Pet Insurance - Is it worth Buying for YOUR Dog?
I was at my veterinarian last week for an annual exam on one of my dogs. While I was standing at the counter I started looking at the flyers and one that I picked up was for Pet Insurance. This is not the first time that I have looked at pet insurance for one or more of my dogs. Although I normally just toss these advertisements.
This time, however, I happenedpenned to stick a few brochures in my back pocket, along with the $206 (!!!) bill I’d just paid.
It’s been a long time since I had looked at pet insurance, probably 10 years. I was surprised to find that like the rest of the health care system, much has changed. The flyer was from one of the many pet insurance companies out there.
I started Googling the Pet Insurance company on the flyer (there are just too many out there, some ‘quality check’ research had to be done). After a couple hours sifting through different options and reading a lot of their fine print, I changed my mind about the Pet Insurance world (which had evolved a lot).
"If the cost of insurance is less than the financial benefit it will provide, then it makes sense."
Here is one I can safely recommend to you – Nationwide Insurance for Pets.
Their service is great (from my own experience) and IT’S FREE TO GET A QUOTE from them. Want to know your potential fees? Click here to find out.
Pet Insurance might be worth having
Having a dog is a significant responsibility. Not only from the everyday aspects of taking care of a dog but there are also the financial requirements. Food is one of the biggest costs of having a dog, along with treats, equipment, and hopefully some real dog parental training. (see my last post about adopted dogs).
Veterinary care for your dog can be very expensive, approximately 30% to 40% of your entire “doggie care budget”. Nationally, the average annual cost of just normal yearly vet care is around $400 (also depending on where you live).
These days, Pet Insurance can provide a buffer to some of these costs and actually save you money. For the most part each of these companies have two or three levels of coverage. You can buy Catastrophic coverage or Major Medical with some kind of Wellness program
I took the time to get “Major Medical Coverage” quotes from a couple different companies and I was pretty pleased with what I got back.
Nationwide’s Insurance came back to me with a plan for under $40 per month with just a $250 deductible.
That would definitely have saved me money on many of my vet bills!! My dogs have experienced pretty significant injuries both in the field plus in training and competition.
Upper level dogs are no different than any other kind of human athlete. My dogs have torn their ACLs, broken bones, been badly cut, and all sorts of indescribable injuries.
If you are running high level agility trials, or Master level AKC or NAHRA tests or trials, it makes good sense for you to at least get a MAJOR MEDICAL Quote so that you can consider if it makes good financial sense to invest in coverage.
For the non-competing dogs, Wellness Care coverage would be the better option.
I then decided to get a few quotes for the “Wellness Care” and again Nationwide came back with what I thought was the best coverage and the best price, at least for me.
Most of the providers cover the same things, annual exams, vaccinations, worming etc. The care that you should be providing your dog on an ongoing basis. Where the big difference comes in is when you look at the deductibles, co-pays, and limits versus the cost of the plan.
The Nationwide insurance quotes on my boy Roz (a labrador, 6 years old) was for under $18 a month with no deductible and no co-pay – with a $400 limit per year and good for any vet in the US.
- Physical exam:
- Heartworm or FeLV/FIV test:
- Fecal test:
- Nail trim:
- Health certificate:
- Flea control or heartworm prevention:
- One additional test: (1) Health screen (blood test) or a Radiograph (X-rays) or an Electrocardiogram (EKG)
When I added up the numbers for what we did on this visit I actually would have come out pretty well. Now my boy is already chipped. But I do go to Canada on occasion (I’m just 300 miles from Calgary) so I need to have a Vet Certificate when I cross the border.
I also don’t keep Roz on Heart worm medicine all year but I have him tested about this time of year to make sure he does not have heart worms and then I will start him on the heart worm medicine next month, just before we start to see those pesky little mosquitoes. I did not have a fecal test this trip but I did worm him. We don’t have much for fleas in my part of Montana so I don’t worry about them.
Based on my visit and then adding up what the insurance would have paid if he was covered, I would have had a “free” visit. based on the quote that I received they would have covered up to $220.00 if the bill had been that much. For this visit I would have been at a break even when factoring in the annual cost of the pet Insurance. The annual premium for Roz would be $213.00 ($17.75 a month). However, we are not finished with the vet for the year. I have my dogs vaccinated for Bordetella , also known as Kennel Cough, two times a year. and I will worm him again about half way through the summer.
If he was a puppy I would save on having him chipped and on his X-rays at 6 months to a year on his hips, an additional savings. In my case, based on where I live and the age of my dog a wellness policy would make sense to have. And I probably will have it but because I have already been to the Vet it does not make sense for me to insure him now, I’ll wait until we are closer to our next visit. : )
Pet insurance has really changed since the last time I looked at it. It now makes financial sense for me to buy coverage for some of my dogs.
Till next time – Happy Tails!
I like Nationwide Pet Insurance policies so much that I’ve decided to highlight this insurance on my blog – I believe it has the best in terms of cost-coverage benefits.
If you find a better deal please let me know so I can check it out, too.