There are a lot of pros and cons to buying pet insurance, depending whom you ask. Is it worth the price? What is the price? What does it cover? What does it not cover? We answer these questions for you.
Our pet insurance comparison.
First of all – is pet insurance even worth getting?
“I have always had pet insurance and wouldn’t be without it,” said Angela Geary of Professional Pet Care Services. “With some dogs you might not use it very much and with others it can save you thousands. It’s a must have. I always had VPI insurance but now have Pet First, but I am thinking about changing it. I pay around $35.00 a month for one dog, you are charged depending on the dog’s age and size.”
My sister Roselyn and her husband prefer to adopt senior dogs who are in need of one last “furrever” home. Roselyn says no to pet insurance because: “It’s a waste of money in our cases. Our dogs are always older and insurance companies want to insure young and healthy dogs. The costs are prohibitive for older dogs, and the restrictions on what is covered just don’t make insurance worth it for us.”
Somewhere in between
When we had a dog, we had pet insurance for her. It covered about 50% of costs for heartworm pills, flea treatments, regular check-ups at the veterinarian, teeth cleaning and any surgeries or procedures. The trick is that insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions or health problems the animal may be born with, and most people don’t think about health insurance for young, healthy pets. Overall, insurance wasn’t a huge savings for us, but we did come out ahead. We did not have insurance for our cat, however, who developed heart disease and later needed radiation treatment – insurance would’ve been helpful for those expenses!
How do I get a quote?
Online, I was able to obtain quotes from most pet insurance companies. I discovered in the process that RSPCA Pet Insurance, Sainsbury Pet Insurance and Tesco Pet Insurance are all in the UK and I’m in the U.S., so I ruled out those companies. I tried to get a quote online from Embrace Pet Insurance, but after seven failed tries, I got frustrated and closed the website – I hope filing claims are not so exasperating!
In obtaining quotes for my pretend pet, I decided to go middle of the road, describing my dog as a lab mixed breed, medium-sized, 5 years old, female, spayed. I was asked questions like, “Has your pet shown symptoms for a medical condition?” and “Has your pet had surgery?” and “Is your pet on meds?” I answered no to each.
I decided to go for the most economical plans available for a pet that is relatively healthy, considering I am on a budget.
What kind of pet insurance rates can I expect?
Here are the rates I obtained.
VPI Pet Insurance
For the most basic plan, $17.75 a month covers flea/heartworm treatment, vaccinations and 24/7 Vet Helpline access. $400 maximum annual benefit, no deductible.
ASPCA Pet Insurance
$16.67 a month which covers “incidents” up to $2,500. Annual deductible of $100. If you go up to $41.67 a month, you will get Advanced Wellness which covers an annual exam, vaccines and tests, microchip, spay/neuter, wellness blood screenings, annual dental cleaning and flea/heartworm treatment.
Pet First Pet Insurance
The first month is $3.95, recurring monthly payments are $16.95. Deductible is $50. Does not cover dental or wellness. This plan is for accident and illness coverage only with a $1,000 accident or illness coverage per year, with reimbursement at 80%.
So obviously, there are variations. Assess your needs, go online and get your own personal quotes, which will vary depending on your pet’s size, age and health.