Scrolling through Twitter recently, I found myself deep into the replies to a tweet prompting users to share their most “ridiculously funny” emergency vet bill. The replies detailed hundreds of dollars spent for visits that resulted in diagnoses like a cat not liking the taste of a bug, a dog simply being 8 years old and behaving as such, a dog having a sore tail from wagging it too much (“happy tail syndrome”), and a cat having sat on a piece of gum.
While these responses were amusing, the thread got me thinking about the expenses of having a pet. Most of us treat our pets like they’re our children, and if they seem to have a complaint (like the examples above), we want to get it checked out. Much more seriously, if your pet is in any sort of accident or seems to have a life-threatening illness, it can be worrisome and heartbreaking for the whole family. Any visit to the vet, let alone an emergency visit, can cost well into the thousands, and when you love your pet, you’re going to find a way to shell it out. This is where pet insurance comes in. If you consider your pet a part of the family, why not insure them just the same? Pet insurance is more than just an added monthly expense. It can save your pets life and save you and your family thousands. And if you need some convincing, here’s a few reasons why you should get your pet signed up today.
Worst Case Scenarios
The seemingly obvious argument to getting pet insurance is that it can save you thousands, and in more ways than one. We’ll start with the worst case scenario: an emergency visit to the vet. In the case of an accident or any urgent situation that prompts a visit to the pet ER, you’re likely not thinking about the cost at that moment; you’re simply going to go and save your pet. For example, a few years ago, on Christmas morning of course, my sister’s dog swallowed and began to choke on a chew toy. She rushed him to the emergency room and his life was saved – but before they even got around to the saving, she had to put down a deposit. The cost of the visit in total ended up being around $2,000. All because her dog did a little more than chew on his toy. This is a mid-range example of an ER visit for your pet; if more major surgery or a hospital stay is required, the cost can be up closer to $7,000. Not an easy price to pay.
The unfortunate truth is that, like people, any pet could find itself needing a trip to the ER, and you never see it coming until you’re there in the waiting room. And just like with human health insurance, the cost of that trip will be greatly reduced, if not just about entirely covered, with pet insurance. It’s a small price to pay to save your pet’s life when the time comes, and that small price will seem like nothing compared to the bill you’d otherwise be facing.
When signing your pet up for insurance, you’ll have some options about what to add onto your plan. A popular addition that goes beyond typical accident & illness insurance is preventative care. This relates to those silly scenarios I described at the beginning of this article. If you notice your pet has been sensitive about a particular body part or has been acting strange, it’s worth squeezing in an appointment to check it out, even if it ends up just being something ridiculous. Without insurance, that exam can cost a lot. But with preventative care added to your insurance, you’re covered for not only those possibly ridiculous but potentially concerning trips to the vet for an exam, but also for any routine check up. So whether you’re catching an early phase of cancer in your pet or you’re simply there to find out that your pet is getting older, you’re covered. This includes annual routine visits (more frequent for older pets) and significantly cuts down the price of important preventative care like spaying or neutering, vaccinations and boosters, dental cleaning, deworming, and various tests like fecal and blood tests to ensure that your pet is healthy. So while preventative care isn’t a top priority for everyone, it’s important to consider your pets lifestyle, and how some additional coverage might save you a lot of time and stress in the long run.
Not only does your pet directly benefit from pet insurance, but so do you! Many pet insurance plans provide pet parent education, giving you inside tips and tricks on how to best care for your pet. If you need help with a pet’s training, experts are available through telehealth at any time to teach you how to get your pet on its best behavior. There are also numerous resources and blogs available through many pet insurance providers that are informative and educational, so even if you have the insurance to cover a trip to the vet, you could save the time by talking to an expert at home or reading up on your pet’s health and behavior from the comfort of your own couch. With pet insurance, you’ll find that not only is your pet covered in case of a serious accident or illness, but you’re also set to become a more informed, knowledgeable pet parent so you can better understand the pet living in your home.
It’s Simple To Sign Up
Forget about the red pen on your calendar marking open enrollment periods. Forget about policy numbers, and forget worrying about which doctor accepts your insurance. Pet insurance doesn’t involve most of those pain-in-the-butt stressors that many other kinds of insurance policies involve. There’s no long phone calls with providers to discuss an incident, there aren’t photos sent back and forth for proof and potential reimbursement. Instead, the process with pet insurance is simple. You pick a plan and what you want it to include. You choose a deductible. These factors will determine your premium. Once you’re signed up, you pay that premium, and when a visit to the vet comes up, you simply submit your receipt online for a level of reimbursement depending on your plan’s coverage. You don’t need to carry around an insurance card, and your visit to the vet won’t involve you fishing out that card to read your policy number to a receptionist and hope you’re getting it right or that it’s your most up-to-date card. Instead, you’ll get your pet care, then you’ll get reimbursed after submitting your receipt. It’s that simple.
You Have A Rescue Dog (Or Cat, Or Pet)
Millions of pets each year are in need of rescuing, and providing those pets with a loving home can be a rewarding and life-changing experience for both you and your pet. But many owners of rescued pets shy away from pet insurance, assuming that a rescue may not be eligible. They are wrong. In fact, many pet insurance providers really, really want to insure those rescue pets – and sometimes, rescue pets are the pets that need it the most. Rescue pets may not always come with a medical history. They may not come neutered or spayed or vaccinated, and you may adopt a rescue pet without even really knowing its age. For these reasons, it’s important when getting a rescue pet to have access to a vet to get a picture of that pet’s health and provide it the care it needs as it becomes a part of your family. So if you’re worried that an insurance company will shy away from your dog or cat because it’s a rescue, worry no more, and keep in mind that pet insurers want to help out as many rescue pet families as possible.
At the end of the day, when you bring a pet into your home, it becomes family. Just like yourself or your kids, you’ll want to make sure that pet is insured so that if you find yourself in a worst case scenario, you have access to the care your pet needs without breaking the bank. And even if you think you’ll never find yourself in that position, and your pet lives the safest life possible, it’s still important to pay the small cost of insurance in case your pet, you know, sits on a piece of gum.