Do I Need Pet Insurance?

Pet Health

March 07, 2018

Do I Need Pet Insurance?

At some point in your pet-owning journey, a professional is sure to bring up the topic of pet insurance with you. Insurance for humans is often tricky to navigate, and many (myself included) have been confused about the topic of insurance for a pet.

We all want our pets to be happy and healthy, but does that equation include purchasing pet insurance? We’re diving-in to provide answers to all of the questions we had when determining if we needed pet insurance.

Where do I get it?

Since pet insurance isn’t regulated like human insurance, it’s not always as prevalent. However, many well-known companies are offering it, such as Geico and Nationwide. Vet clinics may even offer their own type of plan on an individual basis.

You will need to do research on the plans offered in your area, to find out which one is the most cost-effective for you.

Do I need it?

Reasons you may not need pet insurance:

  • It may cause too much of a financial burden
  • Pet is young or healthy
  • The breed doesn’t usually have problems
  • The animal is generally not exposed to other dogs
  • Pet is not involved in strenuous activity often
  • Traveling with a pet is not a frequent occurrence

Reasons you may want pet insurance:

  • Pet is around other dogs often who could be sick or attack
  • We go on strenuous adventures
  • We travel to new places and are exposed to different viruses
  • Pet is aging and has more issues
  • The breed is prone to issues
  • The financial safety net of insurance

Making the decision to get pet insurance is subjective based on each person and their pet. It is best to think about what your life with your pet looks like. Through personal experience, we’ve outlined both sides of the debate.

Why I didn’t get health insurance

I chose not to get pet insurance. I rescued a kitten with kennel-cough. My vet told me that I would absolutely need it to get pet insurance if she kept getting the virus. In the end, I decided against it. It would be a large financial burden and my cat would not be going outside or be around other animals.

Later, when I got my dog, my new vet has never brought up needing health insurance. So far, he’s been healthy for 1.5 years and has only needed his regular visits. Although I know there’s a chance he could become ill or injured, I’ve decided not to look into this option. He doesn’t do anything strenuous and is a regular house dog. I’ve decided to cross that bridge if it becomes necessary.

Make sure to look at your own situation and advocate for yourself. If I had gotten insurance for my kitten, it would have been hundreds of wasted dollars over the years and she’s been happy and healthy since.

Pit bull type dog sitting aside a pool on a pet cot@ms_fancypants_

Why Lucy decided her dog, Fancy, needed to get health insurance

Pet insurance can be a financial lifesaver though. One of our favorite, and most stylish dogs, Fancy has had some awful “what if” experiences come true.

Pet insurance was something I had thought about when Fancy was young, but I naively thought it was something I would need when she got older.

When Fancy was about two she got attacked by two dogs at the beach and ended up with damage to her organs and mild internal bleeding. The owner of the other dogs took off so I couldn’t hold him accountable for all the damage his wild dogs, who should not have been at a dog beach, did to Fancy.

Two trips to the emergency vet, x-rays, ultrasounds, and multiple follow up trips for bloodwork and I had spent well over $2,000 of my savings on this terribly unfortunate incident. That’s when my mindset changed on pet insurance. After this fiasco, I signed Fancy up immediately with Healthy Paws.

Fancy had been perfectly healthy since sign up and I’ve never had to use it…until late October when I took her to the vet for intermittent lameness in her back right leg. She had managed to get a partial tear of her CCL and we were in for a long road ahead.

Healthy Paws has been with us every step of the way.

We tried conservative management at first and were going to a physical therapy facility multiple times a week, my pet insurance covered it. I then decided that for her, surgery was the correct route. We went in for initial x-rays had a consult with an orthopedic surgeon and decided that the TTA surgery was the best option for us, it was all covered with insurance.

In the last 4 months, Fancy has racked up about $5,000 in medical expenses. We are nearing the end of her knee recovery period and I am SO happy I spent the time to learn about pet insurance and made the decision to get it. Her coverage costs about $50/month with a $250 yearly deductible and 80% reimbursement rate.

Before you sign up, do your research, budget and think about your personal situation. If your pet is always at home, they may not need the coverage. However, if you’re always on the go or take your pet on adventures where they could be hurt, it could come in handy.

Follow Fancy on Instagram: @ms_fancypants_