Is Pet Insurance a good idea?

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  • 1 Post By spiderlashes5000

My lab got the end of her tail chopped off yesterday in the storm door and we had to amputate a little bit to stop the bleeding. Ended up costing $759.00. I have 3 dogs and its rare something like this happens but as we all know accidents happen.

I think insurance for 3 dogs would be a lot. Is it worth it?
I started a thread about this a while back, if you want to do a search. People had mixed opinions. We decided to get pet insurance. For us, we can afford the monthly payment without a problem, and I'm glad I won't have to make a "how much is too much" to spend if something serious happens. That was my biggest worry.
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For a dog, absolutely, for anything smaller than a cat, not generally. It only takes one thing to pay for the insurance 10 times over. Our pit had double hip dysplasia that would have left him lame by 2 years old. The cost of surgery and therapy if we had been in the US would have come to around 10k. You never know what might crop up.

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I guess the caveat is that the policies don't cover everything and you need to understand what's covered and what's not to decide if it's worth it.

Maybe you could pay yourself the premium and invest it well, and if nothing happens, you've got a nice little windfall.
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You could also apply for care credit and have the funds available if/when needed. I personally wouldn't bother with the insurance. It won't pay for pre-existing problems or genetic problems, and the premiums will be higher for older pets. There is also a deductible and co-pays and a max that the insurance company will pay each year.
I wish I had gotten pet insurance a few years ago when one of our feline overlords ate just a mouthful of a toxic plant (lilies can kill!) and had to be treated intensively and then hospitalized for 3 days. The bill was $1,400. My kitties are everything to me, so I paid it without a second thought, but I sure as heck didn't pay it with a smile on my face.

Having said that, do I have insurance now? No. I decided afterwards that the approach Spiderlashes suggested is best and I've simply been putting money aside regularly in case of future mishaps. There are too many caveats and cost limitations for many forms of pet insurance; I don't want to be paying for years, have something happen, and then hear, "oops, sorry, we don't cover that." My view is that it's best to keep the money in my own hands.
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I looked into Care Credit and found the interest fees prohibitive. Instead, I used my State Farm visa which has a nice low rate to finance Polly's recent surgery. They have a plan which allows users to pay in a set time frame at an even lower rate.

Because my income fluctuates, I can't take SL's suggestion, though I think it's a good one, which could even earn interest if not needed, thus growing the amount set aside.

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The way Care Credit is set up is if you pay the balance off before a certain time there will be no interest. I used my card for a $1200 bill and the office set it up for 1 year. I paid it off on time, so no interest. Where they get you is if you can't pay it off on time they will add all the back interest on.
I didn't see a 12 month option. It was only 3 months for no interest.

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It will depend on the amount and what the office (not care credit) wants to set you up for. The longer the term the more it will cost the office. 3 months is the minimum and 18 months is the max.
For me personally, pet insurance for three dogs would be cost prohibitive. If I had it to do all over again, I would have gotten it for our older dog because she has had some pretty big vet bills. So far, it wouldn't be worth it for our younger dog because she's been healthy as a horse. That's the crapshoot with any kind of insurance.

Another option is to do something like the Banfield vet program. With that one, you pick the level of coverage you want and use it as a way to budget for vet bills, rather than having to pay them all at once. The problem is that you're only able to go to Banfield, which can be hit or miss in terms of quality.
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Banfield offers the Optimum Wellness Plan, but it's not an insurance policy. Just want to make sure nobody gets confused about that. It basically takes annual care and budgets it out into 12 monthly payments. OWP members also get discounts on meds and other services, but I find these things are overpriced at Banfield anyway so you're really not saving any money there.

I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
With those prices? Maybe. For my vet, that would've been under 150$ so insurance isnt worth it.

I prefer to just save money or have a credit card designed for emergencies.
I was just doing some research on pet insurance. I found some good information here and here.
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