Is Pet Insurance the Solution to Rising Vet Costs? Compare Plans
If you are finding that you are spending a nice chunk of your hard-earned dollars on pet care, you are not alone. According to the Dallas Morning News:
...owners are expected to spend a record $43 billion on their pets this year, $2 billion more than last year, according to a survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.
About 67 percent of U.S. households own a pet, and chances are they spend half their pet costs on vet visits and over-the-counter medicine, the survey said.
Whereas a new toy for our pets may be optional, medical care is a necessity and it isn't getting any cheaper. The Dallas News article recommends pet insurance, as does WP's Taming Costly Vet Bills:
If your cat comes down with pneumonia, the bill could run $1,900. Cancer therapy for a dog averages nearly $3,600. James Busby, veterinarian and author of How to Afford Veterinary Care Without Mortgaging the Kids recommends that pet owners ask upfront about all treatment options and costs, including for routine care. For example, many vets vaccinate dogs every year. But according to an American Animal Hospital Association study, adult dogs need most shots only once every three years.
The typical insurance premium for a dog is about $40 per month -- that's $5,280 if a dog lives 11 years, the average canine life span in the United States. Policies usually cover illness and accidents, although some insurers provide only accident protection. A few policies cover preventive care, such as regular checkups and vaccines.
Payouts depend on the insurer, but it's common for companies to foot 80 percent of the bill. To compare the benefits, co-payments and deductibles of major pet insurers, go to http://www.petinsurancereview.com.
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Posted by Molly & Jessie at July 22, 2008 10:00 AM
Pet insurance is tricky. If you are going for the cheap plans which cost about $200-$300 then you won't get much. They have too many exclusions and limits which makes them work only for young, healthy pets which don't have medical issues. The pet insurance plans with better coverage are about $500 to $600 and they will definitely save you some money if you have an older pet which will eventually need vet help.