Updated: 11/4/2010 9:00 AM ET|
Should you buy pet insurance?
|A look at the most expensive common pet medical conditions|
|Condition||Average fee||Condition||Average fee|
|1. Intervertebral disk disease||$2,844||1. Foreign body ingestion (small intestine)||$1,629|
|2. Lung cancer||$2,032||2. Urinary tract reconstruction||$1,399|
|3. Gastric torsion (bloat)||$1,955||3. Foreign body ingestion (stomach)||$1,391|
|4. Foreign body ingestion (small intestine)||$1,629||4. Rectal cancer||$1,011|
|5. Cruciate rupture||$1,517||5. Bladder stones||$989|
|6. Foreign body ingestion (stomach)||$1,398||6. Intestinal cancer||$942|
|7. Cataract (senior)||$1,244||7. Hyperthyroidism (radiation)||$920|
|8. Bone cancer||$1,059||8. Fibrosarcoma (skin cancer)||$780|
|9. Pin in broken limb||$1,000||9. Acute renal failure||$565|
|10. Brain cancer||$916||10. Mast cell tumors||$497|
|* Treatment costs vary on a case-by-case basis. Dollar amounts reflect average initial claim fees submitted to Veterinary Pet Insurance and are not intended to suggest typical reimbursements, reflect average national veterinary fees or account for continuing fees associated with a particular condition. Source: VPI via Bankrate.com.|
Going the distance for Fluffy
Because insurance is best used as protection against catastrophic expenses -- not those you could easily pay out of pocket -- the question becomes: How deep in the hole would you go for your pet? And then could you afford to pay those costs yourself?
|Most common surgically removed items|
|6. Chew toys|
|9. Hair ties / ribbons|
|Source: Veterinary Pet Insurance|
Pet insurance is a nonstarter for many pet owners, simply because they take a pragmatic approach to their animals. If the cost of treatment got too high, they would choose to have the animal put to death.
But many who think they'd draw the line at a certain dollar amount find their convictions wavering when the time actually comes, said Veterinary Pet Insurance's chief executive, Dennis Drent. The kids are crying, the vet says a treatment would be successful, and some parents break down and spend the money.
"It can be a very emotional situation," Drent said.
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I appreciate the writer's overview on both sides of the "pet health savings account" argument. But I have to admit, I'm for pet insurance. While a savings account is a good idea in theory-- if you actually think about it-- it doesn't make much sense.
The typical pet insurance premium costs around $30 a month. If you were to put that $30 into a savings account each month instead of purchasing a pet insurance policy-- you would have less that $100 saved up in three months. What if your pet had a sudden accident or illness one or two months into saving? You wouldn't be able to afford much treatment.
Pet insurance companies like Pets Best Insurance reimburse 80% of the actual vet bill after a deductible. Ultimately, pet insurance helps to make vet costs more affordable for pet owners. This specific company was founded by the very vet, Dr. Jack Stephens, who founded pet insurance in the US in the early 1980s. I happen to work for the company and I also have my dog insured here.
For more information about pet insurance visit wwwDOTpetsbestDOTcom.
if your going to get insurance for your pet.. make sure you really read the fine print, figure out what specifically you are going to want it for.. and keep up on your policies....
i dont do insurance for my animals.. (i have 7) i put what i would have spent in premiums in a savings account.. i do not use that for annual exams, vaccinations etc.. it is strictly used for dentals, diagnostics, emergencies.
My dog costs me over $1000 a year. Allergies, cancer, surgeries--you name it.
VPI either rejected my claims or paid minimal on a large bill. I got rid of them after a couple of years because I realize how much they excluded. I now have PETPLANUSA and they do exactly what they are supposed to! I elected for 100 deductible and 20% co-pay. (You can adjust your level of coverage to whatever you want.) I have submitted several 1000+ claims and here is how they pay:
1000 x 80% (their responsibility) = $800 - 100 deductible= $700 PAID! You will owe $300.
Easy peesy! LOVE PETPLANUSA.COM!!
As someone who has pet insurance with another company, I can say that pet insurance does not cover everything, including dental, unless you pay a monthly premium of $65 or more. Don't get me wrong, pet insurance does cover 70%-100% depending on how much coverage you have but there are limits, restrictions, and sometimes a deductible. That is why I recently purchased Pet Assure. Pet Assure saves me 25% on services at their referred Vet's office, along with other affiliates in their network. It was automatic, no claim forms, or waiting for a check in the mail.
The Vet I found was great and less than a mile away. I have already saved more than half of my one year Pet Assure membership in one visit! My dog needed a dental cleaning (an expensive procedure), which was not covered by my pet insurance. Not only did I get a good price from the Vet but also 25% on top of that! Can't beat it.
Thank goodness for Pet Assure!
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Saving just a single month of expenses may take longer than you think. See how your savings rate affects how quickly you can build a solid emergency fund.
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