Spring is one of the most common times of year for people to bring their pet to the vet for vaccines. Usually the cost of vaccines, checkups and other vet costs can add up enough to take a good chunk out of your bank account. It’s during vet visits that pet parents tend to think about pet insurance. But the real question is whether this is worth the cost or not. The truth is that this is not a cut and dry answer, but rather has many different things to consider.
The Type of Insurance
As with any other insurance, you need to think about the amount of coverage you will receive. There are some plans that simply cover emergency visits while others will cover every little thing you may need for your pet. Generally the more coverage you have, the higher the cost will be. To get the best coverage for your money you need to take the time to look at what the policy covers as well as the cost and reviews of the insurance companies. Some may make you jump through hoops for them to cover a simple procedure.
The Health of Your Pet
Another important thing to consider with this is the overall health of your pet. If you have a pet that ends up going to the vet several times a year then this may be a good idea. However, if your pet is overall healthy and you find yourself just going in for the basics like wellness checks and vaccines then this may not be right for you. Keep in mind that as your pet ages they will generally need more care so it can be beneficial for older dogs, though the premiums may be higher.
Alternatives to Pet Insurance
There are a few alternatives you can go with if you don’t think pet insurance is right for your pet right now. Here are the things you can consider:
- Savings Account- Think of this like a health savings account for your dog. Put aside the $40 to $50 you would generally spend each month on insurance and put it in a savings account for the event your dog needs medical care.
- Use Care Credit- Most vets will accept Care Credit which is essentially a loan. This is ideal for emergency situations when you do not have the full amount to pay for the medical expenses of your pet.
- Vet Wellness Plan- There are some vets that offer a wellness plan. Depending on the plan this can cover office visits, yearly dental work, X-rays, vaccines and more. Talk with your vet to find out if they offer this and compare it to the pet insurance options available to you.