Debra A. Primovic, DVM, who posts about pet health on petplace.com, said she recommends insurance to all her clients. “Most veterinarians have euthanized hundreds, if not thousands, of pets because their owners could not afford the care. This is the #1 reason I personally recommend pet insurance. It helps me give the best medical care for my patients.”
Besides simply relieving the financial burden of expensive veterinary treatment, there are plenty of reasons vets agree on the importance of pet insurance.
1. You never have to question whether your pet’s unusual behavior warrants a visit to the vet. Early diagnosis is critical. And with health insurance you have the freedom to seek an expert opinion whenever any little issue comes up, without having to consider the cost.
This is crucial in catching a small problem before it turns into a major one.
A recent study by PetsBest insurance found that 64.5% of their customers visit the vet at least 2-3 times a year, compared to the national average of 1.6 visits for dogs and 0.76 visits for cats annually. Insurance gives owners the added value of not having to wait to seek a diagnosis or treatment.
2. It’s more affordable than you think. Most policies run around $30 per month or less. A simple tooth extraction for your dog can cost up to $1,000 and cataract surgery - the most common type of surgery performed on older dogs - will run you anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000. The low monthly price of insurance will save you big when you’re eventually handed that expensive bill.
Jed Rogers, chief medical officer with Firehouse Animal Health Centers in Denver, agrees. “When people are paying their bill is when it usually occurs to them that insurance would be a good thing to have.”
3. Coverage plans are fully customizable to fit any need and budget. Whether you want to opt for a full coverage plan that includes vet visits, wellness treatments, surgeries and all types of medication or if you want a basic plan that covers only emergency visits - the choice is yours.
And there are policies for every breed, age and type of pet. We usually think of pet insurance as solely for cats and dogs, but these days insurers cover almost every type of pet - birds, horses, reptiles, rabbits and more.
4. Once your pet is covered, that coverage lasts a lifetime. No need to worry about your pets getting dropped as they age or if they develop a chronic illness.
5. Insurance can save your pet’s life. Emergency visits cost around 15-25% more than regular vet visits. So for those critical moments when you can’t wait until morning to seek help, you’ll be happy you have the coverage.
Cindy, whose puppy was covered by PetsBest insurance, found herself in that exact kind of terrifying situation. “Max is a great dog, but he's had a few setbacks. Thankfully, my vet recommended Pets Best when he was young. I have had treatments, MRI's and other medications that would have been cost prohibitive but Pets Best was always there for me."
6. With insurance, you can pursue more thorough treatment options for your pet. You won’t be in a situation where your pet has a life-threatening condition and you have to make the heartbreaking decision to not pursue complicated treatments because of cost.
“Nothing is sadder than seeing a client who can’t afford to pay for a pet’s treatment,” says Dr. David Wright, DVM, of Collierville Pet Hospital, in Tennessee.
7. It’s a lot less confusing than human health insurance. Many pet owners are weary to even approach the subject of insurance. But the pet insurance model looks a lot more like car insurance than the health insurance you’re used to dealing with.
It’s accepted everywhere - no need to search through networks - and is primarily used to protect against unexpected bills, so no arguing with insurance agents who refuse to reimburse your medical bills.
Your pet is going to be part of the family for a long time. And with pet insurance you’ll never have to compromise on any kind of care for the furriest member of your family.