Best Case Scenario
Financially, the best case scenario is when you don’t buy pet insurance and your pet is completely healthy
and ages gracefully and dies peacefully in her bed. The second best scenario is when you do buy pet insurance and your pet is completely healthy.
Not only is this the second best scenario financially, it also helps to pay for other pets’ vet care. The social good of the insurance is that it helps a lot when you are in a bad situation, like when your house was on fire, or you had a car accident, or your pet has developed an illness that requires an expensive treatment. But when you are one of the lucky ones, you help to pay for those who are worse off. In other words, if you buy insurance and never have to use it, you can take comfort in the fact that at least you did some good for humankind (or dogkind, or catkind.)
Worst Case Scenario
However, it is very unlikely that you would never use veterinary insurance throughout your furry friend’s life. Active dogs are prone to accidents, cats get carried away by their curiosity, and pure breeds are likely to develop hereditary conditions. As your furry friend gets older, they are more and more likely to become ill and need veterinary services. In the worst case scenario, your pet is very ill and you save a lot of money because you did buy pet insurance. How much is it worth to you knowing that you can afford any veterinary care your pet might need in the future? It is difficult to put a price tag on worry and stress, even though it is well known that both shorten our lifespan.
Know Your Dog, Know Yourself
You dog’s or cat’s breed, age, and health are deciding factors for the veterinary care and insurance coverage they will need. You should also consider how much you value your pet and how much you will be willing to spend to save their life or stop their suffering. If you would do anything to give them a fighting chance in case of an emergency or illness, it’s smart to plan ahead of time how you would finance it. If you feel that dogs / cats are not people, and sometimes you should let go of your old pal and just get a new puppy, then you don’t need a plan.
Knowing yourself and understanding your own personality and financial situation is very important in making a decision about pet insurance. If you have excellent credit score and can keep a cool head when you pet is sick, you could make a well-calculated decision on how much you can afford to spend on veterinary services on and how you could borrow those $. You can get a 0% introductory rate credit card or use Care Credit. Or, if you are good at saving money, you can set-up an account, recommended at $5,000 - $10,000 per pet, for emergency vet bills. For the rest of us pet insurance could be a great choice.
There is a variety of pet insurance companies and plans in the United States and you have some degree of choice for co-insurance (co-pay), annual limits, and deductibles. To save money on premiums, choose higher deductibles and lower reimbursement levels, but you'll pay more if you dog or cat develops a serious health problem. To make sure you can afford any veterinary care that might help your pet, choose lower co-insurance, but you’ll pay more in premiums. Learn more about factors that affect your pet insurance premiums and claim payouts and check out our Top Pet Insurance Companies rating.