One of the most frequent questions we’re asked–both as the publishers of DogTipper and as pet parents–is “should I buy pet insurance?” In today’s tough economic times, it’s a big decision for dog lovers and one that everyone has to make for themselves.
In our opinion: yes, we think pet insurance is a good idea. We love our pets as part of our family and want to care for them as best we can. Although for us, like most of our readers, money is tight, the investment we have made in pet insurance has bought us peace of mind and can represent savings as well, whenever we should need to make a claim.
To decide if pet insurance is a good investment for you, we advise that you first do your research, just as you would if you were purchasing health insurance for yourself. Check pet insurance comparison charts from a site like Choosi to see what features insurance companies offer. Since our dogs are both mixed breeds, restrictions and exclusions based on breed weren’t an issue, but, if you have a purebred, it very well might be, depending upon the breed of your dog. With some companies, the monthly premium is determined by the age of your dog when you enroll in the policy. With some companies, the rate will rise as your dog ages, for other companies, it will not. Comparison sites will be able to let you compare the terms of the policies to select a plan that works for your dog and your budget.
We spent a lot of time comparing policies before we purchased one for Irie and Tiki. We finally settled on Trupanion, since it allowed us to lock in a lower rate because both dogs were young when we enrolled. It also let us pick a sliding deductible; we selected a high deductible, reasoning that we could pay lower veterinary bills out of pocket but, for large expenditures, pet insurance would be able to help.
Last fall, we put our policy to the test when Tiki came down ill with a very high fever. We spent over $1,500 on her illness which included two days at the clinic on IVs. Although our deductible is high, we still received payment from the insurance company for over $600 of those costs. Even if we’d had a special savings account for veterinary costs (which is what we’ve done in the past), that illness would have left us without the savings to pay for additional treatment, if she’d needed it, or for veterinary costs for our other pets. After that episode, we reaffirmed our decision to buy pet insurance.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.