As a pet owner, I’ve struggled with the decision of whether or not to buy pet insurance. On one paw, it’s nice to have the security of knowing your pet’s medical expenses will be covered; but, on the other, if you have a healthy pet, paying a monthly fee for insurance can seem like a waste of money.
Paw’ndering the pros and cons of pet insurance
I’ve always been somewhat skeptical of pet insurance. I adopted my Husky Odin when he was seven years old and he had a lot of medical issues. A big downside of pet insurance is that policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions. Meaning that anything your pet has been treated for, or simply discussed a specific treatment with your vet prior to getting insurance will not be covered. This aspect of the insurance game can be quite frustrating.
My tune changed last year when my three year old dog Donny was attacked by another dog and required surgery. The vet bill was $2,000, which would have been covered if I had insurance . After this incident and much contemplation, I decided to get pet insurance. Although Donny is a healthy young pup, you never know if/when you’ll face a situation that requires pricey veterinary care.
Before choosing a provider, I was diligent in my research. First and foremost was affordability; I needed a plan that was under $40 per month. It was also important to have a reasonable deductible. Some plans, depending on your monthly payment, can have deductibles upwards of $700 per claim. Yikes!
Another important factor for me was finding a Canadian provider. Ultimately, I decided to go with Petsecure because they met my specific needs. Other recognized companies are Trupanion and 24PetWatch. There are also many smaller, less expensive providers, but be sure to ask your vet clinic about them before committing.
Are you financially prepared if your pet has a medical emergency?
I definitely wasn’t. If pet insurance isn’t the right fit for you, consider setting up a “pet” savings account and contribute to it monthly. This will provide a financial cushion, should your pet have unforeseen medical issues and expenses.
The BC SPCA Vancouver Animal Hospital also offers an assistance program for people with low income.
I by no means advocate for pet insurance. It was the right choice for me and Donny, but everyone’s pet care needs are different. My advice is to do your research and set a realistic monthly budget so you can find a solution that’s best for you and furry friend.