How Old Is Your Dog If It Is 2 Years Is Pet Insurance A Waste Of Money Or A Good Idea?

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Is Pet Insurance A Waste Of Money Or A Good Idea?

You’ll find veterinarians, pet owners, and financial experts on both sides of this question. I believe the most useful answer is not “yes” or “no”, but “it depends”. It depends on your expectations and reasons for buying insurance for your pet. Let me explain what I mean:

  • Since the contract is between the pet owner and the insurance company, the pet owner must first pay their veterinarian and then receive reimbursement from the insurance company after filing a claim. This is usually not a problem until you are facing a large bill and don’t have enough money in the bank or available credit to pay your vet.

So if you can’t afford to pay your vet in full either with money in your checking or savings account and/or credit card and then claim reimbursement from the insurance company, then pet insurance is a waste of money for you.

The only exception is if you purchase a policy from a company that pays your vet directly (instead of you) and your vet agrees to let this happen. Most vets are against it.

  • You buy a policy that doesn’t cover what you thought it did. Before taking out pet insurance, you need to know what it covers and what it doesn’t.

For example, if you have a female that you buy a policy for when she’s a puppy and you keep her, but she has complications at birth and has to have a C-section, it’s very likely that she won’t be covered. Why? Because pregnancy-related expenses are a common exclusion in most pet insurance policies. I’ve actually had a client tell me, “I can’t believe this isn’t covered. That’s why I bought insurance!”

Let’s say you buy insurance for your labrador retriever puppy and when he’s 2 years old he’s diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Unless you have purchased an insurance policy that covers hereditary conditions, you will be paying out of pocket for this problem for the rest of the dog’s life.

You should always read a sample policy if available.

  • You buy a policy with limits that are too low, so you end up paying a significant amount of your vet bills out of pocket – especially the big bills. Isn’t that why you bought the insurance – so you don’t have to stop there? Many pet owners buy the policy with the lowest premiums and therefore the lowest limits. The best policy is always the one that gives you the lowest out-of-pocket costs counting on it premiums you should file a large claim.
  • You buy a policy with the expectation that you will get more money back in benefits (reimbursements) than you pay in premiums. You may or may not. Pet insurance is not an investment or a forced savings plan, but a risk-sharing tool.

The bottom line is that if you don’t know how pet insurance works and how to choose a company and policy wisely, pet insurance can really turn out to be a waste of money for you.

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