Should I Get Pet Insurance?

I posted the following question to our vet, Dr Glen Kolenc about pet insurance:

“What do you think of pet insurance? Do you have any advice – like, is this something you should enroll for when your pet is a puppy or a kitten?”

Glen’s answers was this:

“I consider pet insurance to be essential. As a vet, I will admit that vet fees are not cheap – and we are constantly facing increased costs on our overheads. Also, the demand on vets for A+++ treatment is rising.

Twenty years ago veterinary surgery and medicine was relatively primitive but nowadays, we perform chemotherapy on pets with cancer, spinal surgery on dogs with “slipped discs”, etc etc – the range and quality of our work is paralleling the human medical field.

So, with rising costs, more treatmets available and more demand for these treatments, costs will only get higher over time. A lot of clients comment to me “jeese, I wish there was medicare for pets”.

While there isn’t medicare, there is private health insurance. Insuring your pet’s health will mean you never have to face the sometimes significant financial burdens of looking after them.

Unfortunately, sometimes the treatment we can give animals is limited by finances. Sometimes animals are euthanased due to financial reasons which is a very sad reality that I do see from time to time. A lot of clients tell me they will not take out insurance as it is too expensive. Actually it is not that expensive.

There are several companies offering health insurance and some offer plans for less than $10 per month. Likewise, they have a relatively low excess. Supposing your excess was $100 (it is often less than that)… thatwould mean for the life of your pet, the most it will cost you to come to the vet is $100 for any one problem.

So a $2000 surgery will cost you $100. If your dog gets cancer, the $5000 (or a lot more) treatment will only cost you $100. When I think about it in those terms, if a dog or cat has one major illness or injury throughout its life, the money you have spent on insurance will be much cheaper than the fees you otherwise would have to pay.

I have a client with an accident prone puppy. This puppy is six months old and already has cost the owner almost $3000 in vet fees – I bet she wishes she had her pup insured (thankfully, now she does).

In summary, pet insurance can mean that you can expect the very best veterinary treatment for your pet – and that we can provide that treatment – without ever having to worry about the financial burden of treatment. I would advise to get all new puppies and kittens insured as soon as you get them – and to keep them insured their whole life.”

You may be wondering.. do I have my dogs and cats insured? The answer is YES! I get the amount deducted from my pay each fortnight. I’d done my research and found a pet insurer that offers a $100 excess that will pays 100% of the bill thereafter – many offer 80%.

My advice would be to do your homework and read the fine print..


P.S. Don’t forget to visit us at dogs and cats

And you can follow us on twitter too

Jun 05, 2010 | 0 | Dog health

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