance is a smart decision. For owners who are on the fence, there should at least be emergency savings account for expensive pet needs.
Insurance is a fundamental part of life, for some things, like vehicles and health, it can be required. Not only does having insurance contribute to a greater sense of security, it saves money when it’s needed and covers preventative care and treatment that often prevent serious medical issues in the future. Insurance is so obviously important for humans, it’s difficult to make an argument against it, but what about pet insurance?
One of the Family
It’s no secret that people love their pets. In fact, many have come to see domestic animals not just as pets but as children, explaining the rise in the term "fur baby." It’s probably no surprise that a 2012 pet ownership study found that 36.5 percent of households in America have a dog. That’s a close second to the 30.4 percent of households that have at least one cat. Households with dogs typically make 2.6 vet visits per year, cat-friendly households visit their veterinarians 1.6 times yearly and bird and horse owning households make 0.3 and 1.9 visits respectively.
Being a responsible pet owner is about more than simply loving an animal. In addition to footing expensive medical bills when Fido is sick, pet vacations, pet hotels, specialized pet housing reveal a worldwide attachment to pets. It’s clear that pets are loved and becoming more so, almost like family members, so when it comes to pet healthcare most people want their furry loved ones to get the treatment they deserve.
The Cost of Care
Veterinary prices vary from state to state, veterinarian, and the region that services are delivered. In fact, some owners have actually driven cross-country to save big bucks on their pet’s medical care. Pet care costs can even surpass the amount of money spent on human medical bills. In fact, the American Pet Products Association estimated last year that owners spent approximately $16.6 billion on veterinary care costs, an increase of almost a billion dollars from the previous year.
With figures like this pet insurance begins to make more and more sense. Afterall, humans who can reasonably afford it would not go without health insurance for themselves and even when vets have reasonable prices, emergencies and accidents can tear into wallets. So what’s the real deal when it comes to pet insurance? Well, it’s complicated.
To Buy or Not to Buy?
So how should all of this information influence the decisions of pet owners when it comes to getting pet insurance? The two most important factors in deciding for or against pet insurance are a well-informed assessment of the health issues and needs for each pet in the home as well as a good look at the fine print in pet insurance plans.
Most pet insurance providers have multiple plans which range in price and coverage. After determining important factors like a pet’s stage of life, current illnesses, potential future illnesses and regular needs (like vaccines, medicines and dental care), pet owners should review the cost of such care at their preferred vet(s).
For pet owners who aren’t sure how often they’ll have to bring their fur baby to the vet for vaccinations or other routine care, they can consult any vet. When it comes to plans, it’s important to look at the fine print. Many plans have limited coverage for certain conditions or a certain number of treatments. For instance