June 26th, 2014
Experiencing sticker shock from your latest trip to the vet? Does the bill have you considering purchasing pet insurance? Don’t make a rush decision! Before you sign up, consider the actual cost. Many times what you pay in premiums is more than what the policy will pay out.
According to Consumer Reports – which compared ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, 24PetWatch QuickCare and VPI – purchasing a policy only made financial sense if a pet had serious health problems that required expensive care. Only then did the insurance policy payout become greater than the premium cost.
Instead of purchasing a policy, it may make better sense to have your own pet health care fund. Pay yourself the equivalent of a monthly premium and set it aside as separate pet savings. Also, talk to your vet. Find out exactly what routine care your pet needs each year and which of those services is nice to have done, but not necessary. Also ask about prevention – proper diet and exercise can help prevent future health problems. If you anticipate the need for costly services or want some extra peace of mind and still want to consider insurance, inspect the policy thoroughly. Read the fine print, see what exclusions apply and do some number crunching.
For more helpful advice on whether or not pet insurance is right for you, check out Consumer Reports’ tips.