Does Insuring Your Dog Really Provide The Best Health Protection?
By: Yuliss Saint Pierre
Considering Veterinarian Insurance For Your Dog?
"Insurance" is such a reassuring term... Companies create policies that promise to protect you or your loved ones and now, even our animals. But it's easy to believe what these companies have to offer, and not look at the big picture, read the fine lines and analyse the legalities of their policies.
Insurance Does Not Offer "Re-Assurance"
Here are some general facts about the reality of pet insurance:
- Insuring your dog will cost you about 20$-30$/month
- This rate does not include a deductible (a fee charged for the privilege of having the insurance). Some companies only charge a deductible once a year, some companies want a deductible paid with every claim, and companies that claim they DON'T charge a deductible - If you research the costs of their other services, you might find they may charge more in other areas to make up for giving you "such a deal".
- Many companies will not insure an older dog. Most have a cut off age of 7-9 years. Unfortunate for the public - Because older dogs would cost the company too much money since they usually have multiple health issues. So the companies that claim to protect you and take care of your pet are really leaving you and your dog alone.
- Many insurance companies will gladly cover a young enough dog with a pre-existing condition. In other words, a chronic health issue already diagnosed. Your premiums will be higher, but they will be glad to insure you because they can make more money off of you than the next guy whose dog in healthy.
- However, the tables turn when your already-insured-dog ages. I could not find one company in my research that did not have limitations on what they would cover for older dogs. Again, who do these companies state they protect - you dog? - Sounds more self-centered too me.
- Most companies claim that any health issues "common to the breed" will NOT be covered. It would be hard to argue that many age on-set health issues are not common to a particular dog's breed.
- The real problem with pet insurance is that the companies only want to cover the big money procedures. All the basic essentials; neutering/spaying, vaccinations and teeth cleaning are solely your responsibility.
It is my belief that having pet insurance results in your dog getting more costly procedures for "the fun of it", as the veterinarian gains a reputation for being keen.
In my opinion, the best veterinarians use their intuition and technology in combination with an accurate knowledge base built from experience to care, diagnosis and treat animals. They use less invasive procedures to problem solve and work-up to the more expensive procedures only when necessary. Some companies have caps on their pay-out amounts. They will not pay more than 1500$ - 2000$ for each procedure. So a procedure that costs 3000$ leaves you to pay the difference, on top of your deductible and premium fees. It does not seem that the whole system of pet insurance is designed to actually help you save money. It sounds more like a money pit to me.
You might wonder why pet insurance even exists in today's economy? To find out more about how an opportunistic pet market facilitated the creation of veterinarian insurance, please visit my site.