In the United States, the cost of human healthcare is a hotly-contested political topic. However, human healthcare is not the only expensive care in this country. Anyone that owns a pet knows how expensive a trip to the vet can be. A routine exam can cost upwards of $200, and if your dog or cat needs significant surgery, it can run north of $1,000 and even approach $10,000 in some circumstances. Veterinary care is expensive, especially if you do the right things by being proactive about your pet's health (i.e., going to the vet's once a year for a checkup, going if they appear sick, etc.). Sadly, these rising costs mean that many people are electing to minimize vet trips. As such, pets are falling ill from potentially treatable or preventable diseases. Some owners, looking to control costs, may consider animal health insurance as a way to avoid an unexpected $10,000 bill. The question is, does animal insurance work? Does it control costs, or is it a waste of money?
There Are Two Primary Types Of Plans
There are two primary types of health insurance plans for pets. The first type covers both accidents and illnesses. If your pet gets leukemia, for example, and needs thousands of dollars in chemotherapy or some other treatment, then this type of plan will cover that. Similarly, if your pet falls off a ledge and breaks their leg, then this insurance will have no problem covering all or some of that bill. However, the second type only covers accidents. If your pet gets cancer or some other illness, then you'll still need to pay out of pocket costs. If your pet falls off the ledge, though, then this type of insurance will cover those expenses. As you might expect, the insurance plans that cover both types of complications cost more than the one that only covers accidents. Receiving pet coverage for both potential issues runs about $500 per year for dogs and $300 per year for cats. Plans that only cover accidents are cheaper at about $180 for dogs and $150 for cats. Some dog health plans also cover wellness visits (like the annual checkups), but at $200 or so per year for those, they tend to be more expensive to do through insurance than to pay for them out of pocket.
Insurance Companies Make A Profit
One thing to keep in mind is that pet insurance companies do make a profit. Statistically speaking, the average person will pay more into the plan than they will receive in benefits. This fact holds for all insurance plans, including human health and car insurance. What insurance does, though, is guard against significant unexpected bills. And if your pet gets enough of those, then the insurance company will take a loss, and you will come out ahead. Know, however, that the odds are not in your favor.
Avoid Economic Euthanization
Having pet insurance also takes out the question of euthanization for monetary reasons. Instead of facing an inability to pay $5,000 for your pet's treatment and having to consider euthanization, you can get your vet to bill the insurance plan and never have to give that a thought.
Will Pet Insurance Save Me Money?
Statistically speaking, probably not. But it can if your pet happens to wind up with a medical condition that requires significant medical treatment (like cancer or kidney failure). The more substantial benefit to pet insurance is that it ensures that your health care expenses will be smooth, and you'll never face the question of paying $5,000 to save Fido's life or euthanization. You can always lean on the insurance plan to cover the costs, no matter how outrageous they may be!