Written by Samantha Houde
“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, and the lesson afterward.” – Vernon Law
This quote rings true when it comes to pet insurance. Many pet owners may push off the recommendation of getting pet insurance for their young dog or cat because they are healthy, only to find themselves checking out the pet insurance brochures while in the waiting room after their pet has had an accident or major surgery. Here are a few reasons why purchasing pet insurance when your pet is young and healthy will not only save you money, but provide your loved furry friend with the best care possible.
Premiums are lowest when they are young and healthy!
As pets age and grow the likeliness of developing a chronic condition or encountering a serious health issue increases. To cover the expected growing costs of medical care, insurance companies will increase monthly premiums for older pets getting insurance. Purchasing insurance when your pet is young, if you can, is more economical for you as the insurance company knows the likelihood of your pet having any major illnesses in the near future is slim.
If you want to get the most out of your plan you should absolutely sign up before your pet has any illness or accidents!
If your young dog develops an ear infection which is later ruled to be the cause of a food or environmental allergy, and then you purchase an insurance plan, that plan will never cover the cost of ear infections, allergy related issues, or any medications to treat either.
Another example, one I saw often in general practice, is a dog (of any age!) tears a cruciate ligament and the owners manage to do surgery. They are told as they are discharged from the hospital that it is not uncommon for this injury to happen again in the other leg. If they purchase a plan now, it is unlikely the second surgery will be covered even though it is a separate leg, and would theoretically be injured in a new way and on a new day. This is often considered a bilateral condition and is essentially “pre-existing”. However, if they had pet insurance at the beginning, both surgeries would be covered.
Peace of mind
It is important to be realistic with yourself. If you can afford a monthly premium, but not a catastrophic event, perhaps an insurance plan is the right choice for you. Most insurance companies allow you to create the plan that works for your pet and your wallet: selecting a deductible and return percentage that gets you the monthly cost you want. Research shows that owners with pets who are generally healthy throughout their life will pay more in premiums than they will receive in claims. However, there’s no way to know if you are getting the puppy or kitten that is going to be perfectly healthy, or the one that is going to eat his toys, roll with the porcupines, develop kidney disease, or help himself to your favorite chocolate bar. Insurance gives you peace of mind when your best friend will get the best care, no matter how much it costs.
Veterinary care, as in human medical care, can be costly due to the same state-of-the-art equipment, highly skilled staff, and 24-hour facilities. The veterinary world however, is not an insurance-driven industry as the human medical world is. This can become clear when we receive a veterinary bill and usually never see most of our own human medical bills since insurance takes care of most of the cost.
There are so many companies out there to choose from, it may seem like a daunting task to narrow in on one to pay for the next 10-15 years. There are fantastic resources such as petinsurancereview.com that provide reviews by real owners that are unsupported by any single insurance company. You can also check out our blog on Pet Insurance Decisions to help you get started. It’s a personal decision, but one that you will hopefully be happy you considered. Good luck to you and your furry friend!