Does Your Dog Need Dog Insurance?

Pet insurance papers

Have you ever considered dog insurance? Dogs can and should feel like a close member of the family. They deserve all the tender, loving care of human beings. 

Similar to human lives, the well-being of dogs has a financial aspect to it that can’t be ignored. One of those monetary decisions involves deciding whether you are going to purchase pet insurance for your dog against the risk of future veterinary expenses.

According to a survey done in 2020 by MetLife and CivicScience survey, two-thirds of pet owners in the United States mostly pay out of pocket for veterinary fees.  

Be sure to have a budget for pet expenses and a pet-specific emergency fund for unexpected veterinarian bills. 

Purchasing pet insurance is not just an economical choice; it is also an emotional one as well. 

Pet insurance bridges the gap between medical bills. Whatever amount you have tucked away in an emergency fund, the type of dog that you have and their ailments, as well as your appetite for risk.

Let us now go through what you need to keep in mind to determine if you need to purchase dog insurance.

Woman and her dog

Pet Insurance Considerations  

Just because cats and dogs have smaller bodies than human beings doesn’t mean the cost of taking care of them in a time of need is cheap. 

Medical costs can come out of nowhere for pets. They can have serious injuries and diseases. These can cost not just hundreds but thousands of dollars that you may not have accounted for. 

Based on the numbers derived by ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the price of owning a pet can be as low as $227 a year to nearly ten times that amount. This depends on the size of the animal, the type that they are, and what their particular needs happen to be. 

When you are thinking about whether or not your dog needs pet insurance, the first factor is the fees that are going to come at you on a regular basis. Things such as dog food, puppy treats, toys for them to play with, occasional visits to the pet, and training that may be necessary to have a puppy adjust to living in your home. 

Per the results of the American Pet Products Association, out of the close to 70% of households in the United States that have a pet, approximately 1 in 3 will suddenly need emergency veterinary treatment every year.

Will you be able to financially respond to having to pay a few thousand dollars if your dog is in a dangerous situation? 

Dog at vets office with owner

What Pet Insurance for Your Dog Covers  

You can look at pet insurance in a similar manner to auto insurance or homeowner’s insurance.

It operates by having deductible amounts that are paid and a specific amount of coverage, a reimbursement process with the provider, and monthly premiums.  

There are three main forms of insurance coverage that dog owners can typically choose from. They are accident and illness plans, accident-only plans, and wellness plans. 

Accident and illness policies cover are the type of plans that cover injuries as well as most illnesses.

Accident-only policies are only going to cover injuries for your dog. 

Wellness plans generally cover your dog’s preventative care costs. These are meant to ward off serious healthcare needs, such as routine vaccinations and annual checkups.

As you can see, pet insurance isn’t just a one-size-fits all ordeal. There are many levels of coverage and deductibles to put together a customized fit for your pet’s needs. These include maximum annual limits that can reach $10,000 in some cases. 

Before bringing a new pet into your home, experts recommend that buying pet insurance. It is much more affordable when your pet is as young and healthy as possible. This is because many policies exclude dogs with pre-existing health conditions. 

Dog at vets office

Costs Incorporated with Dog Insurance  

Typically, people purchase pet insurance during the time period when their pets are young and healthy. This is to take advantage of this stage of life. This makes the monthly premiums lower. 

Generally, as your pet gets older, the chance that health complications can emerge increases. This sends pet insurance premiums in the same upward direction. 

According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, the average accident and illness premium for a dog went from $465 in 2015 to $585 a year in 2019. This shows that pet insurance premiums have, on average, have gone up steadily. 

Pet insurance paperwork

Bottom Line 

Buying pet insurance is a very personal decision. It makes you have to take a real hard look at your current finances. You may look into the near future at what a tragic experience with your pet could potentially cost you. Especially if they are unprotected by an insurance plan.  

How much is your furry family member worth to you? Will you have an emergency fund budget to give your dog the most optimum medical care possible? And will you, as well, as be proactive about preventive care?

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