Is it Worth Having Pet Health Insurance?

Is it worth having pet health insurance? You can bet your bottom dollar it is! This is a very serious question which many kitty guardians may be asking themselves today.

According to a recent article on Pet MD by veterinarian Dr. Doug Kenney, a recent study was done by “Consumer Reports”. Their conclusion was:

“ owners with mostly healthy dogs or cats will not receive back in reimbursements for what they pay in premiums. However, pet owners with dogs or cats that have major illnesses or chronic diseases that result in large or frequent claims are more likely to benefit from pet insurance.”

Hubble and vet
Photo Credit: Jo Singer Dr. Erin Holder treating Sir Hubble Pinkerton
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As far as this writer is concerned, the cost of pet health insurance premiums is well worth it. Moreover, the peace of mind that kitty guardians get from having pet health insurance is priceless; especially when their cats are young and healthy at the time they take out a policy. The younger the kitten, the lower the cost of the premium; which rises very slowly over time.

It is true that as long as their cats remain healthy, kitty guardians will not be reimbursed for the cost of what they pay in premiums. Pet health insurance companies, just as any other insurance company, must take in more in premiums than they pay out to be able to pay out on claims and in order to remain in business.

But think about this from another perspective! What happens when the once healthy cat suddenly, out of the blue develops a serious illness; requiring expensive diagnostic testing, medications and costly treatment? It’s gut-wrenching to find oneself in a position of having to make decisions that are based solely on financial constraints. Insurance let’s you focus on cat health grounds.

Although purchasing pet health insurance may be considered by those with healthy cats to be similar to “gambling”, what happens when an unexpected major or chronic condition suddenly crops up? These are the times that most people would have a great deal of difficulty to have to personally pay for out-of-pocket.

Many of these conditions may include an open fracture requiring surgery (which alone can cost thousands of dollars) or hospitalization and treatment, along with the necessary pharmaceutical costs that go hand-in-hand with chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, pancreatitis or other chronic illnesses. Although these conditions are generally thought of as happening to older kitties, young cats can also develop them.

While overall, “Consumer Reports” recommends that pet owners would do well by opening a “pet healthcare” savings account instead of purchasing pet health insurance, it is easy to forget or delay making deposits to the account so adequate funds are available. But will there be sufficient funds left over to cover the cost of the next huge bill? It is doubtful in this writer’s opinion.

This writer feels that paying those monthly pet health insurance premiums is, in a way, a type of “forced” savings account. We ante in, betting that someday we will have to make claims and the pet health insurance bets that we won’t. But isn’t the cost of policy premiums worth the peace of mind we have that one day perhaps we will have to cash in our chips so we can provide our cats with the care they need?

This writer has a pet health insurance plan for her three kitties. It gives me the reassurance that most of the cost of our cats’ care will be covered, helping me to get a good night’s sleep.

Is it worth having pet health insurance? Tell us what you think in a comment.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

8 thoughts on “Is it Worth Having Pet Health Insurance?”

  1. We paid for all of our precious little girls expenses out of pocket. Right down to a personal loan and would have went further if there had been a chance to save her.
    We now carry a basic policy on our other two cats that would make our out of pocket payable upfront though care credit until a reimbursement came back.
    We made a point to pay off the care credit specials avoiding any interest. Our policy for the two cats is 24 and some change.

  2. Health insurance for the human owner and the pet cat is mandatory as sicknesses or sudden hospitalizations can never ever be predicted for humans as well as pets. Treat your pert as a extended member of your family.In the 21st century health care expenses and bad business decisions could lead to bankruptcy or in the case of a sick pet the abandonment of the pet due to expensive medical treatment. Insurance hedges your financial risks towards the maintenance and upkeep of your pet.

  3. Yes, I have pet insurance for my three cats. Yes, it’s expensive but providing medical care for your pet is more expensive. It’s not a question of whether they will need it but when. I would hate to have to make a decision to put down a pet because I couldn’t afford the care. I had one cat that was diagnosed with small cell lymphoma. Her vet visits and medicines were over $400/month. My coverage paid 90%. She lived a wonderful two years after diagnosis.

  4. “… owners with mostly healthy dogs or cats will not receive back in reimbursements for what they pay in premiums. However, pet owners with dogs or cats that have major illnesses or chronic diseases that result in large or frequent claims are more likely to benefit from pet insurance.””

    That just about sums up my feelings on the subject. In your family’s case, Jo, the benefits outweigh the possible negatives.

  5. I checked in to pet insurance for my dogs. It was VERY expensive and when you have eight dogs it is just about out of reach for us. But I do think it is great idea to have it if you don’t have so many to pay for. All of my pets have thier vet needs, but the isn. would be a very heavy price.

  6. The good point that you make is that insurance more or less takes out of the equation the cost of veterinary care which allows the caretaker to make a better decision based on health unqualified by money considerations. I like that. It is important. Thanks Jo.

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