Let’s Review.Over the average lifetime of our dog, we will spend anywhere between $2,000 to $6,000 on Veterinary bills. This figure excludes high cost surgeries. Pet medicine has evolved. Today they can do transplants and many other things that just weren’t possible years ago. These new procedures and diagnostic tools come with a high price tag. Sadly, too many pet owners end up having to lay their beloved dog down in times of crisis due to the inflated cost of treatment.Let’s look at the averages for Pet Insurance (These are just averages, some may be higher or lower)
Annual Premium* Adult Dog (3 years and up) $100 – $250* Mature Dog (8 years and up) $250 – $500Average Deductible* $50Annual Caps* $9,000 – $14,000Co-Pay* 10%Most pet insurances exclude pre-existing problems and hereditary conditions (ie: hip dysplasia). There are a few out there that cover this, so if you have a dog such as a German Shepard for example, you may want to take this into account when investigating pet insurers.Let’s do the mathSo let’s say my dog is 2 years old. I would pay about $200 a year for the next 5 years for a total of $1,000. Let’s say he lives to be 14 (typical for his breed). At 8 years old he will move up to the higher bracket, and it would cost me about $2400 for the next 6 years. (I based this on $400 premiums). So based on those averages, it will cost me about $3400 in insurance premiums over the lifetime of my dog.Now, let’s say at age 9 my dog needs hip dysplasia surgery costing about $3,000. I will need to shell out $300 for my co-pay and $50 for my deductible, for a total of $350. Saving me $2,650. But, we must remember, since he was 2 years old I have paid the insurer a total of $2600. So now this surgery actually cost me $2950. Total savings with insurance $50.In all fairness, this insurance coverage over the years has saved me the cost of regular visits, shots, x-rays, and other pet medical needs.*Most insurers will not cover your dog at age 9, and those that do, inflict a much higher premium.So the question remains. Is it better to have pet insurance?* It’s great for those emergency times when Fido get’s seriously sick or hurt and you don’t have the $1,000 deposit to shell out to the Vet for emergency treatment.* Some people go the route of a Health Care Credit Card. Some Health Care Credit Cards are good for both humans and pets. These cards are like having a payment plan. You have regular monthly payments like your normal credit cards.* Typically, if you are well established with your Veterinarian, he will offer you a payment plan also. I think this is why it is best to not shop around every time your pet has a medical need based on prices.* Another option is to put the amount you would have paid for annual premiums in a savings account. Then when Fido actually needs the funds for an emergency, it is right there sitting in the savings account just for him.I guess the only answer to the question of getting Pet Insurance or not is: Whatever works best for you.