Is pet insurance worth the investment?
It is a huge commitment to get a pet. Unexpected vet costs can increase that commitment even more. Animals do not have OHIP coverage, so routine checks, preventative treatment, and procedures can all cost hundreds of dollars. As Sydney and Nala discovered with their rescue cat Bean, serious illnesses or accidents can cost thousands. I am researching pet insurance for Kilo, the Pug. His rescue covered him for a while. He has been healthy, with the exception of a chocolate accident ($250) as well as his annual check-ups and treatments ($250+). It makes me feel secure, but not having coverage.
According to statistics, more than a third need emergency veterinary care each year. Source: OSPCA website.
Is it worth the cost to insure your pet? How does it affect the cost of insurance if your pet gets older? Is it better to have standard vaccinations covered than to cover an emergency situation? Do I save more each month to put into an emergency fund (my niece did this, but ran into big expenses when her dog became very sick).
Here are the results:
How does pet insurance work?
Pet insurance in Canada is much like human insurance. A premium is paid and claims for reimbursements are filed. You will generally pay a monthly, yearly premium. Additionally, you will be responsible for adeductible. This is the cost that you have to pay before your claim refund starts. You may be required to pay a portion of your bill if you have policies that cover 50-90% of the cost. Simple plans are usually affordable at $15 per month, while loaded plans can run around $100 per month.
The majority of the times, insurance companies do not pay for vet visits. After paying your bill, you can file for reimbursement. This can take up to weeks, but you should still be able stay with your family veterinarian.
Although most pet insurance companies will only offer a few basic tiers of coverage (which makes it much simpler than human insurance), the range of pet insurance policies will be very different. It is important to do your research and determine what policy will best suit your needs. Some plans include vaccines, basic injuries, spays/neuters and regular check-ups. Some plans only cover large accidents. Your location, age, breed, and other factors can all impact the type of insurance that you need. Ask as many questions as you like while shopping around. There are so many factors that can impact pricing and refunds. It is best to be upfront. A policy may have premiums that increase as your dog gets older, rendering a young purchase unwise.
Maximum payouts may be available to you. Make sure to check your policy. The insurance company may limit the amount they pay each year.
Do You Need to Insure Yourself as Soon as Possible?
One unplanned accident can leave you with a huge vet bill that sends your mind reeling. Dogs are like children. Dogs are more susceptible to injury due to their unpredictable nature and age. An obstruction in the intestines caused by a dog swallowing a coin can cause a cost of up to $3,000. You might have to pay $8,000 if your dog requires a second hip replacement. These numbers are not for a single injury or accident, but for a lifetime of vet visits. If you do your research, it is possible to avoid paying large lump sums of cash by insuring your animal.
It is often best to get pet insurance early so that the premiums are low. Insurance companies consider puppies to be a better investment than dogs because they are often healthy and happy. However, puppies can also be injured and may need insurance. Because your dog has not yet shown any signs of “pre-existing” conditions, this lower risk can help you lock in a lower premium. Companies may not pay for treatment costs if a dog has hip problems or diabetes.
Compare 5 Pet Insurance Companies in Canada
Consumer Advocate.Org conducted a thorough study on the most valuable pet insurance plans in Canada. These are the ones they recommend:
PetPlan Canada: Comprehensive coverage with flexible deductibles, ranging from $100 up to $1,000 Petplan’s standard plan covers all new illnesses and injuries, without any restrictions for congenital or hereditary conditions. Petplan also offers a wide variety of treatment options, which are not typically available in standard plans from other companies. All standard treatments include diagnostic testing, medication, non-preventative dentistry, MRI, CAT scan, and ultrasound. Petplan doesn’t place restrictions on elderly animals. Pets of senior citizens have the same coverage limits as those who are younger and can also be covered by the same deductibles. Any vet in the USA or Canada is acceptable. There are three options for reimbursement: 70%, 80% and 90% based on the actual vet’s bill. My quote ranged from $29.95 monthly for $5000 coverage and $1000 deductible 80% reimbursement to over $100 per month for unlimited and only $100 deductible.Trupanion: Unlimited payouts with no yearly caps, per-condition deductible that is perfect for chronic issues.Pets Plus Us: Covers wellness care, aged based deductible.Pet Secure: Up to 80% coverage, preventative and alternative care covered.PC Pet Insurance: Four plans to choose fromNo age limit, starts at $10.95 per month, aged based deductible, earn PC points on groceries too (a bonus for PC cardholders like me). Aria chose this option after she adopted Beau, the Frenchie. I inquired about the second most affordable option. It was $30.98 per monthly for $1500 per accident, $1500 for illness, $200 deductible, and $350 for alternative therapies or devices per category. This is what several of my friends recommended. The initial quote was $32+ per monthly for $2500 coverage with a high deductible and copay.
When I make my decision, I will let you know.
Consumer’s Advocate created a video and posted posts about pet research for US pet owners.
Thanks to our friends at impurrfectlife.com/pet-insurance-worth-it/ for their post on the topic and for sharing the video.
Are you able to provide insurance for your pet? Are you able to recommend one?
Here’s what you need to know about pet insurance talent hounds.