National healthcare is a tough and complicated issue but pet insurance has an easy answer – GET IT!
Trouble (information shared with permission) is a beloved 6 year old cat whom, as I write, is heading to UTCVM for a specialty kidney surgery that is likely to cost close to $10,000 or more. Without it she will die far sooner than she should and her daddy, like most of us, could never afford this kind of surgery without insurance.
There are a couple of issues when shopping pet insurance. Be wary of policies that have lifetime or annual maximums. While a $10,000 lifetime maximum sounds pretty good, just look at the above real case and do the math. And for Trouble, this surgery won’t be the last of her medical expenses!
Avoid policies that dictate who you can and can’t go to… the vets on those lists often pay money to be there and those lists have no bearing on whether they are anywhere near your home.
Policies that pay for exams and preventive care sound good but I worry about them. Unlike human insurance where the critical thing is staying insured to manage pre-existing conditions, if you change pet insurance any preexisting condition will NOT be covered. If the company goes belly up or reduces your coverage or increases your premium to something you can’t afford (scary just how similar THAT sounds to human insurance) you’re just kind of stuck so shop carefully before you buy.
Average monthly premiums generally range between $30 for cats and $45 for dogs… that isn’t cheap but back to Trouble – the return on investment for a $400/year premium cost is looking pretty sweet right now.