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Having a pet is an enormous responsibility and, at some point, will include some eyebrow-raising vet bills. Many pet parents dip into their savings accounts to pay exorbitant vet bills, believing it to be cheaper than pet insurance in the long run. But that’s not necessarily the case.
The mindset that a savings account is cheaper than pet insurance centers on the belief that insurance premiums are “wasted” on insurance when they could be building up in a savings account.
This mindset misunderstands the purpose of pet insurance. Pet insurance exists to help bridge the gap when unexpected and large expenses occur and you do not have adequate savings to cover it. Consider that your pet may become severely ill or injured and requires $1,500 in treatment, but you’ve only saved $350.
Let’s look at costs over a year. Suppose your monthly premium is $33. You have a friend who, instead of pet insurance, socks away $33 into a savings account. Six months later, your friend has $198 in her savings account while you’ve spent $198 on pet insurance premiums.
Your dog and your friend’s dog get together and get into some mischief. They swallow some chicken bones from the garbage and will require surgery totalling $1,493 each.
Your friend pays the entire amount to the veterinarian and goes home $1,295 poorer with an empty savings account.
You pay the entire amount, then receive a check for $1,220 from your pet insurance carrier a few weeks later. You’ve saved $1,022.
<spanstyle=”font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Maybe your dog doesn’t need surgery, though. Maybe your dog is completely healthy and only needs her monthly flea, tick, and heartworm treatment, which is $45 each month. Assuming your pet insurance plan covers preventive care, after your $33 monthly premium, you’ll save $144 over the course of the year.
As you can see, in the best case scenario, you’ll have both pet insurance and a savings account and/or access to a line of credit. Many pet parents use savings or available credit to pay large vet bills up front, then pay it off when they receive their reimbursement check a few weeks later.
“But what if I pay premiums every year and don’t have any large vet bills? I’ve wasted that money!” you say.
No, you haven’t. Just as you pay home or auto insurance and hope you don’t have to use it, it’s a good thing when you don’t have to use your pet insurance policy. It means your pet stayed happy and healthy all year, and you had peace of mind knowing that if disaster strikes, you were covered. As you see above, even if your pet doesn’t become catastrophically sick or injured, you’re still likely to realize some benefit from your pet insurance plan each month.
Curious to see how much you could save? Click here to get a free quote for your pet(s)!