A cat that’s too big, a dog that gets sick. Pet owners know it well, health problems, big or small, can quickly become expensive. Whether it’s frequent visits to the vet or overpriced medications, if your pet is not doing well, you may understand why there is pet insurance.
But is it really worth taking out insurance for your pet? If you have already thought about this topic, we will consider the advantages and disadvantages of pet insurance to help you make the ideal decision in your situation.
Let’s explore the mechanisms of insurance and the potential costs that you will have to pay. Thus, you will be able to decide whether it is useful to ensure your dog or cat.
In any case, it can be useful to monitor the level of activity, rest, and sleep of your protégé. So you can learn a lot about his state of health. Tractive GPS for dogs and cats allow you to measure them in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises. You will know exactly when to consult a veterinarian.
how do I get pet insurance?
When you take out pet insurance, you pay a monthly or annual contribution to the insurer. In return, the latter will cover part or even all of the costs. If a necessary treatment turns out to be very expensive, this can be especially useful. In other words, with insurance, you take a precaution against unforeseen costs.
There are a large number of different insurance models. To find out well before making a decision. That said, most animal insurances cover visits to the veterinarian in case of emergencies, regular medical examinations, and sometimes even dental care or anti-parasitic treatments.
You can think of insurance as a kind of big cushion that cushions your financial downfall if you suddenly have large sums to pay for the health of your dog or cat. Without insurance, bills can quickly become an insurmountable financial obstacle.
If your dog or cat is insured, you will only have to pay a small part of these costs. The insurance covers the rest. Depending on the model you have chosen, the insurance company generally pays between 70 and 90% of the veterinary costs. However, there is often a certain frankness. In other words, a minimum amount below which you must pay the bill yourself.
The fact that insurance covers most of your pet’s veterinary expenses is not only a financial relief. You will also worry less. You won’t have to think so much to decide whether to opt for a treatment or not. The financial side will be covered and you will be able to focus on the other aspects. This is especially the case for larger and therefore more expensive treatments, such as cancer treatment or surgery.
do you opt for a monthly or annual membership fee for your?
As with most insurances, mutuals for animals ask for a monthly or annual contribution. Before deciding, find out what is covered by the option in question, the percentage refunded, the amount of the deductible and the maximum of the covered costs, etc.
As a general rule, you can take your dog or cat to any accredited veterinarian and the insurance will cover the costs accordingly to his policy. Depending on the veterinarian and the insurance, it is even possible that the insurance will automatically pay the costs, so you will not have to pay and wait for a refund.
In other cases, you will have to pay your veterinarian’s bills yourself, and then send them to the insurance company. She will check them and refund the amount corresponding to the model you have chosen. It is therefore important to always keep the invoices and receipts in order to be able to prove the costs that you had to pay.
If the insurance confirms that the treatment is covered in part or in full, you will receive the refund shortly.
It depends a lot on the insurer and the insurance model you have chosen. So remember to carefully compare the different options available to you before making your choice.
Most insurers cover the following treatments, in part or in full :
- Fractures, poisonings, injuries
- Diseases (infections, diabetes, etc.)
- Genetic disorders (vision problems, dysplasia, etc.)
- Veterinary examinations
- Blood tests, X-rays, and other medical tests
- Alternative therapies (acupuncture, etc.)
- Medical treatments
- Emergency care
- Operations and anesthesia
- Prescription drugs
- Dental problems and oral hygiene Anti-parasitic treatments (lice, ticks, etc.)
What is not covered by pet insurance?
This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself when choosing an insurer. Study the documentation carefully to understand in which cases the animal mutual will not cover the costs of treatment. Depending on the situation, this may make some models completely useless for you. It is also necessary to pay attention to genetic diseases, which are sometimes not covered. If certain symptoms can be connected to it, it can cause difficulties at the level of reimbursement.
If your dog or cat is already suffering from an illness at the time you take out insurance, it will hardly ever be covered. Also pay attention to the illnesses that occur between the signing of the contract and the payment of the first contribution, which will often not be covered by the insurer either.
Does this pet insurance cover Cancer?
As for us humans, cancer in its various forms is a formidable enemy for our animal friends. It is the first cause of death in dogs and the third in cats.1 Despite this, many insurers do not cover cancers. If you are worried about this, read the conditions of the insurer carefully and make your choice well.
Diseases related to old age
A large number of insurance companies do not cover certain diseases related to old age or simply refuse to insure dogs and cats of a certain age. It is well known that the risk of diseases, injuries, and other health problems increases with age. Mutuals are often not ready to take on this risk.
If your pet is already a certain age, it is therefore a matter of getting informed well. Different insurers define old age in different ways, so you will probably find a solution that suits you.
Naturally, there are insurers who offer specific plans for older animals. However, expect much higher contributions and less generous deductibles.
Burial and cremation
This is a very delicate subject, but it must be addressed well. In addition to being a traumatic event, the death of a pet can be very expensive. Depending on local regulations, the burial or cremation of a pet may be associated with significant costs. Some insurances cover the euthanasia of animals that are too sick to survive, but practically never the costs incurred after a death.
Some breeds are not covered by pet insurance
Depending on the breed of your dog or cat, it is possible that some mutuals refuse to cover it or ask you for a higher price. This comes from the fact that there are breeds more susceptible to certain diseases or more strongly affected by certain conditions. As a rule, dogs or cats of mixed breeds are more resistant to diseases and are therefore easier to insure.
The insurance will not cover treatments such as cloning or DNA tests.
Even if it is vital for your dog or cat, insurance will not cover the cost of grooming.
It is impossible to give a clear answer to this question. Here are some of the factors that affect the number of contributions to be paid :
The breed: Purebred animals, which are often more vulnerable, are usually more expensive to insure. Likewise, the contributions for a large animal will also be higher.
