So you have a new dog or puppy and you are thinking to yourself should I get my dog insured? Is it worth it? should I put money aside each month just in case? or it’s not worth paying for something that may not happen!
Is it worth it?
So you start to research pet insurance companies and this can be daunting deciphering what policy should you go with? What exactly is covered in each level of coverage. It is extremely important to read through each coverage level to see what the policy will cover. Coverage ranges from accidental cover through to premium care that covers accidents and illnesses.
Accidental cover will cover your pup if he is attacked by another dog, hurt leg due to an accident of falling off a height etc. Accidental coverage is generally covered so long as there is not an underlying problem that caused the injury.
Please read the policy to see what exactly the insurers deem to be an ‘accident’ as it will vary from company to company. There may also be a deductible applicable.
Premium Coverage will generally have 3-4 options for you to choose from. Most will cover all accidents and all illnesses and what differentiates each one is the amount of the deductible and the amount they will pay out for each illness/accident. Some plans may limit the amount of claims paid out each year. There are premiums available for those with pre-existing conditions and they will cover you.
Some policies (including accidental) will also cover more than just vet bills; such as if your dog bites or knocks somebody over causing damage, public liability, emergency boarding fees, compensation for holiday cancellation, advertising and reward for lost pet, vet cover if you are travelling with your dog, alternative therapies, behavioral therapy, medical machines and more.
What can I expect to pay to have my dog insured?
Here in Toronto, Ontario you can find accidental cover from as low as $10.95 and illness cover from $30 per month (plus taxes); the cost of insurance will range depending on where you live due to the difference in veterinary charges and any pre-existing illnesses.
If your pup has pre-existent illnesses and the insurance company will not cover it, it maybe ideal to put by money each month for costs of continuing medical expenses that will arise. The downside is that operations can run into the thousands and may take you a long time to save upwards of $5,000 to be prepared for your costs. You may also be one of the lucky ones that only needs to attend your vet for annual check ups and would benefit from a savings plan.
If you are undecided as what option to go with, I would advise you to do some research on your dogs breed. Some dogs are prone to certain illnesses and may require a lot of veterinary attention over their lifetime. Some of these breeds may also incur a premium rate due to the illnesses that are more likely to occur. Insurance companies generally will not cover any previous illnesses that your dog has had prior to coverage and possibly a window of closure as to when the coverage will take place on average 2-4 weeks before an illness occurs. Be open and honest about your dogs history to avoid any cancellation of your policy.
In my experience if you go a year or more without a claim its well worth your money to have peace of mind!
Tell me about your experiences with Pet Insurance!