Age: We have already said, the older an animal is, the more expensive the insurance will be. It is even possible that a mutual insurance company completely refuses to cover your pet. By ensuring a puppy or kitten from an early age, you will get much better conditions.
The region: The price of the insurance may also vary depending on your place of residence. A veterinarian in the city will often be more expensive than in the countryside and the insurance costs will therefore be higher.
The contributions that the animal mutual will ask for also depend on the desired level of insurance :
The refund rate: The more your insurance reimburses you, the higher the contributions will be. In most cases, the mutual will reimburse between 70 and 100% of the veterinary costs. It’s up to you to find the golden mean.
Franchise: This is the amount, annual or monthly, that you will have to pay yourself before the insurance begins to cover the bills. The higher this amount, the lower the contributions will be. However, it will be more likely that you will have to pay most of the costs out of pocket.
The maximum coverage: Although there are unlimited coverage plans, in most cases your insurance will only cover expenses up to a certain level per year. You will have to pay any invoice that exceeds this amount yourself. The higher this amount, the more you will pay in contributions.
To give you an idea of the price of insurance, here is an estimate :
– dog insurance
France: 16 €/month
– cat insurance
France 15 €/month
As we have indicated above, this can vary a lot depending on your animal, your region, and the services.
There are different types of pet insurance, depending on what you want the insurance to cover.
This basic type of insurance only covers expenses related to accidents. If your protégé is hit by a vehicle or attacked by another animal, the mutual will cover the resulting veterinary costs. Cases of poisoning are also taken care of. This will be the cheapest possibility to insure your pet, but it will only cover emergencies. For elderly animals, this is often the only possibility to have them insured.
Accident and health insurance
With a mutual that covers accidents and illnesses, you will have every chance that the insurance will cover veterinary costs if something happens to your dog or cat. Diabetes, congenital diseases, maybe even cancer, everything is covered.
Accident and health insurance with wellness option
Some insurers offer an even more comprehensive plan (for a fee, of course) that will also cover less vital benefits such as anti-parasitic treatments, vaccines, and preventive treatments.
How much does the vet cost?
One of the main factors to consider before making a decision for or against pet insurance is what it would cost you not to do so. In other words, it depends on the veterinary costs which will be entirely at your expense without insurance.
The problem is that it is quite difficult to give an accurate figure. The costs for any kind of treatment can vary greatly from one region to another and even between the different veterinary practices in the same place. The fees you will have to pay may therefore depend on the number of options you have and therefore on your mobility, example.
In France, in any case, it is necessary to count between 30 and 50 € approximately for regular medical examinations and simpler treatments (deworming, anti-parasitic treatments, etc.). Vaccines already cost between € 60 and €80 and any treatment for serious illness or accident easily reaches several hundred euros.2
Canada allows about $100 for a medical examination. If you have a cat, vaccines and antiparasitic treatments cost between about $60 and $80 but almost double for dogs. For all other treatments, the bill amounts to several hundred dollars. Here, too, emergency care is the most expensive.3
We would like to reiterate that veterinary fees can vary enormously and that the figures indicated above are only an approximation.
Insurance or not, prevention is better than cure
If your pet gets sick or gets injured, it can come back very expensive. Even if he is insured, you may incur quite significant costs to keep him healthy. And the well-being and happiness of your faithful friend are much more important than the financial aspect. The best way to avoid excessive expenses and ensure the happiness of your dog or cat is good prevention. This includes regular visits to the veterinarian but above all healthy and balanced food, daily exercises and games, and adequate equipment.
A good leash for your dog or a comfortable harness for your cat, for example, can prove vital. If your pet goes out at night, with or without you, a collar or a reflective jacket is surely also a good idea. To always know where your protégé is walking and to be able to intervene quickly in case of a problem, equip him with a Tractive GPS for a dog or cat. The tracker also allows you to monitor his level of physical activity and his sleep times. This will help you to take care of his well-being and to prevent diseases and accidents as well as possible.
Should you take out insurance for your pet or not?
Having considered all kinds of aspects related to this question, it’s time to find an answer.
If you live in a rather urban area where veterinary fees are higher as a rule, insurance can help you pay for a treatment that would prove to be very expensive without it. Likewise, if you have access to a veterinary practice with affordable prices, it may be cheaper to pay for any necessary treatment yourself and save the contributions of a mutual insurance company.
Also, evaluate the risks that your pet incurs on a daily basis. An apartment cat or a dog that only goes out for a walk with you will be less likely to get sick or get injured than a cat that is free to walk around the neighborhood or a dog that you will take on a hike.
Remember to carefully study the question of the benefits and rates of animal mutuals available to you. Check what is covered and what is not. Examine the percentage of reimbursements as well as the amounts of the deductible and the maximum coverage. All these factors naturally also influence the price of insurance.
Finally, think about the means of prevention at your disposal. If you can minimize some of the risks that your pet runs by monitoring his diet, activity and sleep level, and safety. This is not only the best way to ensure his well-being, but it can also be very beneficial for your wallet.
We hope that by examining all these factors in detail, we have been able to help you take stock and find the solution that suits you best. Pet insurance can be a real source of serenity, but also a regular expense that should not be overlooked.
If you decide to take out insurance, in any case, remember to carefully compare the different options available to you. Prices and services vary a lot, as do the needs of different pet owners.
Consult your friends or acquaintances who also have an animal or ask your veterinarian for advice. It’s a decision to be made soon enough. Don’t wait for your dog to get sick or get old before taking out insurance. This may no longer be possible, or in any case very expensive.
Whatever you choose, don’t forget to take good care of your protégé!